Today, in the ICPF cell group, there was one question raised that I had already dealt with in my mind. But haven’t documented the answer anywhere. Writing helps me refine my thoughts and give a structure to what is otherwise, like a maze. A maze only I can solve. Because I created it. And nobody can look at it, because it’s inside my mind. However, since I haven’t documented the answer, the answer to this little question was like a maze in my mind, and when this question was raised, I did answer it, however, wasn’t able to answer with the clarity I would have liked to answer with.
But, let’s get into the question. Sometimes I am surprised that more people don’t ask this question. It’s really simple. Why?? If God knew that man would disobey his command, and will fall, why did he create us in the first place?
Let’s take the last part of the question and then work backwards. Last part is, “Why did he create us in the first place?”. Well, I can’t say that I know. How can my feeble and finite mind understand the will and the plan of the infinite I am? However, there is one aspect that he has revealed to us. It is not the only reason, but, it is one of the reason. And that is, to have fellowship with us.
So, God wants to have fellowship with men. Why? Because he is a personal being, and, like every person, enjoys a good company. He wants to have relationship with us. When Jesus came into this world, he made it pretty clear that he loves all of us. He wants to have a relationship with each of us. A relationship that is based on love. However, problem is, robots can not love. So, for love to be possible, one needs free will. One can not be programmed to love.
However, when free will comes into the picture, there is one more thing that needs to come into the picture. That is choice. If I were to say to you, you can choose any one thing you like, however, there is only one thing to choose from. Can that proposition give you any freedom? It’s no different then saying, here, choose this. So, the same kind of problem would arise in the Garden of Eden.
When God made humans, he had fellowship and love in mind, but for love to be possible, free will is required. For free will to exist, there needs to be a choice. So, to provide humans with free will, and in the end, make love possible, he restricted Adam and Eve from doing only one thing. If God hadn’t commanded them to not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, it would be like, you can do whatever you want, and all of it is according to my will. There isn’t a real choice for you. You are trapped with me forever! But, God didn’t want that kind of love. He wanted genuine love. The kind that existed in the trinity. So, God says, you can do whatever you want, however, you must not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. If there wasn’t that single constraint, there wouldn’t be any real choice, if there wouldn’t be any choice, there wouldn’t be any free will, if there wouldn’t be any free will, then there wouldn’t be any love. If there wouldn’t be any love, then, the creation wouldn’t serve the purpose for which it was created.
So, the whole thing hangs on a branch of a particular tree. That single fruit held the fate of whole humanity. We know the rest of the story, so, there isn’t any point in describing what pretty much everybody knows. (If you don’t know, read the chapter 3 of Genesis).
Now that we understand a little bit of why genesis is the way it is, and why free will must exist, and why it was, at all, possible for humans to rebel against God, let’s go back a little bit in the question. Did God knew man will fall? As far as I understand it, the question can be answered in 2 ways. Yes and No. Yes, because he is omniscient and knows our future and everything that we are going to do. No, because he gave humans a free will and free choice to choose whatever they wished. So, it could have gone either way. I know the last two statements are very confusing and thus, I will try to illustrate it as best as I can.
Suppose, you saw a movie. Say, the latest Spiderman flick. Your friend hasn’t seen it. But you have. So, you know how the movie ends. Your friend doesn’t know how it ends. So, you can actually “prophecy” to your friend about how the story ends. But, your “prophecy” doesn’t affect the story writer of the movie. You can only “prophecy” because you have seen the whole movie. In the same way, since God is outside of time, God can see the whole movie, the whole universe from it’s beginning to it’s end. He can write your whole life story in a book on the day you are born. Not because he has predestined it, but because, as you are outside the movie, he is outside of the time and see the whole story. Just as your words do not alter the thoughts of the story writer of the movie, God’s words won’t alter your story. You are the writer of your own story. He has made you free and you are indeed free. If you want, God will certainly guide you into the right path, but what he won’t do, is force you.
However, now that we’ve taken a little detour to explain the paradox of God’s omniscience and our free will, let’s get back to the matter at hand. Now we are nearing the conclusion.
If God knew that humans will fall, why did he create us in the first place? Because it pleased him to do so. God is certainly not foolish enough to do things recklessly. I know that he must have counted the costs. If he knew everything, then, he must have also knew that if man falls, what a great price he would have to pay to save him. The very hand that formed the hands of the very first man, knew that one day, this very hand will hit him, will scourge him, it will drive the nails into his hands and feet and will drive a spear into his heart. And indeed, the question is very sobering one. Why exactly did he do it?
I think, he did count the cost. And, he gave much more value to us than we give to him. Even though we are inferior to him, he regarded us valuable enough to die for us. He was prepared to carry the cross before he laid the foundation of the world. He calls us as the apple of his eye. He created us because he loves us. Even before you or I existed, God loved us. He loved us enough, that he chose the cross.