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« What Is A True Visionary? | Main | Hand in Hand: Going deeper in your relationship with Jesus Christ »

Does God Need Mankind?

“LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” Psalm 90:1-2. 

Before there was a universe, there was God.  He is the Prime Mover, the Self-Existent One, the Eternal Spirit.  He is without beginning, uncaused and infinite.  The Scriptures do not try to explain His existence.  Genesis 1:1 boldly states, “In the beginning … God.”  Singular.  There is no plurality of Gods.  He has no equal, no rival, no partner.  He has no father, no mother, no siblings. 

Isaiah thunders out this truth so forcefully that none dare challenge it.  ”’You are My witnesses,’ says the LORD, ‘And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me.  I, even I, am the LORD, And besides Me there is no savior.  I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, And there was no foreign god among you; Therefore you are My witnesses,’ Says the LORD, ‘that I am God.’” Isaiah 43:10-12. 

Neither is the offspring of God, Jesus Christ, to be perceived as a different person, although some have resorted to incredible theological calisthenics to make it appear as though there is a divine duality or even a tritheistic Godhead.  Jesus is to be understood as the extension of God into the world of flesh, the invisible God made visible.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” John 1:1-3. ‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14.  Colossians 1:15-17 concisely expresses the Apostolic view of Jesus:  “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”

But in the eons preceding Bethlehem, God dwelt as a solitary, spiritual entity.  While His existence is incomprehensible, He is still knowable.  Paul writes, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1:20-21. God made us aware of his presence in a number of ways, through the Scriptures, through his creation, through theophanic appearances, through signs, wonders and miracles.  These manifestations imply that God desired a relationship with us.  Therefore, we must make an attempt to grasp an understanding of God. 

The question that is most relevant to us in this context is:  “Why did God create mankind?”  If He is all-sufficient and perfect, what need, what lack, what void in the depths of His personality prompted Him to create human beings?  In searching for an answer to this question, many resort to John’s statement in the book of Revelation:  “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11 (KJV).  While not denying the truth of this scripture, I observe something very different from pleasure.  If the only reason He created us was for His pleasure, that pleasure was very short-lived.  It turned to grief, sorrow, angst and outrage as soon as Adam and Eve fell into disobedience in the Garden of Eden.  It caused Him to place His own creation under a curse.  He saw the humans that He created plunge into violent crime, depravity of character and idol worship so much so that He wished He had not brought them into existence.  “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’” Genesis 6:5-7.

So, although I concede that God derives much pleasure from the creation of our species, it seems that he also reaped an abundance of displeasure from us as well.  There must be something more.  A little research unearths more speculation as answers to this question.  Some say man exists because God loved us with an everlasting love.  Some say He created us to fulfill His eternal plan.  Still others believe that God created man to serve Him.  There are even more ideas out there: that God wanted someone to obey Him; that God created us to give Him glory; that God wanted to share Himself with us; that God created us in order to reveal the fullness of his divine attributes.  Undoubtedly, there is an element of truth in each of these reasons.  Is there still something else?  I contend that there is:  God wanted a relationship with man!

I may be treading on dangerous ground here, but let’s explore this a little further.  When I say that God wanted a relationship with man, I recognize that this is not a divine need.  God did tell Adam that it was not good for man to be alone, but He did not include Himself in that statement.  Moreover, we find in Acts 17:24-25, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.”  So, we have to conclude that God doesn’t need anything.  He did not need to create man in order to find completion or fulfillment.  And yet, here we are.  We did not get here by ourselves.  If God created us, then there must have been a reason.  Herein lies the secret.  If we are created in His image and in his likeness, does that not mean that human emotion, human joy, and the human propensity for love must have been placed within our hearts by our Creator?  If so, then the fact that we gravitate strongly to relationships must be divinely inspired.  In other words, if we crave relationships as a vital part of the human experience, that desire must have originated in the mind of God and transferred to human beings. 

If a little more proof is needed, consider this.  If God created us to enter into a relationship with Him, we should be able to discern this from the Scriptures.  Isaiah 43:1 gives us a broad hint that this is the case.  “But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.’”  The phrase “You are Mine” is a clear reference to relationship.  The Psalmist also links creation with relationship.  “Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3.  The metaphor of “sheep of His pasture” often signifies belonging, intimate care and close relationship as portrayed in the 23rd Psalm.  “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.”  Jesus’ parable about the one lost sheep, and the proclamation in John 10:14 that He is the Good Shepherd further substantiates the point. 

One thing we know for sure.  Before the creation, God dwelt as a solitary being—fully self-sufficient—but still alone.  He did not stay in his aloneness (I do not say loneliness); He created us.  By creating us, He showed His desire for relationship.  There may have been a host of other reasons why we were created, but relationship had to be one of them.  This profiles the heart of God.  We should always be aware that God wants to be in a relationship with us, with all of our flaws, all of our shortcomings and all of our problems.  We should never think that God ignores us or dismisses us as insignificant. 

Perhaps David says it best. “O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!  Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.   When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.  You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,  All sheep and oxen— Even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.  O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:1-9 (NKJV)

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