Why did God make man?

WhyDidGodMakeMan

In our post-feminist culture God’s purpose for creating man is often lost. When I talk about “man”, I am not talking about “mankind”, or “humans”, I am talking about male human beings. Far too often even people who agree with a Biblical hierarchical view of marriage, will take every “man” statement in Scripture to be talking about mankind (men and women). This in my opinion is not always a correct interpretation of Scripture. Sometimes when God says “man”, he means “mankind” (men and women), other times he is specifically talking to or about males. From this point forward in this article, unless I say “mankind”, when I talk about man, I am referring to male human beings.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, many times when we see the Hebrew word for “man” it literally is the word “adam”. So when you see Adam or man in the OT, it may be the same Hebrew word in the sentence. The context of the sentence determines whether we translate it as “Adam” (using it as a name) versus “man” meaning either mankind or male human beings. The Old Testament also uses another word for man – (iysh), and woman (ishshah).

With all that as an introduction, let’s look through some of the most popular passages in the Bible describing God’s purpose for making man:

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

– Genesis 1:26-27 (KJV)

After God had created all the animals and fish and insects and all the other life on earth, he wanted to make his prize creation. He wanted to make a being that would be in his image, like him. Now that did not mean making a being with all God’s powers and traits, but a being that would closely resemble his nature.

But what about “them” in Genesis 1:26-28?

Let’s look at this same passage from Genesis 1 and now we highlight a different portion of it:

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

– Genesis 1:26-28 (KJV)

Those commentators who reject the fact that God made man directly in his image while making woman in the image of man will use the word “them” in these three verses to say God was saying he made “them” – both man and woman – in his image.

I do not dispute that the “them” in question is referring to both Adam and Eve, male and female. But what is missed in this is that giving Adam and Eve – all human beings, both male and female – dominion over nature does not mean God made Adam and Eve equally in his image. It also does not remove the fact that man was set over woman to say they both have dominion over nature.

But let’s look at parents. The Bible is clear that both the father and mother have authority over their children.

20 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

– Proverbs 6:20 (KJV)

 

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

– Ephesians 6:1-3 (KJV)

So there is no question that parents are both given authority and dominion over their children, and they are both to be obeyed and honored by their children.

But while both have dominion over the children, the father is the one who retains ownership of them and the mother’s authority over the children operates under her husband’s authority over her.

Bringing this back around to the Genesis account – yes man and woman are both given dominion over creation, but we must remember Genesis 1 is a summary of the creation account, not the detail. Genesis 2 tells us the detail of how God gave man dominion over nature. God gave Adam the primary dominion and he exercised this authority by naming the animals according to their kinds:

19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the earth; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

– Genesis 2:19-20 (KJV)

Adam even exercised his authority over woman by naming her type as well:

23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

– Genesis 2:23 (KJV)

So on this issue of the dominion that was given to “them” we agree that it was given to both men and women. But we see based on Genesis 2 that Adam was given the primary dominion over nature and Eve’s dominion was given only under the authority of Adam in the same way that both parents (a father and mother) have dominion over their children, but the father retains primary authority.

But in NO WAY does the fact that all human beings (both men and women) having dominion over nature take away from the order that God established with man being the owner and head of woman. It also does not support the claim that both man and woman are equally made in God’s image.

Other Scriptures refute the idea that both man and woman are both made in God’s image (as opposed to just man being created in God’s image). In the New Testament, Paul makes it very clear that God was specifically talking about making man (males) in his image and even distinguishes between men and women:

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of man.

– I Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

Woman is made in the image of man, and yes she does retain some traits of the nature of God as well because she is made in the image of man, who was made in the image of God.

But the point is, man in his design and nature matches more closely to God than woman does in her design and nature. This fact is further backed by the fact that God is always referred to in the masculine in such terms as “Father” and “Husband” and Christ was incarnated in the form of a man.

Throughout the Bible, the woman is symbolic of mankind, and the man is symbolic of God. This is why in the Old Testament and the New Testament God’s relationship with man is pictured as that of a husband to his wife, or father to his children.

The New Testament confirms this symbolism:

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

– Ephesians 5:23 & 31 (KJV)

The eternal and spiritual reason why God made man was to make an image of himself for his glory and honor.

The spiritual reason for marriage is right here in Ephesians 5 – God wants man and woman to marry to symbolize the relationship between him and his people. The husband symbolizes him, and the wife symbolizes his people.

The temporal reasons and roles for which God has made man

 This brings us to some other reasons why God made man. As we said previously, the eternal and spiritual reason why God made man was to make a being in his image for his honor and glory. But there are some temporal reasons why God made man as well, that actually tie back into his more eternal reason for making man. In order to symbolize God’s leadership of his people, his provision for his people, and his protection of his people, God has given man these roles during this life.

