For the fifth time in my life first as a parent and now as a grandparent, I am busily answering the most popular question that children ask, “why?”. It seems like there is a point in the cognitive growth of a child where every statement made by anyone adult or child is followed by the inquisitive response “why?” Everything from the easy answers like explaining why we are having, what we are having for dinner, to more difficult questions regarding why is a friend having a baby or maybe why friends are moving away.
In the Bible, we as the children of G-D are many times like the children described above. We are very inquisitive often reading the Scriptures and then asking “why?”. Why does G-D do the things He does? Why did He create all that He created? Why did certain things happen? Why did He choose the people He chose to accomplish the things they did? The list of questions that we can come up with is never-ending. However, the answers to each of those questions usually come down to one of three answers.
We find those three answers all over the Scriptures but for the sake of this article we will look at one example with both answers are provided within one series of text. In Exodus 6, we find G-D speaking to Moses and G-D has just told Moses that He was going to cause Pharaoh to let Israel go and in doing so Pharaoh would drive Israel out of the land of Egypt.
In Exodus 6:2-3 which is found directly after the above takes place we find answer #1:
God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am Adonai. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, as El Shaddai. Yet by My Name, Adonai, I made Myself known to them.
Notice that G-D doesn’t just tell Moses what He is going to do. G-D goes further to explain what He is doing it. The first answer is for why G-D does things is that He desires us to know who He is. In order to understand why G-D does anything the first step is to know He exists. The book of Hebrews says it this way:
Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For the one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. – Hebrews 11:6
In Exodus 6:4-5 we find answer #2:
I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage where they journeyed. Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of Bnei-Yisrael, whom the Egyptians are keeping in bondage. So I have remembered My covenant.
Answer number 2 is that G-D is a covenant-keeping G-D in other words once He establishes a covenant or promise He always keeps that covenant. The book of Galatians chapter 3 verses 15-17 says it this way:
Brothers and sisters, I speak in human terms: even with a man’s covenant, once it has been confirmed, no one cancels it or adds to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. It doesn’t say, “and to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “and to your seed,” who is the Messiah. What I am saying is this: Torah, which came 430 years later, does not cancel the covenant previously confirmed by God, so as to make the promise ineffective.
The third answer for why G-D does what He does is found in Exodus 6:7:
I will take you to Myself as a people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am Adonai your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
Here we learn that G-D doesn’t just want to be our G-D he also wants us to be His people. He has chosen us to be His people, and He wants us to know we are His choice. 1st Peter 2:9-10 says it like this:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were “not a people,” but now you are “God’s people.” You were shown “no mercy,” but now you have been shown “mercy.”
The bottom line is that everything that G-D has done since He first spoke the world into existence can be explained by one of the three answers we find provided in Exodus chapter 6 and reiterated many other places throughout the Bible.
He did things and still does them so that we will know Him, so He can keep His covenants with us and so that through knowing Him and His covenants we will become His people.