The LORD has made all things for himself: yes, even the wicked for the day of evil.…
Scholars render this verse, "The Lord hath made everything for its purpose." The meaning of which is, that eventually the use and condition of every person and thing in the universe will be found to correspond with its character. But the form given in the authorised version sets forth a sublime and indubitable truth. How can we gain right views of the infinite majesty of God? God Himself aids us, inwardly, by His Spirit quickening our moral powers, and outwardly, by the means of light and instruction which He has put within our reach — the books of nature and of providence, and His inspired Word. Duly considered, our text may help us to find our proper place in the great system of things, and to see and realise our being's true end and aim. What was God's purpose in giving being to this universe? The answer of Scripture is that God made not only us but all things for Himself. Look at the necessity of the case. How else could it be? The whole universe must have one great object. All things now existing, save God, once did not exist. Everything was wrapped up in the bosom of God. His purpose embraced the creation of the universe. His purpose must have been derived from Himself, and have centred in Himself. When God spake the creative word, it was of and for Himself. There was no other conceivable source or object. When He made all things for Himself, and the promotion of His glory, He acted under a necessity of His nature as the infinitely perfect God. No doubt God willed the happiness of the creatures whom He made; but back of this, He purposed to promote His own glory.
1. Apprehending this is designed to teach us a lesson in self-knowledge. What we are as creatures we can never know as we ought, save by studying the Uncreated. It is in the contemplation of the nature, purposes, and works of God, that we can best see the insignificance of man. We should be humbled not merely as beings, but much more as moral beings. The greatness of God fearfully enhances the guilt of man.
2. The doctrine we are considering inculcates a lesson in active duty, as well as self-knowledge and humility. It urges a plea for God's service, before which every pretext for disobedience must be hushed. Did God make all things for Himself? There can be no higher reason for obeying Him, and to disobey Him is made thereby infinitely irrational, impious, and vain. The fact that God seeks His own glory in all things should not only determine the form of our duty, but also be its motive and its end. To give this prominence to God's glory clashes with no real interest of man, and does no violence to any original principle of His nature; on the contrary, in aiming at it, man is aiming at his greatest good. Why should not the infinite and perfect God be capable of engrossing and satisfying the whole mind and heart of His creature man? The frame of mind is not indeed natural to man, and it cannot be attained in the independent exercise of his natural powers. It is only by God's Spirit that he can be made thus spiritual. Only by looking to Jesus in a simple, earnest, exclusive, and habitual faith, can any one learn to make God and His glory the end of his being.
(W. Sparrow, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.