When I talk about temporal reasons, I mean before God does away with this earth and makes a new heaven and new earth. For the short time that we are born and live on this earth, God has placed us in temporary bodies and given us temporary roles to fulfill during this life. In many ways it is like a test. If you are born in a man’s body, you have a man’s test to take. If you are born in a woman’s body, you have a woman’s test to take.

Leadership

 God designed men to lead in society, the church and the home. Some men may be able to exercise leadership in all three of these areas. Some men may or may not exercise leadership in society and the church. But all men are called to exercise leadership in the home.

3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

– I Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

– Ephesians 5:23-24 (KJV)

 One note on I Corinthians 11:3. Some have tried to argue that the phrase “the head of the woman is man” could also be translated as “the head of the wife is the husband“. This is because the Greek word for “woman”, Gune, can also be translated as “wife” and the Greek word for “man”, Aner, can also be translated as “husband” as they appear in Ephesians 5:22-33.

The problem is that the context of I Corinthians 11:3 is very different than the context of Ephesians 5. Ephesians 5:22-33 is specifically speaking about marriage and the relationship between a husband and wife. I Corinthians 11 is speaking of the reasons for a woman to wear a head covering during worship. Paul begins his discussion by showing that woman is under the authority of man, just as man is under the authority of Christ, and Christ is under the authority of God the Father. He goes into creation to show that woman was made for man, not man for woman, and that because she is under the authority of man, a woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.

There was absolutely no distinction made by Paul between married and unmarried women in regards to head coverings. All women were under the general authority of men, and needed to wear head coverings in worship acknowledging this fact (and they still should today, but don’t get me started on that).

Protection

 God designed men to protect in society and in the family. Men are uniquely built and qualified for law enforcement and military service. But even if a man does not serve in these types of roles, all men are called to protect their family. Men are called to sacrifice themselves for those who are under their protection.

14 …Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

– Nehemiah 4:14b (KJV)

 

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

– Ephesians 5:25 & 28-30 (KJV)

In modern times we look at the word “cherish” as a more romantic word. A lot of faulty Christian marriage advice has been poured into this old English word “cherish”. But the English word “cherish” is actually translating the Greek word Thalpo that has the idea of protection and care, the way a mother hen would sit on her eggs to warm them and protect them.

Provision

 God designed men to provide for their society, church and family. Men are designed to work and produce to help society (through payment of taxes or public service), provide offerings to their church, and most importantly to provide food, clothing and shelter for their family.

 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he had denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

– I Timothy 5:8 (NASB)

Again speaking of husbands and wives:

 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

 – Ephesians 5:29-30 (KJV)

The word for “nourisheth” has the idea of providing food for one’s wife (and by extension family).

The Old Testament speaks of this provision that a man is responsible to his wife for:

 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.

– Exodus 21:10 (NIV)

It is clear from the Scriptures that God gave man a solemn responsibility to provide for his wife and family.

God gave man some physical characteristics to help him fulfill these roles for which he was designed. Some of these characteristics include:

  1. Testosterone causes men to have a lot more muscle mass on average than women, where men have 50% or more upper body strength than women most of the time. The typical man is much more suited to physical labor, athletics and combat than the typical woman.
  2. Men have a higher red blood cell count than women, which gives men far better physical endurance than women.
  3. Men have thicker and tougher skin than women (about 25% thicker) and more hair on their skin. A man’s extra body hair (including facial hair), in addition to the thickness and toughness of his skin, makes him better suited to brave the elements than a woman. Also because of the thickness and toughness of his skin, he is better suited for combat than a woman.
  4. Most studies show that men and women have the same average intelligence. However, they also show that men have much more variation in intelligence than women. What this means is there are more below average-intelligence men than women, but at the same time there are more highly intelligent and genius-level men than highly intelligent and genius-level women.
  5. Men are generally much bigger risk takers than women, which is why men often do better in the business world, in science and in war than women do.
  6. Men are often better able to compartmentalize their emotions, which oftentimes makes them better in leadership positions, or in high-stress situations.
  7. Men tend to be more left-brain dominated, which makes them more task-oriented. Together with their other qualities of higher endurance, more muscle mass, and thicker skin this makes a man well suited to work, protect and lead as God has designed him to.

 

Conclusion

 God made man in his image and likeness to bring glory and honor to himself. To demonstrate some of his eternal qualities he has designed and delegated man to lead, provide, and protect in society, the church and most importantly the family.

 

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One thought on “Why did God make man?

  1. I take issue with your point that most studies show similar average intelligence between men and women. The studies I’m familiar with deliberately choose age groups to compare that fit a narrative they are trying to push. Essentially what they’ve done is test boys and girls, not men and women. At the ages they tested, girls had developed more than boys of the same age. These studies are from decades ago I think and have not been revisited with adults in mind…for some reason.
    Just some stuff to chew on if you still have an interest in those matters. I’m happy to revise my understanding if there is information showing otherwise. Either way, enjoyed the post and will continue making my way through your archives.

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