1. God’s Joy in Human Beings

 

God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

Genesis 1.31

 

“After the creation, God was satisfied and defined what He had made as very good. He could feel joy through His creation. This can also be read in the Coran or the Torah.”

 

I was a secret treasure, and I created the creatures in order that I might be known.

Hadith (Islam)

 

“God had to create us in order express His existence. We are created in His image and through the resemblance of the creator and His creation, we can recognize Him.”

 

O Lord of all, hail unto Thee! The Soul of all, causing all acts, Enjoying all, all life art Thou! Lord of all pleasure and delight!

Maitri Upanishad 5.1 (Hinduism)

 

“If human beings are happy, this emotion can be felt by God as well. The cause and effect of having created human beings is joy.”

 

Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.

Science and Health, 57 (Christian Science)

 

“If we share happiness with one another, in a horizontal axis, this happiness is given back to God and enables him to feel joy. It is through sharing that happiness can be felt. Alone, this emotion cannot be felt. God desires to have a relationship with us, but also wishes from us to share with one another.”

“What about, for example, monks who isolate themselves in order to focus on their spiritual life? It is also essential to create a personal connection with God.”

“God desires that everyone can be included and share love and joy, through altruism. Some churches, for example, put people from other denominations aside, and look for their own happiness. Nevertheless, God desires that happiness can be shared.”

 

As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

Isaiah 62.5

 

“God rejoices for each and everyone of us. Each human being has a special and precious relationship with God, just like between the bride and the bridegroom. In the relationship between bride and bridegroom, both need to wait for one another, to the day they may unite. All their being wait for one another and the partner is the most cherished person.”

 

When all human beings have accomplished the purification of their minds and come to lead a life full of joy, I, Tsukihi (God), will become cheered up. And when I become cheered up, so will all human beings. When the minds of all the world become cheered up, God and human beings will become altogether cheered up in one accord.

Ofudesaki 7.109-111 (Tenrikyo)

 

“The individual perfection is required for God to be happy as well. His happiness will then come back to us, human beings, which enables us to feel joy once again. It is a reciprocal and infinite cycle.”

“Happiness within the couple requires that both partners are happy. If the partner feels joy, it will automatically cause the other happy as well. It is reciprocal, circular and infinite, and creates the harmony of the couple.”

“Life is the purification of the spirit. Because it is through living that we may learn and develop ourselves. We grow to become altruistic through diverse experiences.”

“In Christian churches, it is often taught that we must be like children because they are pure. Children are honest. Nevertheless, it is also essential to develop our heart for others. However, does this mean we must live like a child, or have a heart of a child (pure heart)? Through life, we evolve. It is nonetheless essential to keep ourselves pure and be able to differentiate good from evil, although it may be a difficult task to stay on the track.”

 

What is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him? Yet thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor.

Psalm 8.4-5

 

“What am I, what is my value, for God to take care of me? It is a glorification of God, because it is thanks to Him, that we are alive. We are made in His image and therefore, we develop ourselves to have a heart of goodness and of giving. God loves us, whatever our flaws may be. We must, therefore, have the same heart of compassion for others.”

 

The Messenger of Allah said: “God says: I have created human beings to win, not for Me be the winner.”

al-Ghazzali, Revival of Religious Science (Islam)

 

“We must understand the meaning of life. God has put us in the forefront, because He desires, first of all, that we may be happy (winners), and does not look first for His own happiness. In the end, happiness is reciprocal, and love is unconditional. Thanks to God, human beings were able to makes discoveries, through inspiration.”

“He has let us have absolute freedom, and we are the one to create the puzzle, not God alone.

God is humble. He puts himself behind, in retreat. And if we are like the creator, we also have the same humility. It is thanks to God. Cooperation is essential and more productive.”

 

Brahma’s creative activity is not undertaken by way of any need on His part, but simply by way of sport.

Vedanta Sutra 2.1.32-33 (Hinduism)

 

We created not the heaven and the earth and all that is between them in play. If We had wished to find a pastime, We could have found it in Our presence—if We ever did. Nay, but We hurl the true against the false, and it prevails over it, and lo! [the false] vanishes...

To Him belongs whosoever is in the heavens and the earth. And those who dwell in His presence are not too proud to worship Him, nor do they weary.

Qur’an 21.16-19

 

Having created the world and all that lives and moves therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him—a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation.

Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah 27

(Baha’i Faith)

 

“Animals have an instinct which guides them to survive. It is inborn. God can feel happiness through a partner. He created us for that reason. Furthermore, He has given us the capacity to recognize him. Therefore, we do not have any excuse. It is like a child recognizing his/her own parents. The fall of men caused a separation between God and human beings. The happiness felt with God is vertical and we can share it horizontally.”

 

 

Teachings of Sun Myung Moon

 

God came to us in order to feel joy through our daily life.

