The Selfishness of God

Posted: March 25, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Written by Justin M. Davito and Pastor Timothy Durey

God is selfish! Wait a second! Does that mean God is a sinner because you know God says we shouldn’t be selfish?

Of course not! James 1:13 says God does not sin. So, what then?
Let me ask you a question first. What is God’s chief end? Answer: To make much of Him. Or in other words, to magnify Himself above all things. If you agree with that, then God is selfish.

Let me explain here before you put up a red flag and hate my guts and this view on God.

The only thing worthy of selfishness is something totally satisfied in itself.
I think we can now give a full solution to the problem of selfishness. Since we are finite, it makes no sense to be selfish because we don’t have all the answers, and even if we did, we couldn’t solve all or any problem in an all-satisfying way. In other words, we cannot fully satisfy anyone’s needs. I’d like to think that my wife has found great joy in being my friend, but even she can tell you that I can be a pretty pathetic loser at times (she’d be more gracious in her words about me).

Humankind is finite. God is infinite. Question: What is going to be more satisfying, God or man? If you said “man” you are absolutely wrong. But, if you try again, you could say “God” and you’d be absolutely right. The reason why God is ultimately satisfying is because He is infinite in all His being. Nothing is higher than He is and nothing makes Him be what He is. He’s only dependent on Himself. How do I know this? He is satisfied completely in Himself. In other words, He is selfish. You might squirm at this, but think a little more about this. The only thing worthy of you fully adoring is something that can fully adore itself. If that things can fully adore itself then it must be worthy of your adoration. No human being, no animal, no amount of money, no fame and not even finding life on another planet is worthy of adoration because all of these things are dependent on something else (meaning: None of these things are fully satisfied in themselves alone. They need something else). But, God does not need anything else. He’s dependent only on Himself. He alone is glorious and beautiful and majestic. He is fully just, right, loving and gracious. He can do whatever He pleases. And, because He is God, He will never fail and He will always enjoy what He does.

God is the end of everything. Everything points to Him. If everything points to Him, then He must be worthy of our adoration. And, if He is worthy of our adoration then He alone will give you the ultimate joy in life.

Would God be loving if He was selfish? My answer must be a big fat “Yes”! This is why He is loving-because He is selfish. God is the only source that is all satisfying. He is the ultimate joy. So, by loving the finite, God is allowing us humans to enjoy Him. So, if God being selfish here? Yes in one sense and no in the other.

If God in His “selfishness” sends people to hell, isn’t that to the detriment of others?
While we do not understand God’s plan, we can be assured that while He doesn’t save everyone, He is still saddened when the wicked go to Hell (Ezek. 18:23, 33:11; 2 Pet. 3:9). Also, we have to remember that the reason we go to Hell is because we are sinners. The blame never goes to God. God does send people to Hell, but He does so to display His justice – which comes into play because of our sin.

If we have a problem with God being into Himself-which brings Him the most glory then we must rethink our theology.

1 Corinthians 1:31 says in the ESV, “ So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

For whose glory? God’s!?! Man, that sounds kinda selfish to me.

I believe this selfishness of God is a good thing. In fact, it’s the most loving thing a Creator can do and does. Will you join me and praise God for His selfishness to man kind?

In the Psalms alone, God’s glory is mentioned in over 50 verses. That must mean glory is something God desires and wills for all men to give to Him!

Isaiah writes “ I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other”

So, God will give no other to what? His glory is the number one desire that He wants. And if we glorify Him, we as humans will be blessed and be enjoying God forever! You will be satisfied.

Let’s look at a few other verses…

Ps. 13:1 says, “Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”

Who is the Psalmists questioning we hide our face from? God’s face! When shall we return to seek the face of Christ? If the psalmists is questioning when we shall return to God, then God must desire that we seek Him.

Rom 9:17 says, “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.””

God’s power is what God desires in us so that His name may be magnified in all the earth.

“Rom 1:22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”

God condemns us to attempt to glorify or magnify anything else or anyone else’s name. God cares about Him glory-He shall give no other!

Other references for deeper research:
(Ps. 22:23; Is. 42:12; 1 Chr. 16:29; Ps. 99:9; Rev 15:4; Ps. 115:1; Matt 15:31; Is. 25:3; Rev 14:7; Acts 11:18; 2 Cor 9:13; John 17:4; 1 Pet 4:11; Ps. 50:23; 1 Pet 4:16; Acts 19:17; 2 Thess 1:12; Ps. 86:9; Is. 60:21; Is:61:3; Matt 5:16; Rom. 3:23; Rom. 1:21;Rev 4:11; Ps. 57:5; Rom 11:36)

Does this enlighten you to a different aspect of God’s character?

How does it make you feel?

Will this doctrine help you live differently?

What was your initial response to this? Has it changed in any way?

Quotes by John Piper:

“God’s passion for his glory is essence of his love to us.”-Piper

“O how we need to help people see that Christ, not comfort, is their all-satisfying and everlasting treasure. So I conclude that magnifying the supremacy of God in all things…”-Piper

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Comments
  1. I took the one out. The other two are found at http://ow.ly/4nqYu.

    Thanks again. I probably won’t be on for a while but I appreciate you challenging me.

    In Prayers,

    -Justin

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