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Meaning of Life (yes. i'm serious)

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Hi. An atheist honestly in search of opinions among the faithful here. When interacting here I strive not to be combative, nor to corner Christians into any "gotchya" illogical positions, nor to prove I am "right" in my lack of faith. I would like to be a polite guest. That all having been said, I am about to break a bunch of my own rules for once. I am going to deliberately ask a "trick" question. And, quite unusual for me, I do have a single, specific answer I am searching for. For what it's worth, I don' think (though, I admit, I am often mistaken whenever I say that here) the point I would like to make is any way skeptical of Christianity, divinity or religion of any kind or is it liable to be in any way at odds with such world views. In fact, I am quite optimistic and eager this entree of mine may prompt a very friendly and possibly even productive conversation.

QUESTION:

What is the specific, original reason God created Man?
 
Active
Genesis 1 says,

Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’

So, the original purpose was to rule over the rest of creation (fine mess we are making of it).

But Genesis 2 seems to take the opposite approach – the Garden of Eden was created for man.

The Bible is so often frustratingly quiet on many of these big, big questions. Here's my own, perhaps fanciful, take: God is love. Love is naturally creative.
 
Member
Genesis 1 says,

Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’

So, the original purpose was to rule over the rest of creation (fine mess we are making of it).

But Genesis 2 seems to take the opposite approach – the Garden of Eden was created for man.

The Bible is so often frustratingly quiet on many of these big, big questions. Here's my own, perhaps fanciful, take: God is love. Love is naturally creative.
Hellooooooooooo, Hekuran!

Ah, yes. Rule and dominion over fellow (if subordinate) creatures. Spot on. Actually what I’m after is a bit further on where the Bible elaborates upon the intended nature of that rule, in sadly close accord with your appraisal of the “fine mess” we make in the discharge of our cosmic duties.

I am thinking, in fact, of Genesis 2:15, “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (KJV)
Other versions (NIV, etc.) phrase it in more explicitly conservationist terms (ie. “...take care of it.”). But I just can’t get enough of that old school, KJV language.
Anyway, yeah. Before any of the Noaic, Abrahamic, Mosaic or Christian covenants, all of which may append pre-fall edicts, but don’t seem to vacate them, Man’s (and, presumably Woman’s) divinely-assigned job was to care for creation as its dedicated custodian.
It may come as some surprise, but my chief preoccupation is not armchair theology. In fact, I am concerned to the point of distraction about the catastrophic jeopardy we countenance in the planet’s ecological welfare.
I’ve known about the “subject and rule over” clauses in Adam’s job description since I was a kid. But it is only recently I’ve begun to suspect, especially in these modern times, that Gen 2:15 may demand much closer attention than, so far as I understand it, it has received hitherto.

First, are you aware of any sophisticated exegesis on this verse, in this vein? I don’t recall hearing any sermon on it, nor can I find any threads or conversations about it here at Talk Jesus. More interestingly (to me), in your opinion, would you think it would be unfair to hold devout Jews, Christians and Muslims to account for what appears to be inadequate attention to these duties, including any reluctance in accepting credible scientific assessments as to the gravity and urgency of that crisis?

Eagerly awaiting any thoughts...
 
Member
What is the specific, original reason God created Man?
Hi Kirby. I suppose the best I can come up with is love. God is love, and sharing is the expression of it.

I think of a family having children; is there a need we don’t see that would drive them to sacrifice their very lives to raise them, and at times with little reward? Someday take a look at some rebellious teen, and see if you can muster the strength to sympathize with the parent’s dilemma.

I reckon the only thing that comes to mind for the moment is Adam’s love for Eve. In 1Ti 2:14 we read, “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” How and why does Adam become complicit in death; possibly to become one with her? Jesus did much the same with us as He took on Him the sin of the world. Jesus is even said to be the last Adam, and sometimes referred as the second Adam. (1 Cor 15:45).

Can we even imagine my Father giving His eldest Son as sacrifice to atone for me to become one of many sons? Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory . . .

I’ve probably not answered your question satisfactorily, but I am interested in your thinking on this. Thanks.
 
Member
Hi Kirby. I suppose the best I can come up with is love. God is love, and sharing is the expression of it.

I think of a family having children; is there a need we don’t see that would drive them to sacrifice their very lives to raise them, and at times with little reward? Someday take a look at some rebellious teen, and see if you can muster the strength to sympathize with the parent’s dilemma.

