Why does God want us?
Description: If we were God, would we be pleased with humanity? We might be tempted to start afresh with brighter candidates. Why hasn’t God done that?
On this side of heaven, understanding the mind of God is beyond us (Isaiah 55.8-9 tells us why). But we do know a few things. Among them, we know that God loves and wants to be in a relationship with us. We are important to him.
God is Holy
We also know that God is holy. It’s worth pausing to reflect on what this means. As ever, there are many interpretations of holiness. It can mean separate in the sense of being set apart, and God’s absolute purity certainly sets him apart from we humans. He is untainted by sin (evil) and perfect – and perfectly wise – in every way all the time.
Unfortunately, however hard we try, we fall well short of being holy, no matter how the word is interpreted. Sin is our problem, and it’s sin that separates us from God. He cannot allow a sinner into heaven – his holy domain – as to do so would go against his absolute purity and every loving principle he holds dear.
God could simply wipe us out and start again with more promising candidates, but he hasn’t. So the question stands: Why does God want us?
A simple answer
A simple answer is that God is love (1 John 4.8&16). The Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit overflows with love in the supreme loving relationship – and if anything overflows, it has to overflow into something.
An analogy might be a couple of people who fall in love. All they want – perhaps all they see – is each other. Each wants to make the other happy. If they were cast away together somewhere, it really wouldn’t matter because they’d still have each other. Over time, they may want to develop a marvellous extra way of expressing their love for each other. They may want a child – someone in their own image; someone to nurture and see grow to maturity.
That child – just like all children – will sometimes be disobedient. The child will do things it shouldn’t and make mistakes. It may even become rebellious and go right off the rails.
No loving parent would respond to such disobedience, mistakes or even rebellion by getting rid of the child. They would try to guide and protect. They would forgive even if forgiveness wasn’t deserved. Against all odds they would stand by their child – and we are all children of God.
His love makes us important to him. He longs to embrace us in a holy relationship that gives us life in all its fullness. He doesn’t want a single one of us to miss out. Sadly, this is where sin raises its ugly face and gets in the way, separating us from our pure God.
The Bible reminds us of the endless chances God gave his chosen (but rebellious) people to turn back to him and be faithful. Yet over countless generations since the Bible was written, we’ve proved that we can’t live together in peace, honour and justice – not even with family members and neighbours. We still have wars, famine, plague, poverty and persecution – and to a very large extent these dreadful things are the results of our own bad choices.
For these bad choices – for sin in any form – the penalty is non-negotiable separation from God and our inheritance of eternal life in peace and true joy. In short, the penalty is death.
God has proved his love
God proved his love and how important we are to him, by coming to earth himself as Jesus, the Son – the perfect human. Only as a human could he pay the penalty for human sin. Belief in Jesus, in who he is, and in his once for all sacrifice saves us from death. Only through him are we made righteous in God’s sight and our sins forgiven and forgotten.
So, why does God want us: because we are his children, the chosen incarnation of his eternal and overflowing love.
Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.