Created Thurs. Dec. 27, 2001
Why Are We Here?
Why did God create us? Isn't that a question many have wondered at one time or another? And why not? After all, it is one question that was never really explored in the Bible. The Bible tells us about God's existence and identity and that He did create the heavens and the earth, and lastly, us. But never do we hear why. It evidently remains for us to figure out. Perhaps God wants to see how far we are willing to go to fully understand Him. Observe these scriptures:
(RSV) Acts 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us, 28 for 'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring.'
The most interesting words there are that they, people, creations of God, should seek God, in the hope they might feel after Him and find Him. And then most significantly, He is not far from each one of us. I propose that God made us so that we have an almost natural yearning or desire to understand our place in the cosmos and to know where we came from and why we are here. We can almost sense or feel God's presence or at least have the desire to seek Him out if He is really there and He is.
God wants to know if we are serious about knowing Him. Surely we can relate to this. Don't we all look for a partner who will see us for who we really are, maybe even search for who we are. Or perhaps you lost a parent early in life and so search to understand who they really were. Some even search out grandparents or ancestors to more fully understand them. Should God be any different? Love goes both ways. God loves us. But do we really love Him?
Is it important for the almighty and sovereign Lord of the Universe that each of His beloved creatures also love Him? Yes, I believe it is. I believe that He does want to be able to relate to each one of us. He certainly has the ability. So since it is such an easy thing for Him to do, why not do it? He has made an effort to reveal Himself to a significant degree in the Bible. But He left a little test for us. Who wants to pass, I ask? Acts continues.
Acts 17:29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed, and of this He has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead."
The Apostles Paul told the Greeks and us now, too, that God now commands all men everywhere to live like He, God, wants us to live and has fixed a day on which he will judge the world. Pretty serious stuff, wouldn't you say?
But how do we go about our search. I believe the key, apart from the scriptures already mentioned, is given in the first 2 chapters of Genesis. It is said that God made man and woman, whom He considers as one species, as man. Man is the term for both sexes, though it refers more directly to the male of the species but not exclusively. And this species, this creature, called man, is said to be in God's image and likeness. Not so much in any physical sense since God is a spirit, an entity without any physical form or likeness. But man is like God in his mind, personality, and spirit. Spirit in this case being our inner self, our heart, our soul, our psychological makeup.
So to know what God is like or what sort of being He is, we only have to look at ourselves and our nature and makeup, minus the shortcomings, to get a good idea of who He is. We can also study the creation made by His hands, so to speak, to understand Him better. The physical world, our habitat, the earth, and all the creatures, plants, and cycles that make it work. He is revealed in someway, through all these things. It is up to us to figure out just how.
Romans 9:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse;
Many people will live their whole lives, never thinking about anything and taking everything for granted. But a person with an open, active, curious, and inquisitive mind and appreciation for life, or at least for its potential and the beauty that is there if we look close enough; he will not be able to resist pondering the unanswered mysteries of life and of God, if they are inclined to believe in such a being as being possible.
What also helps is if we consult many others and get their ideas about such things. With many minds at work on the same problem, some good answers are bound to turn up. Discussion, 2nd opinions, brain-storming, differing opinions, they will all help. A case tried in a court of law is useless unless there is both a prosecution and a defense. We want to seek out all sides on a matter. Then we are better able to make a decision.
I am assuming at this point that you are a believer of the Bible as being the word of God or are someone curious about what a Christian or this Christian author might have to say about such an idea as to why God made the universe and us, and this based on the Bible. So here we go.
God has several basic things that seem to preoccupy most of His attention. First, He gives Himself a name, starting right in the book of Genesis, he first book of the Bible. Many people are not aware of it because some of those whose job it was to translate the Bible, took the liberty of deciding that God's name was too holy to pronounce and eventually, to even translate or print it. But they forgot that it was God who ordained that His name be in there in the first place. So some scholars and translators have recognized and restored that divine name to what they can best discern is its accurate form or a legitimate traditional form.
I won't argue about which form is correct here. That is another article. But the 2 most popular variants are Jehovah and Yahweh. Jehovah is the more traditional one and I see either form as legitimate and acceptable, along with one or two other forms, as well. Again, the article, God's Name, better handles why I say that the various forms are all acceptable. What is important is recognizing that God has a name and created it for a purpose. To identify Him and distinguish Him from other false gods of whom there were plenty to be distinguished from as time went by. And to use it to address Him rather than other gods! To know Him, it would seem reasonable and necessary to use His name if He went to the trouble of picking one and having it recorded nearly 7,000 times in the Bible.