I reckon the only thing that comes to mind for the moment is Adam’s love for Eve. In 1Ti 2:14 we read, “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” How and why does Adam become complicit in death; possibly to become one with her? Jesus did much the same with us as He took on Him the sin of the world. Jesus is even said to be the last Adam, and sometimes referred as the second Adam. (1 Cor 15:45).

Can we even imagine my Father giving His eldest Son as sacrifice to atone for me to become one of many sons? Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory . . .

I’ve probably not answered your question satisfactorily, but I am interested in your thinking on this. Thanks.
Hi, Rom 8.28. That is not the answer I was fishing for. But it IS an excellent answer. If God exists, I hope the love you describe (so very eloquently) is one of his most salient defining characteristics. And, if that is the case, it only makes sense he would foster such values in that creature of his designed to most closely resemble him and express his own virtues.

I believe the greater portion of the value I find in my own life stems from my many loves: nature, humanity (when they are humane), my friends, the family of my birth, my wife, and most especially my own children. In another thread today I mentioned one of the few pieces of evidence I accept as being consistent with the existence of a just, merciful and long-suffering God is his apparent forbearance in smiting me despite my continued infidelity. Similarly, I would allow that my sensation of love is also such worthy evidence.

But I was thinking of a much homelier, brass tacks sort of “purpose.” Specifically, Gen 2:15. “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”

That’s about as clear and succinct a job description as I have ever come across. And I honestly think it is an excellent, maybe THE most excellent, bit of scripture I can think of. I agree and even promote certain other edicts and values articulated in other passages. But the outlawing of murder, theft, criminal mischief, etc. are fairly common throughout human cultures. They are hardly unique in time or place of origin to the Judeo/Christian religions. It could be argued that widely-accepted monotheism is original to Judeo/Christian culture, but examined in detail, especially between the various religious sects who follow it, the fine grain of it becomes mesmerizingly complex. And there are troves of laws, values and tenets in scripture which can be either objectionable or incomprehensible or both. (That’s no comment on what their true values may be, just an acknowledgement that opinions about them vary.)

But I can’t think of any sensible reading of Gen 2:15, either literal or metaphorical, which does not mean, “God assigned Man to take care of his creation.”

Full disclosure: I am very pessimistic about the state of Earth’s environment and the manifest jeopardy it suffers in the face of more-or-less unchecked human industrial activity.

I have the impression that many American Christians, especially, “evangelical” and “fundamentalist” Christians, have a reputation for discounting or outright denying the threat human activity poses to the planet. I have seen occasional interviews on television with people purporting to be such Christians, claiming we don’t have to worry about the health of the planet, as it’s all in God’s hands and is running according to his plan.

That never made much sense to me.

Anyway, re-reading Genesis not so long ago, I scanned over this verse and, for the first time, was struck by its deceptively powerful import, and by a sudden awareness of its relevance to modern life.

It doesn’t say God placed Man in the garden to take care of it till God came up with something BETTER for him to do. Indeed, after the Fall and the Expulsion, God doesn’t exempt Man from that duty, but instead admonishes him that, from then on, his duties as custodian of creation were going to be a royal pain.

I admit, I am reading my own sensibilities and fears into the passage, which amounts to a hill of beans in light of my unbelief. But, I THINK (could never say for sure), if I were a Christian, I would take it to mean one of my first, indeed, THE first of my worldly priorities (separate and apart from my spiritual obligations to my creator) would be to take care of the creation.

I don’t think I have come across any exegesis, sermon, tract or polemic militating for this understanding of humanity’s purpose according to God. Or if I have, it did not make any great impression upon me. But I think one could (and I certainly WOULD) make the case this should be front and center in any Christian’s agenda to live according to God’s desires.

What do you think?
 
Loyal
Many times in the Bible there are conditions...
If we do this... God will do that....

As far as taking care of the earth. There are no conditions. It may be why He put us here in the first place. But according to the Bible
we are fallen beings living in an imperfect environment. The Bible goes on to say There will eventually be a new heavens and a new earth.

If this is the case... why worry too much about this world? Not that we should be trashing it or blowing it up or anything like that.
The Bible says this current world will last until the new one comes. If we truly take God at His word, then there will be no Armageddon asteroids,
no ice ages, no world-wide floods (remember Noah and the rain-bow). We should take care of it yes.

