Psalm 106 – The purpose of Creation
Posted: 15 January 2011 in Psalms

We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known…..

This entire psalm is about Israel’s idolatry and disobedience, and it is a good summary of why mankind stands in need of salvation, and of the grace which comes only through Christ. However, verse 8, amongst many others in the Bible, contains what might be an uncomfortable truth for present day Christians:

Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.

In other words, salvation for the ancient Israelites, and more generally their election, was not for their own benefit, but because God desired to be thereby glorified. A similar rationale is given for the entire episode involving the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart in Exodus, and so too for us: Our salvation in Christ is not given primarily because God thinks we might enjoy ourselves in heaven, but because he wishes to be thereby glorified. There is a verse in the New Testament where the glory and good pleasure of God is even more explicitly spoken of as the purpose of creation:

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Rev 4.11)

I suppose there is a tendency in all of us to think of creation, and still more of salvation, as being primarily for our benefit, but the Bible reminds us that it is quite otherwise. To properly worship God, we need to keep that in mind.

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