Are you said to be friendly with someone and be on close terms with them and yet not know their name? Could you claim to be good friends and loyal to each other without knowing and using names? A name is one of the first things we acquire from another person is we are going to continue to have some sort of acquaintance or relationship with them, even if only a working relationship.
Having got that out of the way, now we need to know more about what Jehovah thinks, what He feels, what He does. This will tell us a lot about Him as it would with any person we want to know. Jehovah spoke by means of many prophets, men He chose to speak His words to people and let them know what He wanted from them or what was on His mind. These men were also instructed to write these words down for all future generations to read and consider. See my article, God's Institution.
Hebrews 1:1 In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
Recording events and information is seen as the most careful way to preserve memories of those events and information you want to preserve. Memories can fade in people's minds but as long as the text survives, it does not change or forget. Today in the USA, all trials and evidence heard in a courtroom is recorded to preserve for all to review for as long as they can maintain the records, short of disasters beyond our control. This way they can be reviewed should questions, disputes, or appeals come up.
So Jehovah foresaw the legal implications, no doubt, and wanted us to be able to have confidence in the information that would be passed on about Him in His name. So He elected to have His servants take great care in how they preserved Jehovah's information that He gave to them to care for. Jehovah also, no doubt, wanted it to be easy for us to obtain information about Him without a struggle. He no doubt foresaw how abundant the printed word would be in future days when His word would be carried to all the earth and saw it as a good means of preserving and spreading His message to all.
Jehovah went so far as to create a nation and a priestly institution for the purpose of maintaining proper worship in the way that was important to Him as God. The prophets, kings, and priests recorded all affairs of Israel, especially as they related to Jehovah, their God, who gave them this responsibility. Jehovah created a nation, a priesthood, and bureaucracy that all centered around Him so that His words would be carefully be preserved for the future. My article on "God's Institution" shows this in more detail.
This was a very unique institution for the worship of any god, anywhere in the world. Some nations did record certain activities of kings or nations. Some things were recorded about the gods of the peoples and lands. But most of those records glorified the kings more than anything else. The gods of other peoples and lands were attended to more by ritual and temples/statues than by anything else. Though some carvings on clay tablets or stone monuments might contain some records of the gods, the activities of those gods were often less than idealistic.
Those gods did not focus on what Jehovah focused on. Rarely were the other gods as preoccupied with justice or morals, and chastising the people for not obeying. They were much less demanding than Jehovah was. But as interesting as what they promoted was how they remembered or promoted it. Jehovah often used prophets as messengers. The Greeks called them Oracles. Jehovah issued prophecies and performed great miracles, signs, and wonders. And Jehovah made Israel, His chosen people to attend to Him, due to the fact that Jehovah loved an ancestor of theirs (Abraham) and so granted to Abraham the blessing of having his descendents be the ones through whom Jehovah would use and bless as His servants for His will and purpose.
But Jehovah made Himself outstanding in His ability to forecast many years, if not centuries or millennia, in advance, telling of things to come. By demonstrating His ability to predict the future, He showed us that He knows what He is talking about and has the ability to guide and direct events if He so chooses and can discern subtle forces undetected by man. In short, He shows us great power that a mere man can't touch in comparison.
Jehovah created a nation of bureaucrats who wrote everything down. Even to this very day, there was not a nation or people so well documented so far back as Israel. She is without peer in that regard. In fact, because Israel was so literate due to Jehovah's cultivation, they became valuable as scribes and bureaucrats in every nation that they chose to live in as time passed. Their literary skills gave them advantages and contributed to their success in business, politics, and bureaucracy, even to this day. They still prize education and seek it out diligently. This was due, in large part, to their God, Jehovah, and what He assigned to them when they were His servants and His nation and when His bureaucracy was maintained.
It was Jehovah's servant John who reveals to us one of God's most significant qualities.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.
Love is what motivates the God who calls Himself Jehovah, to do what He does. James sort of confirms this when he writes that faith without works, without results, without something to show for itself, is not really faith at all. Real faith produces actions, it produces real results. So it is with love, too! Real love produces real actions and results or it isn't real love. If something really exists in our hearts, in our core, then it will motivate us and move us to act. It is the same with Jehovah as it is with us. What is in His heart or core will cause Him to act or behave as He does. And love is one of those most fundamental motivating forces in this God of the Bible.
