Why did God Do That?

What is God’s motivation for his actions? If God is perfect, then so too must be his motivation. When God chooses to do a thing, the thing he does is right, because the thing is a thing that the holy god does. And the motivation behind the thing is the best possible motivation, because the motivation comes from the holiness of God.

Consider, then, the glorious rescue of the Israelites from Egypt. Why did God do that?

Psalm 106:7-8

7 Our fathers, when they were in Egypt,

did not consider your wondrous works;

they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,

but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.

8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,

that he might make known his mighty power.

Why did God save Israel, even though the people did not remember his glory or honor him beforehand? The answer is that God did this for God’s name’s sake. God did this so that his mighty power might be made known far and wide. Spreading the truth of the glory of God, honoring the name of God, these are the reasons behind the Exodus.

If this is true, then we must grasp not only that God did some stunningly amazing things for his own glory, he also did some incredibly rough things for his own glory. The parting of the sea was for God’s glory. The drowning of the Egyptian army was for God’s glory. The saving of lives in mercy was to the glory of God. The crushing of the rebellious was to God’s glory.

And, if God is holy, then his motivation, to promote his own glory and reputation, is the best possible motivation he could have had for doing what he did. God could not have rescued Israel for a better reason than for his own glory. God could not have judged the Egyptians for a better reason than for his own glory.

Thus, we see once again that God does what God does for God’s glory. And the motivation that is best is to glorify God. So, for you and for me, our highest motivation and purpose in life is to glorify the God who made us.

If you are like me, a person without anything like a clean record of pure living in your past, you will understand that God is so very good and so very gracious. Had God chosen to leave me in my rebellion, he would have been just and glorious to do so. That God would have drawn me to himself and saved me, that too is to his glory and honor. I am grateful to God for that grace. And I owe to God the honor of accepting that all that he does is right, and all that he does is rightly motivated. God’s glory according to what God desires and commands, is the highest of all goods in the universe. May we learn to better shape our lives to give him that glory. And may we accept his revelation of himself in his word as the only thing we need to see that his ways, even the ones we struggle to understand, are always perfect.