Going straight to the Cross

God Decides

by J. Randal Matheny

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. ...'" (Gen. 1:26, ESV).

At some point before the world began, God decided to make man. As he reached the right point in creation, he said, "Now it's time. Let's do what we set out to do. Let's make a man."

A vital part of man's similarity to God is that he, too, can decide. That will be the theme of the next few weeks.

But God decided to make a man. Why did he do that? There isn't much direct information for that question, only what we pick up here and there in the Biblical text. But in a word, to quote Rex A. Turner, Sr., "God is a social being. He desires to have the company of his own offspring [with] whom he can share his love, his righteousness, and his glory."*

That answer prompts another question: If God wanted company besides himself, is he not sufficient within himself? It's not a given that the Lord NEEDED us, but it is appropriate to say he WANTED us.

Man's sad story is that he always needs God, but often doesn't want him.

But God wants us so much, he decided on a plan, also before the world began (1 Pet. 1:20), just in case anything went wrong and man chose what he ought not. No matter what man chooses, God's choice is greater and extends wider and further in time and eternity. While God doesn't cancel out an individual's decisions, God's decision folds it all into his plan and will and produces good even from man's evil. He doesn't turn man's evil into good, but makes good result when man means evil (Gen. 50:20). Something like the saying, "Man proposes, God disposes." Or as a wise one said, "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand" (Prov. 19:21).

God loves, and in his desire and decision to share that love, he created a being capable of appreciating it and of responding to him, one able to say "yes" to his love and, though it seems unthinkable, able to say "no" as well.

In every decision of his, in every move he makes, he still seeks someone to say "yes".

What do you say?

*Systematic Theology (Montgomery, Ala.: Alabama Christian School of Religion, 1989), p. 131.

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