Bangor Church of Christ

Great Moments in Bible History

Number 1

Why did God make us?

Why Did He Spoil It?

Forest

It was a beautiful place. So full of life. A tropical paradise. Birds of every color were flittering here and there, singing about the joy of being alive on such a day. In the distance, larger animals could be heard and occasionally seen: the proud lion, the playful monkey, the wild mountain goat. Farther off was the ocean with its own life. Porpoises could be seen leaping above the waves and then plunging far beneath them. Occasionally, a whale could be heard calling to its mate.

The air was clean. The waters were pure and crystal clear. But there was a purity far above the physical. There was no moral pollution, no sin on this planet. Humans had not yet been created. And there was no other creature on earth capable of rebelling against its Maker. The birds, the trees, the fish and every other creature all performed their jobs exactly as God wanted them to. He had not given them the ability to make moral judgments and so it was not possible for them to make wrong decisions. Sin was impossible here.

Excavator

Why did God want to change all of that? Why would He want to create a creature who could destroy this paradise and could bring his Creator such sorrow and heartache? What possible use could He have with such a creature as a human?

Perhaps we can understand a little of God’s feelings by looking at ourselves. Nearly everyone is in love with someone at some time in their life. Why do we take such a risk? Surely no one can hurt us more than someone we truly love (and how many people there are who can testify of that hurt). Why don’t we simply go out and buy a doll that says, “I love you”? To ask such a question is to answer it. The words, “I love you,” have real meaning only when they come from someone who can freely choose not to love you, who is capable of hating you instead. So when God decided to make a creature who was capable of loving Him, by the very nature of love He had to create a creature who could choose not to love Him. God had to take the same risk that we take (and more) when we love someone.

But this only partially answers the question of why God would want someone like humans on this earth. God explained why when He was getting ready to create them. “Let us make humankind in our image,” He said, “after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). God wanted to create a creature that looked like Him. That is not to say that God has a head, two arms and two legs. God is a spirit, not a physical body. But humans have a spirit too. Each person’s spirit has the ability to reason, to love and to hate, and to make choices as to what it wants to do. In this we are a copy of God (a very limited copy, of course, but a copy nevertheless).

The fact that humans were made a copy of God gave them an ability which no other creature on earth had. They had the ability to know and understand God. When they understood God’s character and of their own free will gave Him praise, there was a value in that praise which could not come from an animated doll, or even from one of the animals. Only humans could understand God because only they were like God. And only humans could cooperate with God in His work. God had intended for them to improve on His creation and to share with his Creator in the joys of such work (Genesis 1:28).

We can see what God Himself thought of His creation by noticing a phrase that is repeated over and over in Genesis 1 (the chapter about God’s creation). Six times in that chapter we read that “God saw that it was good.” But only after He created humans do we read that “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). So instead of viewing humans as the spoiler in His creation, God viewed them as what completed it, what made it very good.

What a wonderful and high ideal God had when He created this earth and placed on it a creature in His own image who could of his own free will cooperate with Him in His work. Of course, it was possible that that creature might choose not to cooperate with God. But that was not God’s intention and we should not blame God for the results of the working of our free will.

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The material for this article came primarily from Genesis 1-2. Having read this article, you might also enjoy reading the original story in the Bible.

Why This Paper?

If we have the right to ask the question we asked on the front of this paper—why God would make humans who pollute and destroy—then surely you have the right to ask why we would put this paper on your doorstep. More litter for the neighborhood. More food for your over-stuffed wastebasket.

Faith in you, the reader, is what is prompting us to send this to you. We believe that you know there is more to life than getting up in the morning, going to work, coming home, eating supper, watching TV and going to bed so you can start the whole routine over again tomorrow. We believe that you are interested in the God who created you and in what He has to say about you and to you. You probably already believe that the Bible is God’s word. But if you don’t, we believe you are intelligent and open-minded enough to read it for yourself and make up your own mind. The Bible is its own best defender. Millions have already read and studied it and come to realize that it is not a collection of stories and myths put together under one cover, but is a book with a single theme running from beginning to end with the stamp of God evident on every page.

And so this paper is dedicated to you, the reader. We hope you enjoy these studies. We hope you will find this a faith-building series as you see how these stories fit together in the grand theme of the Bible. And, finally, we hope that these studies will help you to live your life as God wants you to live it. We hope this paper isn’t merely food for your wastebasket.

We would certainly welcome your questions and comments.