In the beginning, God…. GE 1.1
For all eternity, before time itself, God was all alone. There was no heaven, no earth, no angels, no people – only God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He had no beginning.
This is mind-boggling. God had no beginning. He always was. We simply can’t grasp or understand that, because everything else in this universe, everything else we know and see and have anything to do with had a beginning. But God had no beginning. For eternity God was “self-contained, self-sufficient, self-satisfied; in need of nothing.” -AW Pink, The Attributes of God
“God was completely and infinitely joyful in and of himself. He had no needs. He wasn’t lonely. He wasn’t bored or unfulfilled. He didn’t need our worship. He didn’t create the universe out of any need. He just did it to manifest his glory. All God created added nothing to him in his essential glory” (Pink).
In his self-existence, God didn’t have to create anything. He did it for his own good pleasure.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will (EPH 1.11)
God doesn’t need anything from us. He doesn’t need our worship. He didn’t need all the glory he would get by redeeming us. He does all things according to his own purpose for his own glory.
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. RO 11.34-36
Even our obedience doesn’t profit God or add anything to him:
So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy (unprofitable KJV) servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” LK 17.10
God didn’t need to reveal his glory to his creatures. “Had God so pleased he might have continued alone for all eternity, without making known his glory unto creatures. Whether he should do so or not was determined solely by his own will. He was perfectly blessed in himself before the first creature was called into being.” (Pink)
God told Israel that he didn’t need their sacrifices:
I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
“If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats? PS 50:9-13
I love the irony of this passage – “If I were hungry I would not tell you.” God didn’t need Israel’s sacrifices – they were for Israel’s benefit – the shed blood of animals showed them their sins required a life to be given to atone for sin, and the sacrifices provided a temporary atonement so they could draw near to God.
“He is solitary in his majesty, unique in his excellency, peerless in his perfections. He sustains all, but is himself independent of all. He gives to all, but is in enriched by none” (Pink). All our worship and good works and obedience adds nothing to God, though he tells us it pleases him and glorifies him. But he doesn’t need it from us.
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. AC 17.24-25
In light of all this, we should be amazed that God created us and especially that he revealed himself to us, and most of all that he redeemed us. The self-existent, self-satisfied, eternal God emptied himself, infinitely humbled himself and became a lowly man, subject to hunger, thirst, physical and emotional pain. He endured mocking and rejection and crucifixion by the very ones he created and sustained. All to bring us to himself. All to reveal his love for us to us.
And then he filled us with his eternal life and his Spirit and made us joint heirs, and reserved a seat at his wedding feast where we will be enraptured by his glorious face from age to age to come.
Why in the world would this glorious God save us? He certainly didn’t need to. But I’m so glad he did. Let’s praise him, thank him and serve him as much as we possibly can while we have breath.