By Dr. Charles Lu
Many may ask, “What is the ‘real’ Divine purpose of Creation? The answer – surprisingly, is hidden in the book of Revelation.
Traditionally speaking, one will usually quote from a familiar Bible verse. “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion” (Gen. 1:26). Therefore, many view the purpose of creation as reflecting God’s image and glory on the earth. We can draw a similar conclusion, because God wants companionship. He is a God-of-love, so God is indeed Someone who desires fellowship. But is that all? These traditional views are certainly not wrong, but I suggest there is something more to the purpose of creation.
Genesis 2:24 is at the heart and purpose of God’s creation, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” The word “one” in Hebrew is ‘eḥāḏ, which means more than “oneness” but a “coming together” as one. We are starting to see God’s wisdom in unfolding the purpose of creation through the institution of a legal proceeding – marriage. Could coming together as one in marriage be a “shadow of the things to come?”
The prophet Isaiah has signaled his readers with a profound verse that directs us to the Book of Revelation. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10). Isaiah is giving us a key to this age-long question about the purpose of creation. What we first read in Genesis about marriage can be found in the book of Revelation. We can even rephrase Isaiah’s powerful words as “Declaring the end [marriage in the book of Revelation] from the beginning [marriage in the Book of Genesis].”
What did John see? When one turns to the book of Revelation, one will notice these verses. “And I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Rev. 21:2-3). Written by John the Revelator almost 2000 years ago, he alone saw the mystery of the ages being unfolded before his eyes; God has given him a glimpse of a forthcoming “new heaven and a new earth.” Upon the “creation” of this new Jerusalem, surprisingly, it carries the same central theme as the old heaven and the old earth – marriage; one can say, a marriage covenant is being instituted “again!” in the Millennium, and that – is the purpose of creation.
Do you know that an unbeliever is being portrayed as married to the world? The Hebrew word for a false Canaanite deity is baʿal, which means “husband.” Also, Jesus teaches, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Mat. 6:24). Do you know that this Chaldean word “mammon” means not only “wealth” but is also personified as “a god”? Finally, John exhorts us, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)
It is hard to imagine that many people surrounding us are “married” to the god of this world. Do we know what their final fate will be? It is even more urgent that we talk to them now and bring them into a “marriage relationship” with Jesus, thus fulfilling the “real” Divine purpose of creation.
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Charles Lu (D.Min., Ph.D.) is an OT professor of Biblical Hebrew (and Tanakh) at Grace Mission University, Fullerton CA. He lives in Southern California with his wife Cathy, and he is also a classical-trained musician, he composes, plays guitar, lute and theorbo.