But this is one of those unconditional things that God won't let get out of control... why? Because the Bible says there will be people on the earth
until the new heavens and the new earth come. No where in the Bible does it say... "as long as you take care of it". There are no conditions on this.

This is one of those things Christians have peace about... even if the rest of the world doesn't.

I'm over half a century old. I'm always hearing about over-population, food shortages.. (there is less hunger in the world right now than there has ever
been since anyone has been keeping records). Some species have gone extinct. Probably more will as well.... while I don't wish this to happen,
it's not "the end of the world" (pun intended) even if it does happen. Nuclear weapons have existed longer than I have been alive... we're all still here.
Nuclear power plants have melted down, hundreds of wars have been fought... we're all still here. Agent orange, the bubonic plague, smallpox
have all come and gone... The Bible is still standing (and so are we... at least in this one area).
 
Loyal
While on the subject... "the meaning of life"... where did life come from? If you believe in a creator... it's easy to answer.
If you don't.... the only answer is "it just randomly happened". We can say "the big bang".. OK where did that come from?
We can say.. enzymes, chemicals under just the right conditions over just the right amount of time...OK, where did the enzymes come from?
What started the motion of the universe? Why do stars and galaxies even move at all? If the universe is zillions and zillions of years old
why hasn't all the fuel burned up? (even nuclear power requires some fuel).

Which really takes more faith? Some intelligent higher power created it all.... or it just randomly came into being... from "nothing".
 
Member
Hi. An atheist honestly in search of opinions among the faithful here. When interacting here I strive not to be combative, nor to corner Christians into any "gotchya" illogical positions, nor to prove I am "right" in my lack of faith. I would like to be a polite guest. That all having been said, I am about to break a bunch of my own rules for once. I am going to deliberately ask a "trick" question. And, quite unusual for me, I do have a single, specific answer I am searching for. For what it's worth, I don' think (though, I admit, I am often mistaken whenever I say that here) the point I would like to make is any way skeptical of Christianity, divinity or religion of any kind or is it liable to be in any way at odds with such world views. In fact, I am quite optimistic and eager this entree of mine may prompt a very friendly and possibly even productive conversation.

QUESTION:

What is the specific, original reason God created Man?
I think you're asking us to fathom the mind of the spirit. The Bible tells us God's thoughts are not like unto our thoughts and our thoughts are not like unto God's. Because God is a higher power and is omniscient. (knows all) Isaiah 55, Isaiah 45

I will say in studying the scriptures and considering Genesis and the fall of the human race as described there, and then the new testament that has Jesus' arrival to make a second covenant and reunite us with our source, that the answer I would give you to your question is, all things are not only from him and through, but also “to him.” Therefore, “To him be glory forever.”

The meaning of this life? Is recognizing it is God eternally infinitely manifesting holy spirit in all ways, through all ways. God, playing with himself.
Our purpose is to realize we are all cells in that spirit. We are not less than because we are human. Jesus showed us, Emmanuel, God with us, that in the flesh if we come to the Father, the realization of the divine spark of potential inside us, we can do as he did. All of it. Just as he said we could if we arrived at that Christ consciousness. John 14.
All things are of God. And God is all things as the soul, sole, creator of all .
 
Member
Many times in the Bible there are conditions...
If we do this... God will do that....

As far as taking care of the earth. There are no conditions. It may be why He put us here in the first place. But according to the Bible
we are fallen beings living in an imperfect environment. The Bible goes on to say There will eventually be a new heavens and a new earth.

If this is the case... why worry too much about this world? Not that we should be trashing it or blowing it up or anything like that.
The Bible says this current world will last until the new one comes. If we truly take God at His word, then there will be no Armageddon asteroids,
no ice ages, no world-wide floods (remember Noah and the rain-bow). We should take care of it yes.

But this is one of those unconditional things that God won't let get out of control... why? Because the Bible says there will be people on the earth
until the new heavens and the new earth come. No where in the Bible does it say... "as long as you take care of it". There are no conditions on this.

This is one of those things Christians have peace about... even if the rest of the world doesn't.

I'm over half a century old. I'm always hearing about over-population, food shortages.. (there is less hunger in the world right now than there has ever
been since anyone has been keeping records). Some species have gone extinct. Probably more will as well.... while I don't wish this to happen,
it's not "the end of the world" (pun intended) even if it does happen. Nuclear weapons have existed longer than I have been alive... we're all still here.
Nuclear power plants have melted down, hundreds of wars have been fought... we're all still here. Agent orange, the bubonic plague, smallpox
have all come and gone... The Bible is still standing (and so are we... at least in this one area).

