This week's "thought" will take some thought! It's not your typical, casual, quickly processed quote. It will require you to think. Hopefully you are up for the challenge! It is the response I often give to those who say ask: "What proof we have for the existence of God? Where did God come from? And, "Did God create because He needed someone to love, or because He was lonely?
The following quote seeks to address these three questions and explains why it is that God did not create out of a sense of need within himself. Part of the answer to question 3 is taken from Daniel Fuller's book, "The Unity of the Bible" -- a must read, in my opinion, for any earnest believer. Enjoy!
The God Who Has No Needs
1.) "What Proof Do We Have for the Existence of God?" The best proof for the existence of God goes something like this: Being cannot come from non-being. That is, something cannot come from nothing. Yet, most all scientists agree that at some point in the long-distant past the space now occupied by the physical universe was empty and void and consisted of "nothing." But its precisely because something cannot come from nothing that helps us see that the creation itself is the greatest proof of the existence of God. Since being cannot come from non-being, our existence as beings proves His existence.
2.) "Where Did God Come From?" To answer this, we can take the previous argument a step further. Because being cannot come from non-being, our existence as beings proves His existence, and His existence proves He always existed. If God is, He must always have been. Most all theologians have tended to agree on this, and Malachi 3:6 confirms it where it says, "I am the Lord, I do not change." Change is part of that which is limited, lacking, or finite. A God who changes would be finite and limited and could not by definition be God. To be infinite is by nature to be changeless, immutable and everlasting -- none of which would be true of God if He had a beginning. If being is, it must always have been, since being cannot come from non-being. Even the fact that God is all-knowing demands that He must have existed forever, for if He was not an eternal Being, or came into being at some point in time (which is an impossibility since being cannot come from non-being), then He could not be omniscient, for He would not know what transpired before He came into existence.
3.) "Did God Create Because He Needed Something to Love, or Because He Was Lonely? The Christian answer, based on the fact that God is a Trinity, is best given by Daniel Fuller in his book "The Unity of the Bible," in the section entitled, 'Why Did God Wait So Long to Create the World?' In this section of his book he points out: "The declaration in Psalm 90:2 that, 'Before the mountains were born or you (God) brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God,' indicates that vast eons of time elapsed before God acted to establish the earth so it would reflect His glory. But Irenaeus, Augustine, and Calvin -- some of the church's greatest leaders -- have sternly warned people not to ask what God was doing before he created, or to wonder why he waited so long to create... I believe, however, that it is both lawful and expedient to ask why the Triune God waited a long time to create the world. For from the very fact that God waited, we know that he did not create out of the necessity involved in need-love. [That is, he did not create because he was lonely, or needed someone to love, as many often suggest].
Since God the Father found infinite happiness in Jesus, the Son, then it becomes clear that from all eternity God has enjoyed his Son's love and companionship, showing the creation of the world was NOT a necessary act that God undertook to overcome loneliness, but an act that flowed from the freedom involved in benevolent love. It would be threatening to our future happiness to know that God created us to meet some need in himself... Yet the moment we understand that all of God's need-love was met in being a Trinity, then we see that he was free to act toward us, his creation, solely in terms of the freedom of a benevolent love. A striking way to represent the difference is to say that if God were to have created us out of need-love, it would be like inviting us to a banquet, only to inform us that we were one of the courses for the meal! But when God invites us to a banquet out of benevolent love, he wants us to join with him as guests at his table, to enjoy the feast along with him – as the psalmist put it, to drink from the river of his delights (36:8). So, God's having delayed creation for a long while makes it unmistakably clear that he created us not out of need, but in the freedom of his benevolent love – out of mercy and grace.”
What a different view of God we have when we consider his eternality in light of his Triune nature. If God created out of a "need" that was unmet for all those many millions and trillions of eons before He spoke things into existence out of nothing (as the Bible does state), then the only picture one can draw is of a God who was sad, frustrated, or unhappy until He created, due to the long-standing unmet need in himself. But when we consider God as Trinity, and the love and delight that existed between the Father and the Son from all eternity, we see that the fellowship and love between the Father and the Son resulted in a God who was eternally contented and happy! A God who created, not out of need, but out of the overflow of delight, love and happiness that existed within Himself. To put it in human terms, the best of all scenarios is not when a husband and wife seek to have a child to meet a need in either one of them, or out of an attempt to "save the marriage," but when they so love each other that they choose to bring a child into the overflow of love and delight that already exists between them. Not when they create out of need, but out of a desire to share their overflowing love with another. And not only does it give us a different view of God, but a whole different ground for relationship! For when we know we were not created to meet a need in God, we are freed to walk and share in the overflow of God's infinite Self-adequacy and Self-completeness!
At any rate, just something to think about!
Living in the Grace of Jesus, Pastor Jeff