Man’s Purpose

This article starts the new series mentioned last time. The plan is reviewing ten principles underlying Biblical based societies—like America. That plan may vary a little; we may decide to take a side road in places. These principles are simple, but leads to several questions. First, why aren’t we following them? Do we either not know them, or did we make a choice to leave them?

As this was being written, the supreme court denied hearing any election fraud cases. They’ve shown its majority either no longer knows or cares about these principles. It’s now up to us. They can only take what we give them.

I’m going to start where we’ll end; each of us is responsible. That probably doesn’t mean much right now, but I want you to think about this again after we’ve finished. Take time to make a short list of the things you think we’re responsible for now, and compare that to your thoughts when we finish. Before we can look at these ten principles, we need to understand who we are—man’s purpose. But to understand man, and his purpose, we must have some understanding of his Maker, so that is where we’ll open.

The Names of God

The Hebrews believed names conveyed meaning about a person’s identity. The scriptures bear proof of that belief. There are many names for God in the Bible. I’ll mention the ones used most often. These include; Elohim (Father/Creator), Yahweh (Jehovah/God), El (God, usually used with other terms), Elyon (Highest), Shaddai (Almighty), Adonai (Lord), and Tzva’ot (Hosts). The Bible often uses these words together as in El Shaddai (Almighty God) or Elohim Tzva’ot (God of Hosts). Or they may describe some of God’s characteristics such as; Yahweh Elohim (My God), Yahweh Yir’eh (God provides), Yahweh Nissie (My Banner/Refuge) or Immanu El (God with us). Each word tells us something more about God.

Elohim

Genesis 1 uses only one word for God—appearing 32 times—Elohim.[1] This name has several unusual properties within Hebrew. Its ending is common with many plural nouns, and when not referring to God it takes a plural form. But yet when referencing God it appears grammatically in the singular. This captures the plurality of persons within one Being laid out in John 1. Genesis chapter 1 covers the creation of the heavens and earth, including mankind.

Yahweh

In Genesis 2, Elohim occurs three times as the chapter opens. The remainder refers to God as Yahweh Elohim; the point at which God creates man and woman to cultivate and care for His garden. (Gen. 2:15) Yahweh is the name used for God most often in the Bible, occurring over 6,800 times. It is a verb meaning ‘to be’; in the first person ‘I am’. He is self-existing, self-sufficient, or ‘He who lives’. The name excites emotions of love, joy, and praise.[2] It also indicates relationship, my God.

It is God’s personal name and connected to the place He choose to record His name—the Temple altar or sanctuary.[3] I believe God also chose us; God breathed life into man. He gave His image to man, our ability to reason—man’s connection to God. It’s a dim image, but nothing else in all creation is closer. Man was also created to tend God’s creation, to exercise stewardship over His domain. It is God’s.

God’s Nature

Using God’s act of creating, Clement of Alexandria said the following in the second century. It is a long passage, but I come back to it because it beautifully lays out the case for a good and loving God.

“For assuredly He does not hate anything, and yet wish that which He hates to exist. Nor does He wish anything not to exist, and yet become the cause of existence to that which he wishes not to exist. Nor does He wish anything not to exist which yet exists. If, then, the Word hates anything, He does not wish it to exist. But nothing exists, that cause of whose existence is not supplied by God. Nothing, then, is hated by God, nor yet by the Word. For both are one—that is, God…. If then He hates none of the things which He has made, it follows that He loves them. Much more than the rest, and with reason, will He love man, the noblest of all objects created by Him, and a God-loving being. Therefore God is loving; consequently the Word is loving.

‘But he who loves anything wishes to do it good. And that which does good must be every way better than that which does not good. But nothing is better than the Good. The Good, then, does good. And God is admitted to be good. God therefore does good. And the Good, in virtue of its being good, does nothing else than do good. Consequently God does all good. And He does no good to man without caring for him, and He does not care for him without taking care of him. For that which does good purposely, is better than what does no good purposely. But nothing is better than God. And to do good purposely, is nothing else than to take care of man. God therefore cares for man, and takes care of him…. But the good is not said to be good, on account of its being possessed of virtue … but on account of its being in itself and by itself good.”[4]

Our Purpose

God is both good and loving. God is love. (1 John 4:8). Therefore, anything that is not good or loving does not come from God. They must therefore come from creation. But God made creation and it was very good. (Gen. 1:31) Only something possessing a will can be made good and yet choose to become what is not good. Those things possessing wills include man and the angels (spiritual beings). What is not good nor loving must therefore come from man or fallen angels—that is, the Enemy.

This is why developing the ability to discern good from evil is so important. By this ability we distinguish between what is of God and what is not. Our purpose is to know God better, to become good. We cannot do that if we cannot discern. Man is not born with this ability; he must therefore be taught. Man requires education.

It is no wonder forces have removed the Bible, prayer, and even the teaching of virtue, logic, and critical thinking from schools. These are the actions of people aligned with the Enemy, and not with God. We can look at the world around us today to see the results. But it is not too late to change. We must bring principles based teaching back into the classroom so that our children both know their purpose and are equipped to fulfill it. Thereafter, we must each continue growing. There is no higher calling than that.

Footnotes:

[1] Green, Jay P., Sr., Editor, pp. 1-2, The Interlinear Bible; Hebrew-English-Greek, Hendrickson Publishers, 2007.

[2] Stern, David H., Editor, p. 74, The Complete Jewish Study Bible, Hendrickson Bibles, 2016.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Rev. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Fathers of the Second Century: Hermas, Tatian, Athenagora, Theophilus, and Clement of Alexandria (Entire), Vol. 2, p. 225, Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing Co., Paed, I, VIII.

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About the Author

Dan Wolf
Dan Wolf is a researcher and analyst; examining complex, abstract topics. His writing’s premise is based on one simple idea. We do not receive the benefits of God’s gifts unless we are turned toward Him. Each generation needs to learn this lesson to pass on what’s important. What are those gifts? Freedom, faith, and grace among others. Our Founders considered education, religion, morality, and virtue to be the cornerstones for any successful society. Success requires an education in both the languages of reason and faith, reason alone is not enough. Unfortunately, our education system today no longer teaches what we need to be successful, so we risk losing our way. But it is not too late. In the end we each have the freedom to choose, and the ability to learn. There are many who have already blazed a trail for us; we only need the will to embrace the challenge and make the effort. Together we will restore the societal foundation that our Founder’s, and many after them, fought and died for. The choice is ours. My goal is to assist you on your way. I can be reached at livingrightly@mindspring.com. His site is at:  http://www.livingrightly.net/