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Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Why ?

Does the Bible state a reason anywhere?

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4 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

God created the heavens and the earth as an expression of His glory.

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. (Psalms 19:1 NASB)

and

The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples have seen His glory. (Psalms 97:6 NASB)

I think John Piper explains it nicely in Desiring God, which is available for free online. Basically, he argues that God's ultimate purpose and joy is in the display of His glory:

God would be unrighteous (just as we would) if He valued anything more than what is supremely valuable. But He Himself is supremely valuable. If He did not take infinite delight in the worth of His own glory, He would be unrighteous. For it is right to take delight in a person in proportion to the excellence of that person’s glory. (Desiring God, p42-43)

And to that purpose, creation is the expression of His glory:

In creation, God “went public” with the glory that reverberates joyfully between the Father and the Son. There is something about the fullness of God’s joy that inclines it to overflow. There is an expansive quality to His joy. It wants to share itself. The impulse to create the world was not from weakness, as though God were lacking in some perfection that creation could supply. “It is no argument of the emptiness or deficiency of a fountain, that it is inclined to overflow.”

God loves to behold His glory reflected in His works. So the eternal happiness of the triune God spilled over in the work of creation and redemption. And since this original happiness was God’s delight in His own glory, therefore the happiness that He has in all His works of creation and redemption is nothing other than a delight in His own glory. This is why God has done all things, from creation to consummation, for the preservation and display of His glory. All His works are simply the spillover of His infinite exuberance for His own excellence. (Desiring God, p44)

Aside Note:

To some, this concept might seem to put God in a light in which he seems vain, or like he is "just showing off" (as @MasonWheeler mentioned). I don't believe it does.

Although "showing off" is essentially correct, that phrase carries a negative connotation. I think that connotation comes from the fact that "showing off" is usually used to describe humans that scramble to draw attention to, and highlight their own perceived glory. The difference between these people and God is that:

  1. As humans, these people do not actually deserve the attention
  2. These people attempt to detract glory from God, who deserves it
  3. Their intentions are entirely self serving, and seek attention that benefits only themselves

On the other hand:

  1. God very much deserves our attention
  2. God cannot detract glory from Himself
  3. It is in our infinite best interest to perceive and experience God's glory. That is why we are constantly commanded to praise God, give glory to God, etc.
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There's something fundamentally unsatisfying about this answer, as it seems to suggest that the Almighty went and created everything... basically just to show off? And then created people so there'd be someone to show off to who could appreciate it? –  Mason Wheeler Mar 13 '12 at 23:02
    
@MasonWheeler, thanks - edited to address your concern. –  Eric Mar 13 '12 at 23:37
    
very interesting, thank you. –  Greg McNulty Mar 13 '12 at 23:40
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Desiring God is a great book. –  David Morton Mar 14 '12 at 12:28
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@DavidMorton Piper's inspiration has always been Jonathan Edwards. May I also therefore suggest A Dissertation Concerning the End for Which God Created the World by Jonathan Edwards. Also check out a related question here. –  Nathan Bunney Mar 22 '12 at 2:50
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In summary God created the Earth to bask in his Glory as it is just for him to do so. And he created the people in love of Himself. People are to be active citizens in love for themselves, and ultimately Him. And Socrates's Allegory of the cave clearly exemplifies such. Bible versus to support my claims: "Proverbs 1:5, John 3:20-21, Matthew 5: 14&16."

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Hi, and welcome! Judging from your deleted posts, you seem to be treating this site as if it's a discussion forum. That's a pretty common misconception for new visitors. As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": help page and How we are different than other sites? Personally, I agree with your statement,and I hope you don't mind my edit. –  David Stratton Oct 2 '13 at 5:36
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Although I am having a hard time seeing how those verses support your answer... They are completely unrelated to the statement you made unless I'm missing something. Could you edit this answer and expand on this and clarify? –  David Stratton Oct 2 '13 at 5:40
    
Um, not to rain on your parade, but it's Plato's allegory of the cave, (not Socrates) and no, you're missing the point. The Allegory of the Cave says that we only recognize that to which we are habituated. I really don't see the connection. Now, if you had considered using John Piper to support your claims, I think you would have been on more solid ground... –  Affable Geek Oct 2 '13 at 13:33
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Two Scripture references, that basically say the same thing:

The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Proverbs 16.4

and

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. Col 1:15

As tautological as this sounds, it is true - God made everything for himself, because he wanted to.

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crazy........... –  Greg McNulty Mar 23 '12 at 22:15
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You can add Revelation 4:11 to that as well: "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created." (KJV) –  Matt J. Oct 2 '13 at 17:51
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Earth is the dwelling place of mankind. God's decision to create mankind necessitated the creation of a dwelling place for him.

The heavens possibly include the sky, the stars and planets, and even the throne of God. The sky, stars, and planets are, of course, part of man's dwelling place.

God's throne is where the angelic beings can be in His presence, but also mankind as well.

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Thank you. that actually is a really simple but profound answer. I hate to ask but why did God create mankind, is there anything mentioned about that? –  Greg McNulty Mar 13 '12 at 21:38
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That's actually a good question with a good answer. :) You should ask it. The fact that God presents Himself as a Trinity means that God contains relationship within Himself. Indeed, God could not BE love if He needed something other than Himself to love. As it is, the Father loves the Son; the Son loves the Spirit... God's creation of mankind seems to provide other objects for God's love. (Short answer.) –  Narnian Mar 13 '12 at 21:56
    
thanks for the short answer...I will ask to see what others come up with. –  Greg McNulty Mar 13 '12 at 23:42
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