Hey, B-A-C. I always value your thoughts and perspective. This applies to your remarks here. Please don’t take my follow up questions, then, as any attempt to undermine or refute the principles you have articulated.

You say that certain Biblical tenets are given without qualification. And some with. As case examples, I’ll suggest, “Thou shalt not kill” - qualified; there are circumstances when the taking of another’s life is permissible or even required. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” - unqualified; so long as you yourself would submit to justice, it is possible to apply that same justice to your neighbor without loving them any less than you love yourself.

Please explain if these are poor examples of the point you are trying to make. But if they roughly express the concept as you understand it, then unqualified injunctions would appear to reign supreme over qualified injunctions. This is not to call into question any part of any God/human covenant since Creation, but to me it implies the duty “to dress... and to tend...” is still in full effect. I don’t know of any subsequent passage alleviating Man of this duty, nor even of any permission to assume that the tending of creation shall take care of itself. I’m not clear yet on the rationale that, since God will sustain creation until the new Heaven and the new Earth, that lets Man off the hook regarding this straightforward, seminal duty.

By way of comparison, scripture charges us with the duty to raise our children according to certain standards God would have us teach. BUT, no person is exempt from being held to that standard. The elect will always find favor in the hereafter. The wicked will always meet judgement. But, excepting the sorrow God suffers over any lost soul, the cosmic order is always preserved. There’s no cheating. The saved are saved and the judged are judged. But STILL we are expected to rear children to be saved. I would never DREAM of just assuming my children will work out their moral character without whatever guidance I can offer. I would probably feel this doubly or trebly so if I believed. I can’t identify any mechanism permitting Man to abandon our obligation to safeguard the health of our home. Nor can i find any passage suggesting that, since God will preserve this world until the coming of the next, we don’t have to worry about these obligations.

Sorry. I can see where you might find a lot of hair splitting here. But I’d ask you to imagine my concern over the quality of the world I bequeath to my children, grandchildren, etc., etc., is akin to your concern over the ultimate fate of your soul and the souls of those you love.
 
Member
While on the subject... "the meaning of life"... where did life come from? If you believe in a creator... it's easy to answer.
If you don't.... the only answer is "it just randomly happened". We can say "the big bang".. OK where did that come from?
We can say.. enzymes, chemicals under just the right conditions over just the right amount of time...OK, where did the enzymes come from?
What started the motion of the universe? Why do stars and galaxies even move at all? If the universe is zillions and zillions of years old
why hasn't all the fuel burned up? (even nuclear power requires some fuel).

Which really takes more faith? Some intelligent higher power created it all.... or it just randomly came into being... from "nothing".



I just saw this, posting my response to your first comment. I ask your indulgence while I compose a worthy reply. I don’t want to mess this up. And, if you think my reply threatens to take us down a too-wormy corridor, please just say so and I will completely understand.
 
Member
Full disclosure: I am very pessimistic about the state of Earth’s environment and the manifest jeopardy it suffers in the face of more-or-less unchecked human industrial activity.

I have the impression that many American Christians, especially, “evangelical” and “fundamentalist” Christians, have a reputation for discounting or outright denying the threat human activity poses to the planet. I have seen occasional interviews on television with people purporting to be such Christians, claiming we don’t have to worry about the health of the planet, as it’s all in God’s hands and is running according to his plan.

That never made much sense to me.
If I understand it correctly, and probably not, higher carbon in the atmosphere produces elevated temperatures, that promotes rain sometimes referred to as acid rain, and though that more acidic carbon is inserted back into the soil encouraging plant growth, and the cycle repeats itself.

Now someone may ask if God gave us a supply of carbon to go into the atmosphere, and I’m sure He did, but I ask if putting something into action created or lessens that given amount, or merely affected its purpose, and how it is replenished.

That is, in Gen 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. (At that time was there not enough heat producing carbon yet in the atmosphere to produce rain?)

Gen 2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

You mention people not becoming involved in the management of, and/or seemingly caring what occurs in our atmosphere, and I suppose that to be true when observing all effort gone bad so to speak, but I have also seen cities like Charleston, SC recover from its long mismanaged industry. I lived there for two years, and acid rain literally ruined paint on cars due to paper mills at the time, and yet the city survives.