Love produces some interesting results. Of course, we are not speaking of romantic love or sexual desire here, we are speaking more of principled love, a love that motivates to share, a love that desires companions to share with and communicate with. Love that cares about another person's interest and welfare. It was likely love that motivated and moved Jehovah to create other beings because He had love in His heart and it needed something to express itself to and care for. It was a necessity that He create others to share with. It would be unbearable for Him not to do so.
It is the same with us in many respects. When we discover something, especially when we do so as children, we often want to share it with others. If we find something or have something which gives pleasure and we have lots of it, we are inclined to want to share it with others. Good times and laughs are something best enjoyed with others. Many activities are only fun or desirable when they are shared with others. Love makes the world go around.
When people are alone for too long, when children have no one to play with, they will often invent friends and talk to them. Sometimes they make their toys and toy characters talk and interact, even in the presence of others. It is natural for us to fulfill our desires in the best way possible. Many people feel a need to have children because of the fulfillment in creates in their lives. If physical outlets are not available, we create them in our minds. So it is with God, except that He has no limits and so does not have to resort to imagination. He can make the real thing and did!
Job 38:4 "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements--surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
The Bible informs us in Job that the sons of God in heaven, often known as angels, were around before the creation of the heavens and earth. God chose to create other spirits to share the rest of His planned activity with. In fact, He chose to have and share a very special relationship with His very first created being, whom He likens to a first born son. Jehovah allowed this first born to act on God's behalf and finish carrying out His plan. That plan was creating physical creatures made out of matter. Here is a scripture that sounds a lot like the one I earlier quoted in Hebrews.
Colossians 1: 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; 16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
In order to accomplish this, God had planned a universe which would house these creatures who would be similar in likeness and image to God but expressed in physical forms, ways, and behaviors. The universe, as I see it, was designed with man in mind. The physical universe would enable man to live and thrive and satisfy the needs that God would give him. But Jehovah left the actual task to His first son to carry out. But since Jehovah dreamed up the plan and put it into motion, it is still He who is identified and seen as the creator, for if nothing else, He created the one who did the rest of the creating and He still remains in charge of the son even though the son has been given over everything.
1 Corinthians 15:27 "For God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "All things are put in subjection under him," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things under him.
So God created the heavens and the earth with the intention of creating physical life that would reflect the personality of Jehovah, Himself. In addition, making and giving the material universe an ultimate sense of purpose and meaning was best accomplished by making life out of that matter. It is using matter in the most meaningful way. Man would be the ultimate way to put matter to use. The physical expression of the image of God. So we sort of know why we are here. But what did Jehovah intend for us to do once we were created and maybe more importantly, why?
Well, God commands man in Genesis 1:28 to fill the earth with offspring, so we are told to reproduce. And Adam, the first man, was to care for the earth and have dominion over it. So man was the boss in charge of the earth and all that was in it. It goes without saying, or should, that man was to do this in a manner similar to how God would do it. That would be with love, respect, and honor for what was given and how to handle it. We would not abuse it.
In addition, we would obey God's commands in respect for the fact that He created us and so has that right to ask obedience, and for the reason that God knows what is best for us and had specific reasons for why He made us as He did. And He knows what behaviors will be for our best benefit. So He instructs us on what to do and how to behave as He is the one who created our bodies and our nature and personality. He knows what will work best for us.
(GLT) Isaiah 48:17 So says Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am Jehovah your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.
In making us, Jehovah gave us certain appetites, drives, and desires that would give us signals to help us live right. So when our bodies need water, we get a thirst for water. When our bodies need food for energy, we get hungry. To make sure we reproduced, Jehovah made sure that the activity that enables reproduction was very enjoyable and exciting. He gave us a desire and appetite for this activity and the opposite sex, so that we would seek out the opposite sex and start a family. It would pretty much start itself.
He also gave us rules in regards to seeking out sexual pleasure that would be in our best interests. He limited each person to one partner in a committed relationship we call marriage. Likely, this would insure that children would have stable loving parents who would be committed to each other for the sake of each other, for God, and for the child, especially. That was the intentions, anyway. A marriage was a practical and useful arrangement, as well as one that would provide an outlet for our sexual desires. The purpose of sex was to encourage and ensure that people married and reproduced. Sexual pleasure was a motivation and reward for doing that.
This does not mean that sex is exclusively for reproduction. It can also be for recreation and pleasure. It is a gift, a reward, a blessing from God for those who marry to be enjoyed as they like. But its main purpose was to encourage breeding, but only in the way that God prescribes, through the marital arrangement.
