For thousands of years, many people from all over the world have searched for an answer to one of life’s biggest questions. What is the meaning or the purpose of my life? To arrive at the answer man1 must first ask: What is the purpose of God?
God has always existed. The LORD יהוה is the Self-Existent One, with no beginning and no end. He existed before there was any creation or even any eternity. Before anything was, there was God. Within Himself, God had, and continues to have, a purpose, a will, a desire and pleasure.
“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” (Revelation 4:11).
In the Hebrew language, in which the Old Testament was written, the word for purpose, pleasure, desire, delight, or will is רָצֹן râtsôn.
Râtsôn is from the Hebrew root word רָצָה râtsâh, which means to be pleased with, specifically to satisfy a debt; accept, accomplish, set affection, approve, consent with, delight, enjoy, favor, like, observe, pardon, pleasure, and reconcile self.
The only person to whom the LORD יהוה could have owed anything was Himself, for before anything was, He was. God owed it to Himself and He delighted, enjoyed and was pleased with His will to make His Name or Nature known. God satisfied a debt to Himself to make His Name known.
So the very purpose of God, the LORD יהוה, is to make His Name or Nature known. The LORD is the Self-Existent One who reveals Himself. The very nature of God is to reveal.
The purpose of all things, all creation, and all living creatures is God Himself. Creation, including mankind, does not exist on its own, or for its own purpose. God created all things for His Own purpose, pleasure and for His Name’s sake.
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17).
God has created man and all created things for the purpose of revealing Himself.
The purpose, the will, or the pleasure of God is to reveal His Name or Nature and He did so through His Creation. All things visible, including mankind, are to reveal a certain aspect of His Nature. He also revealed His loving, gracious and merciful Nature to mankind by sending His Son Jesus Christ to the cross of Calvary to redeem mankind from its sinful condition.
God revealed much of His Nature or Name to Moses on Mount Sinai. We see in this passage of Scripture that He is a God that is merciful, gracious, longsuffering, full of Goodness and Truth, a preserver of bountifulness. He is also a forgiver of iniquities, transgressions and sins and is a just judge.
“And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:5-7).
The purpose of God is to make His Name known, or to reveal His Nature. Therefore the purpose of man is simply to know God and to make Him known. We are not here on this earth to make ourselves known, but rather to make God and His Nature known to all of humankind. Life is not about our pleasure, but rather about pleasing the LORD.
“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8).
(1) Throughout the Articles of Faith, “man” and “mankind” are meant to refer to all humans including men, women, and children.