I suppose we could become better caregivers of the blessings we have, but politics quickly take advantage of profits available. For some years I worked in air conditioning and heating, and reducing carbons in the atmosphere due to greenhouse gasses became the supposed cure-all to saving our planet. A technician bought much equipment, were forced into learning how to handle it, and later we find all this effort may be wrong

Hey, I did look at Gen 2:15, and discounted it as to what you were looking at being associated with your interests, but I’m too old to have interests. Hey, maybe you can vote for Hillary, let her tend the gardens for us, and we could become less deplorable to her.

I’ve enjoyed our discourse. Thanks.
 
Active
Hellooooooooooo, Hekuran!

Ah, yes. Rule and dominion over fellow (if subordinate) creatures. Spot on. Actually what I’m after is a bit further on where the Bible elaborates upon the intended nature of that rule, in sadly close accord with your appraisal of the “fine mess” we make in the discharge of our cosmic duties.

I am thinking, in fact, of Genesis 2:15, “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (KJV)
Other versions (NIV, etc.) phrase it in more explicitly conservationist terms (ie. “...take care of it.”). But I just can’t get enough of that old school, KJV language.
Anyway, yeah. Before any of the Noaic, Abrahamic, Mosaic or Christian covenants, all of which may append pre-fall edicts, but don’t seem to vacate them, Man’s (and, presumably Woman’s) divinely-assigned job was to care for creation as its dedicated custodian.
It may come as some surprise, but my chief preoccupation is not armchair theology. In fact, I am concerned to the point of distraction about the catastrophic jeopardy we countenance in the planet’s ecological welfare.
I’ve known about the “subject and rule over” clauses in Adam’s job description since I was a kid. But it is only recently I’ve begun to suspect, especially in these modern times, that Gen 2:15 may demand much closer attention than, so far as I understand it, it has received hitherto.

First, are you aware of any sophisticated exegesis on this verse, in this vein? I don’t recall hearing any sermon on it, nor can I find any threads or conversations about it here at Talk Jesus. More interestingly (to me), in your opinion, would you think it would be unfair to hold devout Jews, Christians and Muslims to account for what appears to be inadequate attention to these duties, including any reluctance in accepting credible scientific assessments as to the gravity and urgency of that crisis?

Eagerly awaiting any thoughts...
In complete agreement.

In theological words: everybody will be held to account for their care or abuse of God's creation.
In secular terminology: we are all responsible for protecting and sustaining environment.

And dismissing or disregarding the scientific data is no excuse whatsoever.

There's a whole load of bad theology that used to get us of the hook of environmental care. God is only interested in spiritual matters, we will all be swept away to heaven etc. It's bad theology that very conveniently ignores what the Bible says. And how could anybody argue that the creator of something as common and exquisite as the dandylion is interested only in spiritual things?
 
Member
Hi. An atheist honestly in search of opinions among the faithful here. When interacting here I strive not to be combative, nor to corner Christians into any "gotchya" illogical positions, nor to prove I am "right" in my lack of faith. I would like to be a polite guest. That all having been said, I am about to break a bunch of my own rules for once. I am going to deliberately ask a "trick" question. And, quite unusual for me, I do have a single, specific answer I am searching for. For what it's worth, I don' think (though, I admit, I am often mistaken whenever I say that here) the point I would like to make is any way skeptical of Christianity, divinity or religion of any kind or is it liable to be in any way at odds with such world views. In fact, I am quite optimistic and eager this entree of mine may prompt a very friendly and possibly even productive conversation.

QUESTION:

What is the specific, original reason God created Man?


Luk 3:38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.


note the Christian claim that Jesus the Son of God is Salvation. God gave man His place in the earth. dominion over all the life therein. hence the sons ship the obligation or answerable to God. animals are not answerable to God though they have life because they did not receive God's place in the earth. also the Life that Adam and Eve died from that day was son of God, and were left with the life of ashes to ashes dust to dust as the animals had already. but the place that man has is still God's place in the earth. note the Christian claim that Jesus Son of God's return to take the earth or "world" basically from the hands of man. being Son of God in the flesh as Adam was to be, makes it righteous.
 
