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I am agnostic and rationalist and I spend quite a lot of time reading the arguments of tenants of intelligent design (but rarely interacting with them). Regularly, one of these tenants claims something like "there should be a reason/cause for us to exist" or "life must be hard/meaningless without a purpose/goal".

I disagree with that statement, but it made me wonder:

What was God's purpose, according to the Bible, to create life?

I got that, once life is created, God, being a benevolent deity, wish for us to live a good life according to his Word, in order to go to Heaven and enjoy eternal happy life (in opposition to an eternity of torments in Hell).

But, why creating life in the first place? In opposition to not creating anything or creating a universe with no life (a clockmaker is satisfied with the mechanisms he created, even though they don't bear life).

Boredom? Curiosity? Because he simply could?

Is there anything about his intent in the creation in the Bible, or, is it claimed to be beyond our understanding?

  • If there is only one God just as in religions based on Prophet Abraham(peace be upon him), the brilliant question shouldn’t be constrained in christianity. – snr Feb 6 at 20:44
  • Oddly reminiscent of the first question I asked here when C.SE was a freshly minted stack exchange. – Peter Turner Feb 6 at 20:59
  • @snr: I am not sure what you mean. I was interested in what the Bible says, so I asked here. Feel free to ask on other sites to see what other religions teach. – Taladris Feb 6 at 23:56
  • I don't really understand the votes to close. I am clearly asking what the Bible says about God's purpose in the creation. It is objectively answerable, as the two detailed answers show. "We can't know for sure" would have been an acceptable answer if it is stated that way in the Bible, or if there is no element in it that allows to answer (although justifying inexistence of something is difficult). – Taladris Feb 7 at 0:00
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It isn't entirely clear whether you're asking what is the purpose of all Creation or just of human life. Either way, the fundamental answer is the same: for His glory.

Isaiah 43:7

Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory

Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.

Romans 1:20

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...

Isaiah 45:18

For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited...

Putting all of the above pieces together, all of Creation was made to bring glory to God, but more specifically, man was created to appreciate the glory of God, and the Earth to enable the creation of mankind.

  • +1. You are right that I didn't make clear if I was looking for the purpose of the whole creation or mankind only. But the Genesis says "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself and every creature that crawls upon it.' " so it is clear that the rest of the creation is a tool for man to serve God's purpose. – Taladris Feb 6 at 23:53
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God, love is ...

is the literal translation of John the Apostle's words in I John 4:8 (KJV).

And we read, also :

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

[Hebrews 2:10 KJV.]

With the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God the Father is revealed.

He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father [John 14:9 KJV]

And also revealed is his true purpose, from the beginning. His true purpose is to have sons. And to bring them to glory.

The creation was a means to an end. And there was a liability in the very nature of creation. The liability of what created creatures would do. And do it they did, as we see in Eden. Created spirit, created woman and created man conspired together.

Sin came into the world.

But all had been foreseen. And provision had already been made. God's wisdom and foreknowledge has seen the liability : Deity, in unanimous counsel, had covenanted to effect salvation. This is revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! [Romans 11:33 KJV]

Even the activities of men on earth, working in contradiction to his own purpose of creation and salvation, were foreseen - and actually pre-determined :

Him (Christ), being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: [Acts 2:23 KJV]

God's purpose, from the foundation of the world, was a purpose of Divine Love : to create beings who would share his glory and be in union with him for ever. This he does in Fatherhood, bringing many sons to glory, overcoming all - in his wisdom - that prevents his will and purpose from being fulfilled.

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I was under the impression that God created life for the same reason that a Mother or Father might create life; to bring us Joy.

Unless of course you don't believe that children bring joy, which some days is very true.

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Ultimately, we cannot know for sure what his goal(s) were. All our best attempts (even those using the Bible) may fall sort, since God's goals may be beyond what our language can convey. So our answers may be part of the actual answer, but we cannot be sure that they are the complete answer.

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