Why Did God Make the Universe?

Wisdom's Friend

Why Did God Create the Universe?

God does nothing without a purpose. “The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble” (Prov. 16:4 RSV).

This being so, it is only natural to wonder about the purpose of the universe as a whole. Since the broadest definition of the universe is “everything that exists”, then asking its purpose is to ask the purpose of all that exists. Why does everything exist?

The shortest answer is, “to give glory to God.” A slightly expanded answer divides this overall answer into three parts (proceeding from largest scale to smallest): (1) glory and praise to God from the physical creation, the heavens, space and stars; (2) glory and praise to God from the earthly part of the universe; (3) glory and praise to God from those who live upon this earth.

1. The Heavens

“Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created” (Ps. 148:3-5 NIV).

2. The Earth

“Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars” (Ps. 148:7-9 NIV).

3. Life upon the Earth

“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth–everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Is. 43:6-7 NIV)

(1 (heaven) & 2 (earth) together)

“Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them” (Ps. 69:34).

“God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth” (Hab. 3:3 NIV).

All three together, heaven, earth, life on earth

“This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens (1), who lays the foundation of the earth (2), and who forms the spirit of man within him (3)” (Zech. 12:1 NIV).

“For this is what the LORD says–he who created the heavens (1), he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth (2), he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited (3)–he says: ‘I am the LORD, and there is no other'” (Is. 45:18 NIV).

“This is what God the LORD says–he who created the heavens (1) and stretched them out, who spread out the earth (2) and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people (3), and life to those who walk on it” (Is. 42:5 NIV).

How marvelous that in the midst of these passages that begin with a hymn of praise to God for his glory revealed in the magnificent, vast stretches of space and stars and galaxies of stars, huge beyond comparison, they all focus on the tiny, seemingly insignificant beings called man.

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas” (Ps. 8:3-8 NIV).

Yet for all this glory ascribed to man, the psalmist is careful to end this insightful psalm with the final verse that sees beyond man’s great glory, given him by God, to the One higher than both man and the great glory of the glorious cosmos. He ends not with further descriptions of man’s glory, but by giving glory to the God of glory:

“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”(Ps. 8:9 NIV).

And elsewhere the psalmist says:

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness” (Ps. 115:1 NIV).

This is the purpose of the universe and all that lives in it, to give glory to God, by how those alive live their lives and by who they are, their character, as it reflects the glory of God. This is my prayer, that all who read this will bow down in humble adoration to God and give him all the glory now, for the time swiftly approaches when all opportunity to do this will end, in the darkness of the last day of this world.

“Hear and pay attention, do not be arrogant, for the LORD has spoken. Give glory to the LORD your God before he brings the darkness, before your feet stumble on the darkening hills. You hope for light, but he will turn it to thick darkness and change it to deep gloom” (Jer. 13:15-16 NIV).

Glory be to God, through his Son Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit!

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