Member
Luk 3:38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.


note the Christian claim that Jesus the Son of God is Salvation. God gave man His place in the earth. dominion over all the life therein. hence the sons ship the obligation or answerable to God. animals are not answerable to God though they have life because they did not receive God's place in the earth. also the Life that Adam and Eve died from that day was son of God, and were left with the life of ashes to ashes dust to dust as the animals had already. but the place that man has is still God's place in the earth. note the Christian claim that Jesus Son of God's return to take the earth or "world" basically from the hands of man. being Son of God in the flesh as Adam was to be, makes it righteous.

Hi, D_Martin.

I confess I’m not 100% clear on what you’re suggesting. I think it is the concept that Christ’s purpose is to save and Man’s is to be saved.

I’ll accept that is indeed possible, but it is not what I have in mind. I am thinking of the Bible’s explanation regarding the original role and duties Adam was created to perform.

Want to add to your response? Or would you rather I just come out and say it? It was really fun when I came across it after a lifetime of staring right at it but never noticing it.
 
Member
Hi, D_Martin.

I confess I’m not 100% clear on what you’re suggesting. I think it is the concept that Christ’s purpose is to save and Man’s is to be saved.

I’ll accept that is indeed possible, but it is not what I have in mind. I am thinking of the Bible’s explanation regarding the original role and duties Adam was created to perform.

Want to add to your response? Or would you rather I just come out and say it? It was really fun when I came across it after a lifetime of staring right at it but never noticing it.

are you under some delusion that believers are supposed to meat some satisfactory answer in your own judgement? if you don't believe there's a God, then so what see Isaiah chapter 40. if your looking for the Truth of God, then direct your attention to God, through and in the name of Jesus Christ. no one really cares what you think, in your own judgement. God's Judgement is Life, any other results in death, no matter how self justified one's own judgement maybe. the life in the flesh returns to its origin, the ground, Life of God remains with God who is the eternal Living God.
 
Active
What is the specific, original reason God created Man?
Love the question Kirby :wink:.

Short answer:

God does what pleases Him Psalm 135:6 The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.

Long answer:

Impossible for an ant to fully grasp the working mind of a human. Same with us and God. All we can do is consider 1. Who we are and 2. What we know about God.

1. Who we are

If we look at a spanner for example, we can conclude the reason for its existence.

So, lets look properly at what we are. I propose we are the perfect creation for social interaction. Mouth to speak. Ears to listen. Heart to care. Nose to smell our hygiene levels whilst interacting. Skin that can feel physical contact. Brain to grasp pain and pleasure. Joy and sadness. Grasp what to say to spark anger, or bring peace. Brains able to remember. Take instructions. Ability to function in a work place / social environment. I could go on all day. Bottom line is we are the perfect race car for social interaction.

Conclusion: God wanted social interaction.

Now trying to ''''think like a god'''....

How do we achieve this? Make another me. Uhm, nah, they will over throw me. Which is fine, unless they choose to be evil, then its not. So, ok, no go on that option. Option B. Make a creation way beneath me, but still sufficiently intelligent for proper socializing. Hello angels. Hello humans. Both need free will with this intelligence, else they won't want to socialize with me. Give them free will, hello hell. Hello heaven. Hell is a home for those who don't want to be with God. I want this creation to grasp me. Grasp that I am love. Combine cross with free will Eph 1:4. I will forgive those who are wicked if they hate the wickedness and repent Psalm 51:17.

God will achieve a social relationship with a creation that is at a depth of commitment and love. Based on actual evidence in both directions. From Him, the cross John 15:13 and John 3:16. From us, an equal decision at a depth of intent and commitment Matt 16:24.

So, God has a social relationship of sort with the wicked (example would be all the discussions between the devil and God) but has a marriage / Father to child relationship with Christians.

What we know about God:

It is a fact to note that with us, it is a case of the spanner being able to grasp its creator (still ant to human, but not quite as braindead as a spanner). So if the spanner could grasp its creator is a mechanic, it would better grasp its purpose.

So, with God we need to try and ''grasp all we can''. Now I propose we look at where the evidence points. Example: a tennis ball is traced to a tennis player. An act of love is placed to a loving being. An act of mercy to a merciful being. An act of violence to a violent being. So on.

So we see a great act of love from God on the cross John 15:13 = the greatest act of love possible. A God becoming very personal with His creation. Putting Himself in the same shoes as His creation Acts 8:32. Now we also see violence, with for example the Amalekites. We have a brain that can discern and judge 1 Cor 6. We use it to discern that the Amalekites were punished for their wickedness. So we grasp a zero tolerance for ''extreme'' wickedness. We grasp this with every grievous sinner among the Hebrews in the OT.

