Why did God create the world?

Just a simple, quick question, right? I am teaching Gen. 1-3 this semester, just a 1-credit course, but needless to say full of discussion. (I have not even gotten to Day 6 yet and we are five weeks in.) During our discussion a few weeks ago the question of why God made the world came up. Now I often say that Gen. 1 is not a guide on how to create your own cosmos, but that it was written to tell us who created the world and why. I realize now that I have been very loose in my language.

It is obvious that I meant in the first instance that Gen. 1 was written to tell us about God and that he is the sole creator of our existence. But when I have said that Gen. 1 tells us why were created, I did not really mean “God’s motivation is revealed to us” since, in fact, Genesis and the Bible never indicates why God created our reality. There may be hints here and there that no doubt systematic theologians will present as a fully formed theology, but the biblical text never gives it to us directly. Was God lonely, bored, did he need us? I think our Jewish or Christian context (and perhaps Muslim as well) condition to immediately respond “no” to any of those suggestions, but what was God’s motivation? I am very curious as to what you think so please leave a comment.

by Margaret Shulock of Six Chix

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