Why did God create mankind?

Out of need? Unlikely. Heaven was already populated with a multitude of angels and other creatures. The early chapters of Genesis give us the strongest clue. They tell us that God created mankind to have warm, intimate and open fellowship with himself.

Unlike other objects of God’s creation—fish, birds, mammals, reptiles—mankind was fashioned in God’s own image. We could reason and communicate with words. We could invent and make decisions. We could love others and respond to others’ love toward us.

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”

(Genesis 1:26)

The first people were given names, Adam and Eve. They were set in a vibrant, fruitful garden.

We might wish for more detail, but this glimpse reveals God’s intent—a bond of peace, companionship, delight. But trouble was lurking. God had also endowed his masterpiece with the freedom to choose. Adam and Eve chose unwisely, resulting in a tragic fracture in their relationship with God.

With consequences for each of us, the first couple’s rebellion launched mankind on a tumultuous journey, one that would play out over the ensuing thousands of years.

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze…so the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’”

(Genesis 3:8-9)