What is not said or even implied is whether God ever intended for the rest of this very vast universe to be inhabited. It does not require any great intellectual effort to recognize that the universe could have more than one planetary system that might be capable of sustaining life. Does God have any plans for any of it? And with so vast universe before us, many wonder if we are the only ones or are there others out there.
Well, we do have to jump into the realm of speculation but let's do it. If we take for granted that the God of the Bible, Jehovah, has no limits as far as power or intellectual abilities, and certainly has no limits on love, and like us, desires to take up pursuits and activities that challenge His abilities, then we might assume that God would take up something that was infinite since everything about Him seems to be infinite and without limits.
Even we like to take up something that challenges our ability. In fact, sometimes we tend to push things too far, past out limits and get into trouble. No talented and capable quarter back likes to sit on the bench while his team plays. He wants to use his ability. It is the same with someone who wants to excel at a video game or whatever else. We like taking on a good challenge. Even more so with God.
So though He started man out on just one planet, as a species that would be in His likeness and image, does it seem reasonable that He would stop there? To me, it does not, given His incredible capabilities and potential. Though He started out with just one planet, He may very well intend to cultivate and populate other planets with men in due time. There are some matters to be settled before that would take place. In order to satisfy an infinite mind, one needs infinite endless goals to pursue. Infinite human reproduction just might fit the task.
Consider several things. First, how about this scripture.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever; nothing is to be added to it, and nothing is to diminish from it.
What does or creates shall be forever, right? So why did God give man the ability to continually replenish his seed, his sperm? Why does a woman's ovaries contain half a million eggs if she was only to produce for a relatively short time, even in a perfect world? And likely, just as a man's testicles continually reproduce new sperm, it is likely a woman's ovaries would also replenish if she were to possibly be able to come anywhere near exhausting them. It looks to me as if God intended man to reproduce forever. Otherwise, it was an unnecessary overkill as I see it.
I also believe it is in our nature to reproduce endlessly and also is the main goal or activity of our species. Raising children was supposed to be enjoyable, satisfying, and very rewarding and fulfilling. It is a task that would last us for an eternity, providing we have the room to do so. Starting new planets just might do it. If we are to live forever, we will continually need to be challenged and occupied or we would become very bored. God saw to it that we had and very challenging and meaningful task. Engaging in meaningful pursuits is as important to us as it is to God, or at least it should be.
Jehovah is not a God who wants to allow unnecessary suffering. Until the issue of obedience has been settled between God and His creation, man, God has likely, in my thinking, held off populating any more planets or systems anywhere else in the universe. I suppose He could have created other human pairs to live simultaneously but then He would probably get the same result as He did here and His 1st born son can only die in the flesh once so it does not seem likely.
After the issue of the importance of absolute obedience is settled, then God can use the many people who have learned the lesson of obedience well, so as to be trusted with populating other planets responsibly and reliably, then Jehovah can use couples from earth to inhabit and populate other planets, perhaps, in the future. But He probably chose not to bother informing anyone of this as there are other more pressing matters to be cared for in the immediate future. First earth must be settled. But of course, this is all speculation except for the issue of obedience being settled in a way that will keep it from coming up again in the future.
Now let's return to the 6th day of creation when God created man, both male and female, and instructed them and gave them a goal to fill the earth with people and care for it. God instituted marriage for the first couple and those that come after them. And God blessed that 6th day of creation and entered into His rest on the 7th day.
But things went wrong after the 6th day. Man was given the command not to eat from a particular tree that God singled out to represent His right to rule and make the rules. God called it the tree of knowledge of good and bad.
Genesis 2: 9 And out of the ground Jehovah God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. The Tree of Life was also in the middle of the garden; also the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
2:16 And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree in the garden; 17 but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil you may not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.
But man did not listen to God's warning and ate the fruit that he was told not to. The Apostle Paul tells us of something that Genesis may not have been so clear about.
1 Timothy 2:13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
The scripture might not be all that clear until you read before and after it but Paul makes it clear that Adam did know better and yet ate the fruit whereas Eve was sincerely fooled by the serpent. Adam, evidently, was not fooled by the lie of the serpent but ate anyway, making his actions more bewildering. So it is Adam who is blamed for the downfall of mankind and not Eve. She was a little more innocent in the deal.
Now comes the next problem. Those children who descend from Adam and Eve will be born to die. They will also be defective and tend toward error and crime against each other, creating one misery after the other. What does God do? This is not what He wanted. Well, He could just wipe Adam and Eve out and start again, right? But the same thing would likely happen again or happen later on.
