As Though God Needed Anything

.God is, and always has been, doing perfectly fine. With or without us, He is completely self-sustaining. Whether or not we submit to Him and acknowledge Him, He is completely self-fulfilled.

 

This is how the Apostle Paul introduced the true and living God to the very religious Athenians in Acts 17. To make sure all their bases were covered, they had erected an altar to “The Unknown God” in the midst of a city that was “full of idols” (v.16).  This was their way of making sure that each one of the gods of the Greek Pantheon, and possibly one (or two million?!) that they’d missed along the way, were appeased. “No sense in ticking some deity or demi-god off and having him ruining all our crops; let’s acknowledge whoever might be out there in case we’ve never met him yet.” 

 

Well, always looking for an open door of divine appointment, Paul took the opportunity to tell them about the God who “is not served by human hands, as though he needed anything.” This is not ALL he says, but he does make a point to let them know, right off the bat, that this God isn’t going to bonk you on the head because you forgot give him a nod, or calm him down, or make him dinner.  “He doesn’t NEED anything you got, just so ya’ know.”

 

At our Bible conference, we discussed the aseity of God. God exists, in and of himself, and everything comes from him.  He is blessed and beautiful and perfectly fulfilled without us or without us giving him anything that we might have.  This is because we can’t give him anything that he hasn’t first given to us.  Later on, writing to an equally idolatrous city, he would tell the Roman Christians, “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” (Rom. 11:35). Answer? Nobody!  This is because, as the next verse says, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.“

 

We serve a God who isn’t served.  We serve, for sure.  But nothing we do makes him any better off than he already is. He CAN’T be better off than he already is.  Servants serve to make a profit for their master; the men of Athens knew and understood that.  There were more slaves in the Roman empire than free people.  They understood the economics of it all.  But with us, as servants of God, it’s different.  When we serve him, he doesn’t profit from our service. 

 

However, we do.  We most certainly profit from serving God. As we serve Him, God continues to give and to give and to give and to give. This is because He doesn’t need anything we have. This is because He has everything He needs in and of Himself. It was this way before creation. It’s that way now. And it will always be that way.  God will always be a gracious and giving God because we can’t ever give him anything to somebody “from whom are all things.”  

 

We get to serve God because He is gracious. We get to serve God because He gives us the profit from our service.  What an amazing God.  I’m so thankful that we serve with our hands a God who doesn’t need the service of our hands, or anything else.  I’m so thankful we serve a God who is always and only gracious to His people.  

 

Soli Deo Gloria!