God would have been perfectly happy without people. He is happy in himself. He lacked nothing. So, what is the reason that compelled God to create people? The Bible gives us some pointers that help us understand why.
The reasons not to create people
Before we look at the reason why God created people, it might be good to first look at the reasons God might have had for not creating people. God knows everything, including everything that ever will come to pass.
Now, looking at the world, we have made a real mess of it. Man has rebelled against God. Everyone has become a sinner. This world knows so much sadness and misery. And God had to send his only Son to earth to die a terrible death on a cross to reconcile man to him. His Son died. Just imagine that. God knew that would happen when He created man. And still He went ahead. So, whatever the reason for creating man, it is more important to God than the problem of sin and the death of his Son.
The reason to create people
When you read the creation story, you encounter the first clue for God’s reason to create people. In the first chapter of the Bible we read “God created man in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). Why do we have images of people? If there is a statue of a famous king or soldier or artist on a public square in a city, it is there to honor that person. In the same way, when God chooses to populate this earth with seven billion images of himself, we begin to suspect that it is to honor himself.
This thought is confirmed when we read in Isaiah 43:7: “everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.” If you read the whole passage, it is clear that this is about Israel, which will return to its country after having lived in exile. Yet the language of creation is used. This indicates that what is said here about Israel’s purpose is not just true about Israel. It is true for every created human being: they are created ‘for my glory’.
So, people exist to give glory to God. Partly, they do this just through existing. Every person is a living image of God, and in that way gives glory to God. Partly people give glory to God through worshiping him. And partly, probably mainly, people bring glory to God because God makes himself glorious in their salvation through Jesus.
Live out God’s reason for creating you
Maybe you are tempted to say: for whatever reason I exist, I will choose my own path. Maybe, even if you acknowledge that God is your creator, you claim the right to set your own purpose for life. The Bible warns you not to do that. When we are allowed a peek into heaven, we hear people say: “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11). BECAUSE God is the creator, He has the right to receive your glory and honor.
Why did God create people?
God created people, and God created you, to glorify his own name. Live your life to bring glory to God. That is what you were created for.
And you will find that it is exactly that which will bring you real and lasting happiness. Be a person that is so good, that your life displays God. Worship and thank God in all circumstances of your life, both personally and together with others in church. And above all: make sure you receive the gift of eternal life by trusting in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for you. Nothing shows his glory more than his tremendous love for sinners. Glorify God by believing in Jesus.