People can not understand why such a small thing as eating a fruit from a tree that is forbidden could be so important. But while the crime is small, the issue at stake is very big and important. Does God have a right to make rules for humans!? And regardless of how small or trivial the command, a violation of that command sets in motion very disturbing changes in our psyches and bodies that causes our bodies and minds to malfunction, wear down, and eventually die.
Ezekiel 18: 4 the soul that sins shall die.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death
In fact, the ultimate result of man's disobedience to God is that of plunging his children into chaos and disobedience. He ultimately dooms them and their descendants as the complete fulfillment and result of defective, out of control people bringing the entire destruction of the human race, eventually. That is what happens when the human race gets out of control through disobedience, even to the smallest of commands. We are not far from seeing that now.
So should God pull the plug before we ever learn the lesson or should He let it continue to prove His point? It would do no good to prove His point if everyone dies in the process, right? But what if He could rescue those who were able to understand and appreciate the importance of the lesson being learned through the experience of the human race as it heads toward destruction? What reason or justification would He have to do so?
We have a problem here. If God just jumps in and bails us out, then what reason do we have to take His commands seriously? We will just keep leaning on Him to rescue us every time we want to disobey. If we mess up, we won't worry about how it affects the children we bear afterwards because we know God will take care of them. But you see, God does not want to take care of them directly. He wants us to. He wants us to be responsible and caring parents who will care for our children. They are given to us fully and completely without any strings attached. Whether they live or die will be our decision only.
After all, how much would it mean if they were not ours and belonged to someone else? Children are a gift and blessing from God to give our lives real meaning and purpose. Without them, we would not feel as fulfilled nor our lives as purposeful. But they must be cared for properly. God wants to be sure about that and gives us the responsibility for making sure that happens. So the lesson we need to learn in one of obedience and taking God's laws and commands seriously.
In order to take God seriously, we need to know that there is no second chance or bail out waiting around the corner. It succeeds or fails, depending exclusively on what we do. When God says something, He means it. He wants us to know that. So Adam acted and we paid for it. We suffer because of Adam's choice. It was Adam's choice to make. But God does have a reason to intervene in our behalf. Though Adam made a choice, we did not. But Adam's sin had to be atoned for and it was. Adam died and so do we. God has a scale of justice to be balanced and rules to be followed. One of His legal requirements is that sin (disobedience) requires death, symbolized by blood begin poured.
Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it for you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life.
If someone righteous sins, then they die. To ransom them or atone for their sin (their decision), righteous blood must be spilled in their behalf. So Adam condemned his descendants. In order to rescue those descendants, righteous blood has to be spilled to make up for the decision made by Adam to sin and rebel against the command of God. But Adam was the only righteous man around at that time and why should anyone want to give their life for his potential children's behalf? Well, they might not care about Adam but they might care about those who descend from him.
Romans 5: 12 Therefore as sin came into the world through one man [Adam] and death through sin, and so death spread to all men [Adam's descendants] because all men sinned-- 13 sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
Romans 5: 17 If, because of one man's [Adam's] trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. 18 Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous.
1 Corinthians 15: 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
It was no surprise to Jehovah that His creation should have done what they did. He gave them the ability to be able to choose whether to obey Him or not. God knew they might not make the right choice. He may have even thought it likely to happen. Without experience and hindsight, it may have been nearly unavoidable, except for the fact that God gave man a conscience to warn him and cause him to hesitate and not act. But man ignored his conscience. God had a plan from the beginning, in case this should happen. But knowing the gravity of the issue at stake, God would select a special way to atone for the sin of Adam. He would create another perfect man. That man could, if he were willing, give his life in behalf of Adam's descendants, including us.
I should point out here that it would have made no sense to make Adam and Eve robots. Their obedience would mean nothing if they were robots. If God made them to do it then what would be the big deal? It only has meaning if they have the ability to choose not to obey. God wants them to do it because it is right and because it benefits them, too. And Jehovah would like their trust and faith that He does have their best interests at heart. So if they are free to choose and choose to obey, then their obedience is fulfilling and rewarding.
God likes lots of meaning in everything He pursues. He does not like meaningless or vain pursuits. That is not in His nature. It should not be in ours. How meaningful would it be to a man or a woman if they could force another person to mate with them? It might bring some vain pleasure, but it will never be a loving relationship that has any real meaning or fulfillment. It is necessary that a person be able to choose in order to mean anything when they make a decision.
