© Jeff Stacey | Last updated: 28 September 2016
3A3. God’s primary purpose in all of His creation:
To express His own nature forever, beginning especially on Earth by making Himself known to people worldwide, and through them as they responded to Him
3A3(title) God’s primary purpose in all of His creation
There are several indications in GEN 6:9 – 11:26 of God’s ongoing primary purpose before and after the FLOOD and His strategy to accomplish it. These are now outlined.
3A3(a) The people descended into total corruption, despite being surrounded by extraordinary evidences of God
It is puzzling that God spoke so infrequently and briefly to people between the FALL and the FLOOD [2A(intro)3]. But the people and the world they lived in were extraordinary! The people had very long lives Gen 5:3-31 and some were giants Gen 6:4. Although the ground was “cursed” Gen 3:17b-19a and the entire Earth corrupted Gen 6:11-12 it had not yet been “destroyed” Gen 6:13b. So it is fair to assume that the worldwide expressions of God’s nature TO the people THROUGH each other and their environment would still have been dramatic and profound! God was still accomplishing His primary purpose.
Yet the people ignored all these vast displays of God’s nature that surrounded them. God had left them free to choose to “do what is right” instead of evil Gen 4:7a. But almost all of them ceased to respond positively to Him. They continued to do evil and descended into total corruption Gen 6:5. This demonstrated their sheer powerlessness to break free from the control of God’s Enemy over their hearts and minds Gen 4:7b.
3A3(b) God’s primary purpose had not changed and continued to be accomplished
Eventually God declared that He would end the universal violence and corruption resulting from the people’s sin Gen 6:7,13. Chart 3A initially sets out God’s conclusive act of judgment upon them by means of the worldwide FLOOD Gen 6:17, 7:17-24 [see 3A4 and 3A5].
These events again raise the question of whether God’s primary purpose had failed, been thwarted or needed to be changed [2A3(a)]. It might seem that the FLOOD was the final end of God’s “great experiment”. Had His creation of the universe and people ended in total failure and a cataclysmic disaster?!
Yet God would be accomplishing His primary purpose even by the FLOOD. It was to be another overwhelming expression of His own nature. This catastrophe would terrifyingly demonstrate His power and perfection. It was going to be fatally negative for almost all people! Yet God would also show His unchanging love. In grace He would save Noah and his family and make a permanent commitment to them and all their descendants Gen 6:8,18 [see 3A6].
3A3(c) The people’s ongoing corruption and God’s strategy after the FLOOD
However, even the FLOOD had not changed the sinful hearts of all people! Gen 8:21c. They also lived in a corrupted world under ruthless opposition from God’s Enemy [see 3B23,24, 3B(JOB)23,24]. Always their responses would be voluntary because this was an essential aspect of love [1A6(f)]. But would they ever respond by choosing to love God? Or would their involvement in accomplishing God’s primary purpose be always only negative?
After the FLOOD God again declared that all people were “made in the image of God” Gen 9:6b. So they retained at least the capabilities to express His own nature. This implied that God still intended them to be centrally involved in how He accomplished His primary purpose.
God set the stage after the FLOOD by making a kind of “new start” Gen 8:21b,22 [see 3A13]. There was never again going to be a catastrophic worldwide flood. This was confirmed by the Covenant that He established with Noah and all of His creation Gen 8:21d, 9:8-9,10,11 [see 3A8].
So the FLOOD can be seen as part of God’s ongoing strategy for accomplishing His primary purpose. This was to be a continuing saga to win the hearts and minds of people. Somehow God had to convince them that He loved them deeply and unchangingly, so that they would respond by loving and obeying Him. He began by permanently committing Himself to them by His Covenant Gen 9:12b.
3A3(d) God was again beginning the accomplishing of His primary purpose forever
Evidence has already been seen that God had in mind an eternal accomplishment of His primary purpose [1A3(m)(iii), 1A3(n) and 2A3(e)]. In making His new beginning after the FLOOD God said that the cycles of days and seasons would continue for “as long as the earth endures” Gen 8:22. This implied that the Earth would not endure forever. Yet God called His Covenant an everlasting Covenant Gen 9:16b. Although this referred to its continuity rather than duration,1 it could also suggest that there was to be some kind of eternal future even beyond the end of planet Earth.
3A3(e) Another sublime accomplishing of God’s primary purpose THROUGH people – Noah’s act of “worship”
Like Enoch, Noah “walked with God” Gen 6:9c and in grace had “found favour” with God, because he had been “found righteous” by God Gen 6:8, 7:1. Through obeying all God’s commands Gen 6:22, 7:5 he and his family were the sole human survivors of the FLOOD Gen 8:15-16,18. Noah’s first response after leaving the Ark was a formal act of worship Gen 8:20. This was acceptable to God, who in grace declared His blessings upon all people despite their ongoing sinfulness! Gen 8:21,22.
Out of God’s catastrophic act of judgment, He had also brought a profoundly positive expression of His own nature – Noah’s act of worship. This could be seen as another sublime example of God accomplishing His primary purpose.
Arrow 3A1 -> 3A3
This arrow indicates that God’s primary purpose in all of His creation flowed directly from His own nature and was in fact the expression of that nature.
1. W.J.Dumbrell, Covenant and Creation (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993), pages 73-74.(Return to reading).