Why Are We Here?
The oldest question asked by man is “why am I here”. During the thousands of years of man’s existence on this planet, enough answers to that question have been proposed to fill a library. The entire field of philosophy is basically devoted to providing possible answers to man’s ultimate question of purpose in life. People have spent their entire lives searching all over the world in vain attempts to find their individual reason for being. It doesn’t have to be so difficult, for the answer to this question is simply laid out by God in His Word.
Like many other things that baffle and confuse mortal man; the question of purpose in life is neither hard to find in God’s Word nor is it difficult to understand. In fact, the entire answer is provided in one verse in the Bible. Isn’t it just like man to so complicate a subject that libraries are needed to provide space for all his theories? God sums the whole issue up in one short verse in His Word.
One night soon after Solomon became king; he went to the brazen altar before YAHWEH and offered a thousand burnt offerings. Later that night Elohim appeared to Solomon and said to him; “Ask what I should give you!” Books have been written and movies made about the fictitious genie that comes out of the bottle and grants the person three wishes. Almighty God is not a genie and He certainly doesn’t live in a bottle. What happened that night with Solomon was extraordinary and it was real.
Many years ago I took up a “dare” (or perhaps a double dog dare) from a friend and stood out on a street corner for many hours stopping people and asking them one question. The question was: “If you could have ONE thing given to you TODAY, what would it be”? Years have clouded the specifics, but I do remember that almost everyone who seriously answered the question wanted either MONEY for themselves or physical healing for themselves or a loved one. These are the answers one would expect to receive from mortals living in this world.
Solomon’s answer to this question and Elohim’s response to Solomon is a little different from my experience on the street corner. I will quote this section in 2 Chronicles 1:8-12 from the New Living Translation:
“Solomon replied to God, ‘You showed faithful love to David my father, and now you have made me king in his place.
O Lord God (YAHWEH Elohim), please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?’
God (Elohim) said to Solomon, ‘Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people—
I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future’!
Solomon’s greatest desire was to help his people, not personal fame and fortune. If wish the leaders of many “mega-ministries” would have Solomon’s desire. Then, perhaps, there would not be the constant parade of scandal such as the one currently being handled at Oral Roberts University.
Solomon asked for knowledge and wisdom to be able to help people. Elohim not only gave him his request, He blessed him with more fame and fortune than any king who ever lived. In his prime, Elohim allowed Solomon to write what we know as the book of Proverbs. No book ever written has more wisdom than Proverbs. As long as Solomon stayed faithful, Elohim continued to bless him with wisdom as well as fame and fortune.
Solomon had a bad habit of adding more and more wives and concubines to his harem. With each wife he brought in, he added another strange god to the hodgepodge of gods in the royal palace. In time, his wives and their gods turned his heart away from YAHWEH Elohim. When Sampson compromised “his faith”, he lost the source of his strength and he failed. When Solomon compromised “his faith”, and began worshipping and serving other gods, his kingdom fell apart as well as his ability to rule with Godly wisdom. He no longer was blessed by Elohim, and suffered the consequences of his vain sin.
At the end of Solomon’s life, after (we assume) he came to grips with his failure and repented of his horrible sins; he was allowed to write what we know as the book of Ecclesiastes or The Preacher. The book begins and ends on the same basic note. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. At the end of the book, Solomon lays out the conclusion of the whole matter of life and its meaning. Quoting from the New Century Version, Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 states:
“The Teacher was very wise and taught the people what he knew. He very carefully thought about, studied, and set in order many wise teachings. The Teacher looked for just the right words to write what is dependable and true.
Words from wise people are like sharp sticks used to guide animals. They are like nails that have been driven in firmly. Altogether they are wise teachings that come from one Shepherd. So be careful, my son, about other teachings. People are always writing books, and too much study will make you tired.
Now, everything has been heard, so I give my final advice; Honor God and obey his commands, because this is all people must do.
God will judge everything, even what is done in secret, the good and the evil.”
There you have it. In one verse the entire purpose of man is laid out. Honor (fear) Elohim and obey His commands (or guard His commands); because this is all people MUST do. The New Living Translation says; “for this is everyone’s duty”. I leave you with how the Amplified Bible handled Ecclesiastes 12:13:
“All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of His creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.”
The purpose in our being here is to love, honor and worship God and to keep, guard and obey His commands. Love God and obey His Word; this is the reason we were born into this life. As we live to love God and do what He says, we please Him and He blesses our lives with meaning and fulfillment.