So a choice without force is a meaningful choice. But it comes with responsibility and consequences as well. When we have choice, we are said to be free moral agents. Free to choose. God wanted whoever would make a sacrifice on behalf of condemned humanity to do so out of choice. It was God's decision that He offer someone special to make the sacrifice, if they would be willing. And God's choice was very much willing to be a sacrifice for us.
1 John 4: 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be a propitiation relating to our sins.
[From Webster's New Collegiate: Propitiatory & propitiation: From Propitiate: to gain or regain the favor or goodwill of : to appease or conciliate.]
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Galatians 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
God created a son who He gave the task of making the rest of creation such as the other sons of God, the universe, and man. It was this special son that God chose to leave heaven and be born on earth as a perfect man.
Philippians 2: 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Luke 1:31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
1:35 And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
(BBE) 1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may be without sin. And if any man is a sinner, we have a friend and helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, the upright one: 2 He is the offering for our sins; and not for ours only, but for all the world.
Colossians 1: 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
2 Corinthians 5: 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
But timing was important here. Jehovah did not immediately rush His son Jesus down to earth to correct the wrong. It was God's intention to introduce His son into the world in a subtle way, by creating him in the womb of a woman and allowing Jesus to come to term in her and be born by her. God would give appropriate signs and tell His prophets to let the people know what to look for so that when Jesus arrived, they would know and recognize him as the promised one who would take away their sin and the sin of all who had ever lived or would live.
(Phillips) Galatians 4: 4 But when the proper time came God sent his own Son, born of a human mother and born under the jurisdiction of the Law, 5 that he might redeem those who were under the authority of the Law: so that we might become sons of God.
But for those who were wicked, they would not recognize him and would reject him and claim him to be nothing more than a man, and a sinful man at that. It would be all lies, of course, but they would do it anyway, because they were wicked and selfish and had no love for God and those who God sent to them.
Luke 2:34 and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against.
1 Peter 2: 7 To you therefore who believe, he is precious, but for those who do not believe, [Peter quotes Psalm 118:22] "The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner," 8 and [Peter here refers to Isaiah 8:14] "A stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall"; for they stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
So God had His prophets over the years tell people what signs would be fulfilled so as to be able to identify the messiah, the one who would ultimately be sacrificed. Time was needed to first create a nation and a priesthood to care for the worship of God and keep the scrolls of the prophets that God would send. See my article on "God's Bureaucracy/Institution." When everything was in place to identify the messiah, then he would be born and fulfill his mission.
Another reason for waiting entails who would sacrifice the son of God. Surely that is not something that God or anyone else would want to do. But God and His son both knew that given enough time, there would be more than enough people, even among those who claimed to worship Jehovah, who would actually hate God and anyone He sent forth. They hated and killed prophets sent by God. And they would hate His son, too. These would unwittingly sacrifice God's son, falsely accusing him of guilt, sin, and crimes and shedding his blood unjustly.
This shedding of innocent blood would unbalance the scales of justice. But as a means of balancing it out, the scales of justice could be balanced by having Jesus' blood pay for those who descended from Adam. This was God's plan to allow those who came from Adam a chance to make the same choice as Adam made, one where Adam was perfect and had the prospect of eternal life ahead of him as long as he obeyed Jehovah. And if we get the chance and then throw it away, we lose and lose forever. No second chances. What Jehovah says is what He means. You get one good fair chance and that is it.
So God's purpose for man and the earth as detailed in the 6th day of creation in Genesis has not changed. There just had to be an extra step allowed so that we could have the benefit of experience and understanding before we are given the same test and prospects as Adam had. In the end, God will still get what He wants and had planned.
Isaiah 55: 10 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Jehovah gave the first hints (revelations) of His plan in Genesis 3: 15 "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
The prophecies would get more specific and detailed as time when on. This prophecy mentions an enmity or struggle between the woman and the serpent who, in reality is Satan, an angel who would not obey God and desired things he was not entitled to. He would continue to resist God and would be the spirit said to influence or inspire mankind in their own rebellion against God. It is Satan who likely insists that mankind be put to the test in order to challenge the idea that men would really serve God and put aside their own self interest in the process, even to the point of giving up their lives.
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
The woman could be Eve who seemed to remain somewhat on good terms with Jehovah, acknowledging Him in the names she picked for her sons. But it is more likely the symbolic woman of Revelation 12 who figuratively gives birth to a son. The one who Satan bruises in the heel while Satan gets bruised in the head by him is Jesus. It predicts the coming struggle between the two. The seed, a singular seed, as Paul indicates elsewhere, would be Jesus.
