God's relationship with man
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The beginning of all things originate in the mind and wisdom of the eternal God. Only He has the power to create and sustain life on earth. His invisible attributes are continually displayed throughout the nature and beauty of this world, leaving us without a doubt in our faith of His existence and being (Romans 1:20). There is no other god that can be compared to the greatness of our God - “To whom then will you liken Me that I would be his equal?” says the Holy One (Isaiah 40:25). It is with this foundation that we ask an important question, Why did God create man? We will find an excellent answer by looking at the failure of the Israelites in the day of Isaiah.
The Israelites had forgotten the importance of their relationship with God and in view of an impending siege of the Assyrian army had allowed false hope to grip their hearts. The Israelites living in Jerusalem had sealed its doors, collected its waters, fortified the walls, and made weapons for war, but had in the process rejected to trust in the Lord! Isaiah responded, “But you did not depend on Him who made it, Nor did you take into consideration Him who planned it long ago” (Isaiah 22:11b). No matter the steps taken to ensure their safety without giving full allegiance to God, it was all for naught. The Lord has a purpose for His creation and has put His will into action far long before either you or I were brought into existence. Therefore, how does this verse answer the question, “Why did God create man?”
God created man in a unique manner differently from all other forms of creation. The Genesis account reads, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). No other creature was given the significance of being the image bearer of their Creator. While certainly God’s attributes are displayed throughout the animal kingdom, only in man is His divine image manifested in physical form. The purpose of man’s creation from the beginning has always been to give glory to his Creator!
The prophet Isaiah would later write, “Everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made” (43:7). The purpose of man’s creation is simple - We were created to give God glory! The apostle Paul wrote three times that our purpose is “…to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). The people of Jerusalem in the days of Isaiah had forgotten this simple truth. They had chosen to trust in the power of their own hands, rather than in the One who created their hands. If we are not careful, then the same mistake can be made today. We trust more in what we can do for ourselves, rather than living our lives to the glory and praise of our God!
A secondary answer to this same question again resides in the above quote from Isaiah, “…Nor did you take into consideration Him who planned it long ago.” Man in all his wisdom still understands nothing outside the sight of his own eyes. An astronaut may be able to understand everything it takes to make a journey to the moon, but only God knows the purpose and reason why it does not totter and seemingly hangs upon nothing in space (Psalm 104:5). A doctor may be able to assist in the pregnancy of a woman, but only God has the power to both give and take life (Genesis 30:1-2; Job 1:21). No matter is too broad or too great for the mind of God. As Isaiah wrote, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (55:8-9). God created man not only to live for His glory, but to trust in His providence!
The hardest step often taken in a relationship is the one without complete knowledge and made based upon faith. While this does not negate our responsibility to study God’s Word, there still remains steps in our relationship with God that are made by faith and trust in His will. As the apostle Paul wrote, “for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). The people of Jerusalem saw an advancing army and prepared for war without trusting in the providence of God and we make the same mistake all the time. Transitions, either work related or as a congregation, are never easy and often times will test the mettle of one’s trust in God’s will. When our trust in God’s will comes into question may we remind ourselves of these facts. The apostle Paul speaking of the unknown God said, “and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation” (Acts 17:26). The simplicity of Paul’s statement is that God has both created and is able to sustain our lives. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
The Israelites residing in Jerusalem during Isaiah’s days had forgotten these two simple truths concerning God’s relationship with man. They had allowed their strength to be determined by political allies and war provisions not in their reliance upon God and His will. Ultimately, Israel was taken into captivity for their unfaithfulness to God and if we are not learning from their mistakes then we may be doomed to repeat the same in our lives. God created man so that in our freewill, we would choose to give Him honor and glory for our life and salvation. God created man so that in our freewill, we would be fully trusting in His providence and care for our lives. What a wonderful God we serve! May we grow in our relationship with God by faithfully submitting and honoring Him for everything that He has done.