(Way of God’s Will 2.2)

 

“If human beings are happy, God is happy as well. His happiness is accomplished through our happiness.”

 

Though God is the Absolute Being, He cannot be happy alone. Adjectives such as “good” and “happy” cannot apply to any being that lives in isolation. They apply only where there is a robust mutual relationship. Imagine a professional singer who finds herself exiled to an uninhabited island. She may sing at the top of her voice, but with no one to listen, will it bring her happiness? In the same way, even the self-existent God absolutely needs a partner to share love with in order to experience joy and be happy.

(September 12, 2005)

 

“There is a need of reciprocity. Life does not have any meaning and value if we are alone. Even the absolute God becomes incapable to reach happiness alone. It is difficult to perceive a God almighty, needing someone else in order to feel joy.”

“At the beginning of creation, He was alone. He is energy but also a being of love and He is nothing without others. It is similar to the passage about the bride and bridegroom.”

 

God’s creation was a necessary act. The ideal of true love that God is creating cannot be realized by a solitary being. This ideal exists so that God can share with human beings the joy of His exalted and righteous Will. When we understand the God of true love correctly, it is self-evident that this unhappy world of sin and strife was not His original plan.

(400:81, December 27, 2002)

 

“The creation was necessary because love requires a partner. If we understand God truly, evil and conflicts were not His plan. Some affirm that evil is essential, in order to differentiate it from goodness. Nevertheless, would God really desire that evil reigns on the earth, which causes grief to human beings? In the ideal world, people would still be able to feel sadness, for example when they cannot achieve a goal or if somebody has gone but sadness is not equal to evil.”

“Why would God let the fall from happening? Why not intervene? It is because human beings have their free will, freedom and self-control. We would not be free anymore if he had intervened. In dictatorial countries, everything is controlled with fear, death sentences and threat. Human beings become puppets in such regimes.”

In a world where only happiness reigns, without misfortune, does not mean difficulties, challenges and sad emotions do not exist. We need obstacles in order to develop ourselves. Nevertheless, we would then be united in harmony and evil would not exist.”

 

Just as in a family, where the basis of the parents’ happiness is when they have children, it is likewise unmistakable that God’s purpose in searching for humanity is to attain His own happiness through His children. There is no basis for God’s happiness if human beings are excluded. Therefore, God strives to connect with human beings and bring them to Himself, establishing a realm where God and human beings are in unity. Just as we do, God experiences happiness when all the varieties of heart are present in the family.

(32:197, July 15, 1970)

 

“Parents can feel deep happiness when they have children. It is through us that God feels joy.

Harmony can be found within the family, and then is spread to the society. It is the solution for this world.”

 

If we were to ask God to tell us why He created this world, He would no doubt answer, “Because I liked it.” Because He liked it. Because it gave Him joy. God created this world to obtain joy. This state of liking, this joy, is obtained through love.

God wanted to rejoice; therefore He created this world for the realization of love. God wanted to rejoice over a world of warm and harmonious love, where human beings and all creatures would dwell as one in God’s love. God wanted to rejoice over men and women who would form true conjugal relationships in His love, and then build families, tribes, nations and a world of love; and God would taste the joy of love through the loving oneness of these human beings. This was the very ideal of God’s creation.

If human beings had accomplished everything for God exactly as He had envisioned and according to His Will, then God would have become the God of joy, God of glory, and God of happiness.

(113:312)

 

God did not create human beings as objects for His amusement or as a hobby. It is impossible to express in words how hard God worked and the efforts He devoted to create human beings and establish them as the center of all created beings.

In creating human beings, God devoted Himself, making many efforts. He gave them all His heart and soul and the essence of His life. He totally invested His love and affection. He created them to be in a relationship that no force can ever undo or sever. Because God created them in such a way, only when He beholds them [in their original unfallen state] can He finally feel at peace.

(20:207, June 9, 1968)

 

God created all things in heaven and earth because it pleased Him to behold them. Many Christians today say, “God is the Creator, and we are His creatures. There can be no parity or resemblance between the Creator and His creatures.” This would mean that God is always absolute and alone, in a position without an object partner. Nothing would be greater unhappiness. Consider a man of authority, even the president of a country; his wife has died and he lives alone. Would his son say to him, “Father, you must be so happy to be living alone”? Surely his father would reply, “You rascal. How can I be happy?” Rather the son should say, “Father, would you like me find you a new wife?” That would be a filial son.

(57:247, June 4, 1972)

 

God’s purpose in creating the universe was to feel joy when He saw the purpose of goodness fulfilled in the Heavenly Kingdom, which the whole creation, including human beings, could have established... The purpose of the universe’s existence centered on human beings is to return joy to God, the Creator.

(Exposition of the Divine Principle, Creation 3.1)

 

Written by Mélanie Komagata 

 

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