Question: If God knew we were going to sin before He ever created us, why did He even bother? He could have spared Jesus’ life by just not creating us in the first place. –M.P.
I read something recently that a preacher wrote on this topic, and it—well, frankly it irritated me. He basically said “It doesn’t matter why He did it. He just did it, so accept it and move on.” Like many other people in the world, I don’t just want to know what is or isn’t true, I want to know why it is true.
Obviously, there are some things that we will never know or understand this side of eternity. And it is also true that there are some things that God did not see fit to reveal to us (Deuteronomy 29:29).
But does God really leave the question of why we were created unanswered? This is one of the biggest, most important questions that can be asked. Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? These are just different ways of asking the same question: why did God create us?
And God did not leave this all-encompassing question unanswered.
But before we attempt to answer this question, let’s establish a couple points.
God knew mankind would sin before He created Adam.
Jehovah once staked His entire claim to being God on His ability to accurately know and foretell things which were in the future (Isaiah 41:22-24). If He did not know in advance that mankind would sin, then Jehovah is not God.
The necessity of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was known by God before He created the universe (I Peter 1:21). God had already decided on His plan of salvation and who would be saved before He created the universe (Ephesians 1:4).
So, without a doubt, before creation, God knew that mankind would sin.
But He created man anyway.
Everything God does has a purpose.
Every animal of the field, every plant, every star, every cloud, even the very molecules that we are made with all have a purpose. Every command of God has a purpose—none of them are arbitrary. Every verse of the Bible has a purpose—none of them are there just for the fun of it.
When God blesses His people, it has a purpose. When God punishes His people, it has a purpose.
And when God created mankind, He had a purpose in mind for it.
Why did God create us, since He knew we would sin?
The Bible gives us some very important pieces of information, as well as a very clear-cut statement that answers this question for us.
There is a war going on between God and Satan. You see it from Genesis all the way through Revelation. And it’s played out on the battlefield of humanity. With each moment, with each choice, individuals choose the winner in their own lives. When we choose to do righteousness, God is victorious. When we choose to do evil, we have given Satan the victory in that battle.
Nowhere perhaps is this shown more clearly than in the first two chapters of the book of Job. God and Satan are at odds with each other, with Satan claiming victory—he has influence even on God’s people, and basically claims he goes anywhere he wants whenever he wants to (1:6-7). God stops Satan and says, “have you considered my servant Job? There is none like him in the earth: a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God and eschews [avoids] evil” (Job 1:8).
And from there, the battle gets fiercer as Satan destroys Job’s riches, his servants, and his family in an effort to get him to turn against God. Everything that happened to Job was a result of the battle between God and Satan. In this battle, Job chose to serve God—and Satan lost.
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Outside of those who are mentally incapable of making a decision between good and evil, every person on earth has chosen to give Satan the victory in at least one battle. Even if that person repents and lives a life of faithfulness, the fact remains that it was still not a complete victory for God, since that person chose to sin at various points in his life.
All have sinned—except for one: Jesus the Christ. The Scriptures repeatedly state that Jesus “knew no sin” (II Corinthians 5:21), or “did no sin” (I Peter 2:22). He lived a perfect life—one that gave God a complete victory over Satan. When Jesus died on the cross, it sealed the greatest victory possible (Hebrews 2:14-15). Satan’s claim to power had been proven wrong because Jesus Christ did not sin.
Jesus was made to die the most horrible, agonizing death known to mankind after undergoing a severe beating—yet through all of this, he still did not sin. Satan pulled out all the stops to try to get Jesus to relent, to sin just once, but it didn’t work.
Let’s hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The Bible tells us that the meaning of life—the meaning of our very existence—is to fear God and keep His commandments. That is what life is all about. This is what we were created for!
As each of us makes the choice to follow God in our lives, we give Him another victory. As we choose to sin, we give Satan the upper hand in this battle. We determine the outcome in the individual battle between God and Satan in our lives.
Since we were created for the purpose of serving God and obeying Him, what do we deserve when disobey? If you had a tool, designed to do a specific job, and that tool wouldn’t do what it was designed for, what would you do? After a while, you’d probably throw it away. Now imagine that tool has a mind of its own and though it can do the job it’s designed for, it refuses to do it. So, you try to encourage it and coax it. It works for a little while, but then refuses again. So you coax it some more, but it still won’t listen. So you give it a warning, still little changes. You punish it to try to get it to work, but that only works for a little while (if at all). This tool is stubborn and refuses to work. Finally, your patience is at an end and you burn it.
We are that tool. We were designed for a specific job: fear God and keep His commandments. As we do what we’re designed for, God gets the glory. But what’s so amazing about God is this: when we do what we’re designed to do—serving Him—we will get to share in His glory. We will be partakers of the divine nature (II Peter 1:4). We will be able to spend eternity in the presence of God Himself. We will be victorious soldiers shouting victory forever with our King, Jesus the Christ!
So, why did God create us, knowing ahead of time that we would sin?
Because it is through mankind that God wins the victory over Satan. Without a human living a perfect life, there was no true victory. In our lives, it’s like a boxing match that goes twelve rounds with each side winning some rounds and losing others. One side won at the end, but it wasn’t the complete victory. In Jesus’ life, it was a first-round knock-out.
But in order to have that complete victory which destroyed Satan’s power, it had to be a human who lived sinless. Mankind was created because it was through mankind (specifically Jesus Christ) that God won the ultimate victory over Satan.