[Author’s Note: The latter half of this question, which concerns hell, is a sentiment that is often used by skeptics to cast doubt on the veracity of the Bible and the God depicted in its pages. We will deal with this question in two distinct sections. First, we will see what the Bible has to say about why God created humans in general. Then we will proceed to show that the concept of hell, and God’s foreknowledge about who will choose to go there, does not rationally or morally militate against the God of the Bible.]

If there is an all-knowing, all-powerful God (and there is, see Existence of God), then we would expect His motivations for action to be, in many cases, unknown to us. Since there would be so many things that He would know and we would not, it would be virtually impossible for us to understand His reasons for certain actions unless He condescended to explain them. As Isaiah the prophet wrote: “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9). In one sense we could liken God’s relationship to humans to the knowledge that a five-year-old child would have of some of the actions of her parents. Suppose a child sees a parent pull out a small, rectangular checkbook, write something on a check, pull the check out and put it in an envelope, place a stamp on it, and put it in the mail. The child might ask, “Mommy, why did you do that?” The mother might respond, “So that we can keep driving our car without the bank taking it from us.” How could the child possibly connect a piece of paper to driving a car? Without knowing the details of how a check represents money, how the car was purchased from a dealership, how the bank loaned the parents money, etc., then the child could not grasp the significance of the check.

In a similar way, there are things that God has done that we humans can never fully understand for the simple reason that God has not told us why He has done them. Or, perhaps He has told us, but His answer does not give all the details that our human curiosity might wish. Moses well understood this idea when he wrote: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which have been revealed belong to us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Some things God tells us; some things He does not.

 

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