So now we grasp that God is good, loving and kind. We grasp that God has no place with Him for those sold out to wickedness. We grasp God ''truly'' cares about us and on many occasions in scripture listens to and obeys our instructions. We grasp a God that wants us in His house. In His room. Not in the neighbors house. We grasp that an 'as personal as possible' relationship is desired by Him.

Conclusion: God wants to socialize with a creation of high intelligence who hate what is evil and cling to what is good Rom 12:9 on the maximum level of love and intimacy possible Eph 3:18 may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
 
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are you under some delusion that believers are supposed to meat some satisfactory answer in your own judgement? if you don't believe there's a God, then so what see Isaiah chapter 40. if your looking for the Truth of God, then direct your attention to God, through and in the name of Jesus Christ. no one really cares what you think, in your own judgement. God's Judgement is Life, any other results in death, no matter how self justified one's own judgement maybe. the life in the flesh returns to its origin, the ground, Life of God remains with God who is the eternal Living God.

Um... OK....?
 
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Love the question Kirby :wink:.

Short answer:

God does what pleases Him Psalm 135:6 The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.

Long answer:

Impossible for an ant to fully grasp the working mind of a human. Same with us and God. All we can do is consider 1. Who we are and 2. What we know about God.

1. Who we are

If we look at a spanner for example, we can conclude the reason for its existence.

So, lets look properly at what we are. I propose we are the perfect creation for social interaction. Mouth to speak. Ears to listen. Heart to care. Nose to smell our hygiene levels whilst interacting. Skin that can feel physical contact. Brain to grasp pain and pleasure. Joy and sadness. Grasp what to say to spark anger, or bring peace. Brains able to remember. Take instructions. Ability to function in a work place / social environment. I could go on all day. Bottom line is we are the perfect race car for social interaction.

Conclusion: God wanted social interaction.

Now trying to ''''think like a god'''....

How do we achieve this? Make another me. Uhm, nah, they will over throw me. Which is fine, unless they choose to be evil, then its not. So, ok, no go on that option. Option B. Make a creation way beneath me, but still sufficiently intelligent for proper socializing. Hello angels. Hello humans. Both need free will with this intelligence, else they won't want to socialize with me. Give them free will, hello hell. Hello heaven. Hell is a home for those who don't want to be with God. I want this creation to grasp me. Grasp that I am love. Combine cross with free will Eph 1:4. I will forgive those who are wicked if they hate the wickedness and repent Psalm 51:17.

God will achieve a social relationship with a creation that is at a depth of commitment and love. Based on actual evidence in both directions. From Him, the cross John 15:13 and John 3:16. From us, an equal decision at a depth of intent and commitment Matt 16:24.

So, God has a social relationship of sort with the wicked (example would be all the discussions between the devil and God) but has a marriage / Father to child relationship with Christians.

What we know about God:

It is a fact to note that with us, it is a case of the spanner being able to grasp its creator (still ant to human, but not quite as braindead as a spanner). So if the spanner could grasp its creator is a mechanic, it would better grasp its purpose.

So, with God we need to try and ''grasp all we can''. Now I propose we look at where the evidence points. Example: a tennis ball is traced to a tennis player. An act of love is placed to a loving being. An act of mercy to a merciful being. An act of violence to a violent being. So on.

So we see a great act of love from God on the cross John 15:13 = the greatest act of love possible. A God becoming very personal with His creation. Putting Himself in the same shoes as His creation Acts 8:32. Now we also see violence, with for example the Amalekites. We have a brain that can discern and judge 1 Cor 6. We use it to discern that the Amalekites were punished for their wickedness. So we grasp a zero tolerance for ''extreme'' wickedness. We grasp this with every grievous sinner among the Hebrews in the OT.

So now we grasp that God is good, loving and kind. We grasp that God has no place with Him for those sold out to wickedness. We grasp God ''truly'' cares about us and on many occasions in scripture listens to and obeys our instructions. We grasp a God that wants us in His house. In His room. Not in the neighbors house. We grasp that an 'as personal as possible' relationship is desired by Him.

Conclusion: God wants to socialize with a creation of high intelligence who hate what is evil and cling to what is good Rom 12:9 on the maximum level of love and intimacy possible Eph 3:18 may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.

