When I started the “Questions Kids Ask” series a couple of weeks ago with the question, Who made God?, I didn’t realize how popular that post would become. Indeed, in less than two weeks, it has become the most popular post ever on my blog. It has also sparked some interesting discussion including one commenter who asked, “So what made him up and decide to create the planets and life?” I don’t know how old this person is, but the question seems like a logical follow-up question in the “Questions Kids Ask” series, so I thought I would deal with it in a separate post. In short, I suppose the question is:
Why Did God Make Us?
This question has been asked over and over throughout history. In fact, King David asked essentially the same question in Psalm 8:
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” [Psalms 8:3-4]
The fact of the matter is that the Bible does not give us explicit details about why God chose to make us as opposed to not making us. Genesis 1:1 clearly tells us that God created the world, and Genesis 1:27 tells us that he created man (and woman) in his own image. Beyond that, it does not talk much about the why of creation. Accordingly, this question rightly falls under the umbrella of the “secret things” discussed in Deuteronomy 29:29:
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” [Deuteronomy 29:29]
Fortunately, the Bible does give some insight even if it doesn’t come right out and directly answer the question. Let’s start with some of the mistaken theories that are often offered for why God created us. Let’s look at some of those notions and see why they are not true.
Some people contend that God created man because he needed an object for his love. Not true! From infinity past, God has existed in the trinity in perfect communion with perfect love amongst the members of the trinity. God loved us before he ever created us (Jeremiah 31:3), but he did not require man as an object of his love.
Some hold that God created man because he needed us. Again, not true! God needs nothing. Indeed, there is nothing that we, as his creation, can offer to him. Acts 17:24-25 explains:
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” [Acts 17:24-25]
God, in the trinity, never felt any loneliness. God loves us, to be sure, but he does not need us either as a companion or as an object of his love.
Fortunately, the Bible does reveal some things about why God actually made the world and made us. The short answer to the question “why did God make us” is that he made us for him. Colossians 1:16 tell us:
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him.” [Colossians 1:16]
We were created for God’s pleasure. So, what does that pleasure look like? Revelation 4:11 gives us some insight in the worship of God in heaven:
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” [Revelation 4:11]
Ultimately, God created us to give him glory. We are commanded to live for the glory of God in 1 Corinthians 10:
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. “ [1 Corinthians 10:31]
It is important to understand that we were not created to add to God’s glory (that would be impossible). Rather, we were created to reveal God’s glory. Given that we were created to bring God glory, it makes sense to ask the question “How do we bring God glory?” There are several ways:
- By loving the lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5)
- By loving our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39)
- By sharing God’s gospel with unbelievers (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
- By doing the good works which God created us to do (Ephesians 2:10)
- By serving faithfully in God’s army (Ephesians 6:10-18)
- By worshipping God and giving him thanks (Psalm 50:23)
This is just a short list of the many ways we can glorify God. In short, we are God’s light to the world, and everything we do should be done with the purpose of bringing him glory.
The best explanation I have heard which provides some insight into why God would choose to create us draws on the frequent analogy found in scripture between our relationship with our earthly parents and our relationship with God. Imagine for a moment why a man and his wife might make the decision to have kids. They anticipate the joy of having a child, they desire to replicate themselves and they desire a relationship with a child. Although the Bible is not explicit, and the analogy is not perfect (for example a husband and wife may feel their family is incomplete without kids – God would never feel such incompleteness), but it does offer some insight into why God may have chosen to create us. We were not created because God needed us, but we certainly need him and should desire to live our life in accordance with his will.