Well, there are a few but one big point to stand out as far as I am concerned is that the earth and having it populated with the kind of perfect people God originally intended, never stopped being a big part of God's plan and purpose. In fact, that was His main purpose. It got side tracked but only temporarily. God will correct the problem and reconcile mankind to Himself through His son.
Along the way, we explored what God's motivations might have been for creating the earth and people in the first place. We considered what the future of the rest of the universe might be. We discussed the purpose of marriage. And we discovered God's plan as to how to correct the temporary rebellion on earth to accomplish His purpose.
I am going to continue a little further to clear up a few more events until we get to Moses and Israel's exodus from Egypt. After the creation of Adam and Eve and their (along with Satan's) rebellion, we are introduced to another rebellion in Genesis 6. A number of the angels, sons of God, began to notice the women on earth and evidently, the woman's nature and personal makeup along with their physical beauty gained the attention of these spirit sons of God and they found the women desirable. So these angels took on male bodies and went after the women.
Genesis 6:1 And it came about that men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them. 2 The sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were good. And they took wives for themselves from all those whom they chose.
These angels produced children with the earthly women. They evidently modified the DNA when they took on human bodies and produced giants for offspring.
Genesis 6: 4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
Some Bible translations use the Hebrew word "Nephilim" which is translated as giants by others. These genetically altered children turned out to be rather violent according to the next scripture or at least their presence seemed to cause a lot of violence.
Genesis 6:5 And Jehovah saw that the evil of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the day long.
6:6 And Jehovah repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved to His heart. 7 And Jehovah said, I will wipe off man whom I have created from the face of the earth, from man to beast, to the creeping thing and to the birds of the heavens; for I repent that I made them.
Genesis 6:11 And the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupted. For all flesh had corrupted its way on the earth.
The key word in these last verses is corrupt or contaminated. The angels' intervention and interruption had messed up and contaminated the human race and evidently created an exceptional amount of violence. So God elected to wipe it out and start near the beginning again, starting fresh. One point had been proven, though. Although with help from the rebellious angels, man became thoroughly violent, almost nearly to his destruction. Jehovah felt it bad enough that it merited His intervention to make it all cease.
6:13 And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them. And behold, I will destroy them along with the earth.
Genesis 6:14 Make an ark of cyprus timbers for yourself. You shall make rooms in the ark; and you shall cover it with asphalt inside and out.
Genesis 6:17 And behold, I, even I, am bringing a flood of waters on the earth in order to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life from under the heavens. Everything which is on the earth shall die. 18 And I will establish My covenant with you. And you shall come into the ark, you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you.
God did want to leave a few humans from the descendants to repopulate the earth. He knew he would have at least one man He could count on to obey Him and do the right thing. The man came to be Noah. So Noah and his family were commanded to build an ark, a boat, which, though it would have no means of propulsion or steering, would do quite well keeping afloat. In it would also be the necessary amount of animals to repopulate the earth in a satisfactory way, from the standpoint of God, at least.
So Noah was obedient and built an ark, with the help of his 3 sons so that the human race could continue. Evidently, no one else would join Noah or God in this venture and paid no attention to what they said or did as we are later informed by Jesus and the Apostles.
The flood came and wiped out all living things breathing air. Noah's 3 sons would repopulate the world with offspring as Adam and Eve were to supposed to do. This time the angels would not be allowed to intervene again. Man would be allowed to progress on his own to see what might happen.
In the mean time, God had a plan to set up a nation which would carry on a type of worship that would foreshadow the sacrifice that His son would become for mankind. This nation would also become the caretakers of God's word in recorded form for all to be able to read and gain understanding from. Jehovah did not want it too difficult to be able to know about Him. Having His words plainly written down would leave no room for misinformation or doubt about His will or intentions.
This is explored in my article, God's Institution, for your review. So I won't go into detail here about it. What needs to be explored is how God is going to set up this nation that will serve His desires. In 10 generations after Noah, Jehovah notices a man who still serves and worships Him and seems to have a good heart condition/ attitude. So God makes him an offer. God will offer to make his descendants the nation that will serve God and His purpose, to their glory and His. This man is Abraham and in just 5 generations after him, his descendants would become the nation of Israel, dedicated to God and His will.
Genesis 12: 1 And Jehovah had said to Abram, Go out from your land and from your kindred, and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great; and you will be a blessing. 3 And I will bless those who bless you, and curse the one despising you. And in you all families of the earth shall be blessed. 4 And Abram went out, even as Jehovah had spoken to him.
