Why do we create? Part 2

In my previous entry I shared a few thoughts about why I believe humans desire to create because God creates.

As He is creator of all things, creating is part of his nature, and having created us in His image, so it follows it is also part of our nature. More than that, He commissioned humanity to ‘create’ more humans and subdue the planet, following the pattern that He began.

However because of the appearance of sin in the world, humanity’s commission from God became harder to achieve, but even more than that, our purpose behind creating became skewed.

While originally all that we did was in line with God’s command to multiply and subdue, now we seek to create for ourselves and our purposes, not God’s.

We see this attitude summarised in Tower of Babel story of Genesis 11. In verse 4 we read: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

This thought process is contrary to God’s commission to fill the earth. If you’re staying in one place as one group, you’re not doing much going forth or filling. What’s more, using the creation of a huge building to achieve this shows how skewed mans purpose has become.

It’s like two fingers up to God. No longer serving him and his purposes we think we can be our own masters, enjoy the fruits of what we create with no thought to the original creator. The very creator who provides all the means and materials we use to make the things we use and enjoy.

This attitude plays out again and again throughout the whole Bible, and we recognise it in our own lives too. The work we do is often hard, unfulfilling, and boring. It feels fruitless. A means to an end. That end just about putting food on the table, and clothes on our back. Food which doesn’t satisfy (for long) and clothes that wear out.

That’s why doing this again and again, day after day, month after month, year after year feels pointless. It’s the effect of sin on our created nature. Sin has separated the purpose of creating from the meaning of it.

We still retain our purpose as humans to go forth, multiply and subdue (we see God recommission Noah in Genesis 9:1), but our desire doesn’t match this purpose, resulting in the deep dissatisfaction we feel as we do our creating.

Deep down we know we’re created to do something greater than live for ourselves, and as the Bible shows, we will only find true satisfaction in being in relationship with God, and living for him. Yet, we struggle on, creating for ourselves and hoping to find our satisfaction in what we make, even though what we create is warped by sin.

However, there’s something that the Bible makes clear. God is sovereign, and all that we do, even our sinful acts, he uses for his ultimate purpose.

While we may not actively be living for him, and indeed may be actively opposed to him, God has purposed all that we do, to bring about his glory. Even the most extreme cases of wickedness and evil, God uses to bring about good.

This is most clearly displayed in the Gospel, as God used the death and resurrection of his son to bring about the redemption of creation. Something which again affects the how and why we create, particularly for Christians.

The things that we make and do, are no longer affected by the fall in the same way and our purpose and meaning are once again in alignment, meaning we’re able to better fulfil God’s commission.

This is something that we’ll explore further in the final post of this series, so stay tuned for more!

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