God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. (Acts 17:24-25)
God Does Not Need Anything
The difference between God and man is so vast that no words describe it. There is an old expression that says how small the boat of man is in the breadth of God’s ocean. That does not define the chasm separating the Creator from the creation. How can the wisdom of the human mind understand that God has named every star in the heavens and knows the weight of dust settled on the earth? The greatest accomplishment of history pales from one thing God has done. God is who He is as the Creator of all the universe, and man is what he is dwelling on the tiny piece of dirt that he stands.
Paul was in Athens when he looked upon all the gods worshiped by men and declared the name of the one true God. Standing on the small outcrop of barren rock called Mars Hill, the apostle views the Parthenon before him, surrounded by temples, the Agora, statues of gods adorning every hill and valley, and the folly of human wisdom. The Athenians were scholars of the human pursuits of folly, flesh, and frolicking. Through their idols, they boasted of their knowledge and power. Such was foolishness to Paul, who declared the name of the only true and living God. It was a bold move on the apostle to stand amid idolatry and show the message of the Christ, the Son of God.
All the wealth of Athens paraded itself before Paul. Temples were ornate with the fineries of human pomp and circumstance, but Paul was not impressed. He told the Athenians that the one true God is not worshiped in the temples of men as if God needed those temples. Nothing man can create will satisfy the worship of the Lord God. In fact, God has no need for anything from a man because He is independent of men. All men need life, breath, and everything to sustain their existence. Life is in the blood, and without the blood, man will die. Oxygen is required for the human body. Food nourishes the body. Everything about the human equation demands the existence of a life force.
God is not sustained by anything required for man. He does not need oxygen, food, nourishment, or breath. It is God who gives life to man and animals. Without God, man cannot exist. God existed before man was created. There was no light on the earth before creation. The trees, vegetation, heavenly bodies, land, sea, man, and animals were created by a God that sustained Himself without all of these things. God does not need man to sustain Himself. The happiness of God is not dependent on man, but the joy of humanity is reliant on God. Paul reminded the people of Athens that their idols were created for men to care for, tend to, and depend on. The true and living God is self-sufficient without man.
Separating the human spirit’s pride from the reality that God needs nothing is the beginning of truth. Men have always thought of God as needing man. God created man for His glory, not the other way around. The only god human wisdom can create looks just like its creator. God made man in His image as an eternal creature. The grace of God allows the puny human creation to approach Him although there is no comparison between the two. Learning to humble the heart before the great I AM is to acknowledge how great God is and how much of a sinner man is. God needs nothing. Everything man has accomplished in his short history is not a nano-speck of dust compared to the grandeur of who God is. And yet this great God gave us His Son to die for us. Now that is huge – large – immense – expansive – hard to believe. Thank you GREAT God, who needs nothing but desires our worship.