Steinbeck alludes to a God who is detached from His creation. This deistic being, who created the universe and then removed Itself from the equation, is the Higher Power that many North Americans believe in. But this is not the immanent God of Christianity. Our God sees the sparrow fall and ordained its falling. He is aware of ant lions and the ants they eat and neither the ant nor the ant lion does anything apart from the sovereign plan of their Creator who is intimately involved in their lives. The deistic God is repudiated by the God-Man who lived, died, and rose among us. There is no detachment in our God. He is intimate, involved, and His imminent return will make that abundantly clear.
The dawn came quickly now, a wash, a glow, a lightness, and then an explosion of fire as the sun arose out of the Gulf. Kino looked down to cover his eyes from the glare. He could hear the pat of the corncakes in the house and the rich smell of them on the cooking plate. The ants were busy on the ground, big black ones with shiny bodies, and little dusty quick ants. Kino watched with the detachment of God while a dusty ant frantically
tried to escape the sand trap an ant lion had dug for him.
- John Steinbeck, The Pearl (emphasis mine)