6 And Abram passed through the land as far as the place of Shechem, to the Oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And Jehovah appeared to Abram and said I will give this land to your seed. And he built an altar there to Jehovah, who appeared to him.
Now Jehovah would end up testing Abraham, first by asking Abraham to pick up and move and live as a nomad. Later in other ways, too. God wanted to demonstrate to others what sort of man Abraham was. Jehovah already knew what sort of man he was. He wanted to prove it to others. He wanted to use Abraham to demonstrate what real faith, trust, and obedience were. This is why Abraham was worthy of the blessings God promised him.
What were those blessings? One, Abraham would be given a great name and reputation as one of God's finest examples. Yes, he would become famous. Abraham's descendants would become a great nation. God even showed Abraham the land that would be home to this nation. And because of all this, all the families of the earth would be blessed. Yes, because the sacrifice of God's son, Jesus, would be a blessing to all the descendants of Adam. And Jesus would be born among those of this promised nation. It would take time for the full extent of God's promises to be fulfilled to Abraham and to us, the families of the earth.
Not only would this nation provide the son of God in human form, but would also be the means by which the word of God would be transmitted and recorded for the benefit of all the families of the earth, including you and I. But before the nation would be formed, they would grow into a nation of people within another country and later led out by a man chosen by God to lead and deliver God's people out of that nation and inherit the one promised to them and to Abraham. God told Abraham about this waiting period.
Genesis 15:13 And He said to Abram, You must surely know that your seed shall be an alien in a land not theirs; and they shall serve them. And they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 and I also will judge that nation whom they shall serve; and afterward they shall come out with great substance. 15 And you shall come to you fathers in peace. You shall be buried in good old age. 16 And in the fourth generation they shall come here again; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
It is my impression that Jehovah foresees how events will unfold and guides His people around or through those events rather than changing events, although He is certainly capable of changing events and has done so on more than one occasion, just to prove that He can, for our benefit.
Abraham's grandson, Jacob, who is later named Israel by Jehovah, has a son born to him (Joseph), who is later sold by his treacherous and jealous brothers. This Joseph ends up, by the will of God, becoming an interpreter of dreams to the pharaoh, king of Egypt, who makes Joseph his right hand man to stock up for a famine forecast in a dream. The famine brings Joseph's family to Egypt to get food during the famine, not knowing that it is Joseph who is over this operation.
They end up being brought into Egypt to live at the invitation of pharaoh who has a very high regard for Joseph, and therefore, for his family. But with the passage of time, those who knew and deeply respected Joseph as a man of God passed away. New Egyptians came along who did not know any of Joseph or Israel's deeds and decided Israel would make a nice bunch of laborers (slaves) to serve the Egyptians and their desires. God had other ideas.
So God appoints Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt, with God's help and direction, of course. God uses this opportunity to show off His great power as He forces Egypt to submit to His will and allow Israel to leave. After Israel leaves Egypt, God institutes a mobile temple made of tents to worship at, and a priesthood to run it all. He gives Moses many instructions to record which make up the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
God then, through Moses, makes an agreement, a deal, a covenant with the people of Israel and the priesthood, that they should serve Him and be loyal and they would receive His protection and blessing as long as they obeyed, and lose His protection and receive curses should they rebel against their agreement with Jehovah. The People of Israel accept this deal and the written agreement is sprinkled with blood as are the people themselves.
The is the start of the nation of God that will bring about the redemption of mankind from sin and death given to them by their original forefather, Adam, in the garden of Eden. The nation will be used to introduce the Messiah/ Christ who will pay the ransom price with his own blood. And it will preserve the word of God, which will come to be known as the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. And people from this nation would become followers of the Messiah and would complete the books of the Bible.
When the ransom is finally paid and mankind nears its destruction by its own hand, then God will step in and judge the earth and rescue those who accept the ransom sacrifice and obey God. Then Jehovah will bring them back to a perfect state that Adam and Eve were once in.
But there is another step in bringing the faithful and others back to a state of perfection. That was started by Jesus and I will focus on that after I first explore the promises of God in the Hebrew Old Testament to show that the earth will be restored and people will be restored on the earth to fulfill what God intended on the 6th day of creation in Genesis 1 & 2.
The Related Articles below are meant to carry on in the unfolding of God's purpose. We are introduced to the Law given to Israel by God, through Moses. And we will be introduced to God's Kingdom of the heavens and what it will do. And we will cover the resurrections that are to take place as well.
God's Eternal Purpose
God's Institution - The Nation of Israel
A Paradise Earth Forever
The Heavenly Destination
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