Wow, KingJ. I’ll have to ruminate on this some before I can decide how convincing it is, but it’s definitely considered and coherent. Thank you.

I fear you may be disappointed when you see what I’m getting at. But I’m a little fascinated that no on I’ve put this question to has offered what to me seems as plainly spoken as any passage in all liturgy. Indeed, I can express it in 8 characters, including spaces. To wit,

Gen 2:15

Would you like to run that down or would you prefer me to go ahead and expand on my view of its import?
 
Loyal
Gen 2:15; Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

So God puts man "in the garden". So man can cultivate it.
But that isn't the end of the story in Genesis.

Gen 3:22; Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"—
Gen 3:23; therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.
Gen 3:24; So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

Not only did he remove man from the garden... He made sure man didn't have a way back into the garden.
There was a curse that went with this.

Gen 3:17; Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
Gen 3:18; "Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field;
Gen 3:19; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return."

Before you put too much stock in "plants of the field"... let us move to Cain and Abel.

Gen 4:2; Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Gen 4:3; So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.
Gen 4:4; Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;
Gen 4:5; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.

Which offering did God have more regard for? The gardener.. or the animal killer?
That's not to say one is more important than the other to God... but rather both were equally acceptable.
 
Member
Gen 2:15; Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

So God puts man "in the garden". So man can cultivate it.
But that isn't the end of the story in Genesis.

Gen 3:22; Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"—
Gen 3:23; therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.
Gen 3:24; So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

Not only did he remove man from the garden... He made sure man didn't have a way back into the garden.
There was a curse that went with this.

Gen 3:17; Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
Gen 3:18; "Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field;
Gen 3:19; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return."

Before you put too much stock in "plants of the field"... let us move to Cain and Abel.

Gen 4:2; Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Gen 4:3; So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.
Gen 4:4; Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;
Gen 4:5; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.

Which offering did God have more regard for? The gardener.. or the animal killer?
That's not to say one is more important than the other to God... but rather both were equally acceptable.
Yes, I am very familiar with all of Genesis (I think).

As for the kids’ sacrifices, I choose to take a charitable view. A pessimistic perspective might read that God punishes Cain for presenting an inferior offering, despite it being the best possible sacrifice a planter CAN offer. And what does God need from ANY material sacrifice anyway?

Instead, the episode actually makes sense assuming that both brothers had the ability to offer sacrifices of equivalent excellence, that God (naturally) has no need of either Cain’s crops or Abel’s livestock. He is not even using the exercise as a test of their love for him (being omniscient). He requires the ritual to prompt the brothers to figure out for themselves the merits and difference between sincere/generous love/sacrifice and perfunctory, pretended adoration. This, to me, makes Cain’s murderous jealousy entirely comprehensible. It’s not just that Abel outdid him on the altar; that Cain can just one-up him at the next ritual, but Cain has learned, to a certainty, he is immutably flawed in a horrible way. He is not just “not as good” as Abel. He does not even have the CAPACITY TO BECOME as good. No matter how much produce he heaps at God’s feet, it won’t remedy the failing God’s test has thrown under such glaring light. The only way he can “equalize” his status is to undo what God hath wrought: destroy one life to “elevate” his own. Not just evil, but flawed reasoning as well. And here is the ending to one Bible story I actually find worthy. God is outraged at Cain for his niggardly reverence, for his utter lack of love for the righteous and righteousness itself, for his callow attempt at deceits when confronted with the fact of his own crime. Bit most of all, God condemns him for the death of Abel, whose blood so picturesquely “calls out” to god from the ground. Cain is judged. He is punished; he is cursed. But his sentence is NOT death. Killing = wrong. Instead, part of his punishment is to carry the responsibility for that killing all the rest of his days. All in, not a bad object lesson, in my view.

But Man was not simply tasked with CULTIVATING the Garden. He is also required to “tend” it. Other versions say “keep” and still others say “take care of.” The original Hebrew (וּלְשָׁמְרָֽהּ) means “keep,” “watch,” “preserve.”

Strong's Hebrew: 8104. שָׁמַר (shamar) -- to keep, watch, preserve

This is explicitly and distinctly separate and apart from the commandment to cultivate or “dress” it. Man is the CUSTODIAN of creation, designated with a sacred trust which he is in no way at liberty to shirk. Nah, even after the Expulsion he is not relieved of this duty, but is told by God that his eternal job just got a lot harder.

Now I have a question to ask. To what extent do you feel subject to this obligation?
 
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