The Self-Centeredness of God
Self-centeredness is one of those ongoing battles every parent faces when raising their kids. This is because the default mode of every child born after Adam is set towards selfishness. It begins with cries and outburst, demanding things like juice, attention, or their sibling’s toy. Then it develops into sophisticated arguments and elaborate reasoning for why the whole world should revolve around them.
Of course, we all know there is something terribly wrong with being self-centered, which is why parents teach against it and strive not to be it. But have you ever noticed how self-centered God is? That might seem a little strange to read and process, but as you begin reading the Scriptures, it doesn’t take long to discover God does all things for His own glory!
The Exodus event is no different. Just listen to what God says to Moses:
“The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.” (7:5)
Did you catch the reason behind God stretching out His hand against the Egyptians and rescuing Israel? It’s so that the Egyptians will know that He is the Lord! In other words, through the ten plagues, God is making Himself known through these mighty acts, and the mighty acts are meant to point to Him. This is not the only verse about God wanting to show Himself off to the world, He says it at least nine more times in the Exodus event alone; (Exodus 7:17, 8:10, 8:22, 9:14, 9:16, 9:29, 10:1-2, 11:7).
So this brings us to a logical question that must be asked; why is it ok for God to be self-centered, and not us? How can it be good for God to do all things for His own glory, and yet sinful for us to do all things for our own glory?
The answer is really pretty simple and straightforward. It is ok (and good) for God to be self-centered because God is the greatest being in the universe! He is indeed the center of the universe that all other things spin around and give glory to.
Let’s just imagine for a moment that God wanted to give you a good gift. No, let’s say God wanted to give you the very best gift He possible could. Can you picture what would that gift would be? Maybe it would be a new car, a house, a better job, a better spouse, etc., or what about the whole world? Would that be the best gift possible?
Of course, all these may be good gifts, but they are not, by a long shot, the best gift. The best gift that God could possible give you would be the gift of Himself, for He is far greater than all these other gifts combined.
And for this reason, it is good for God to be self-centered and work all things out for His own glory (the public display of His greatness). When God shows Himself off, men and women are drawn to see the greatest thing in the universe, and that is Him! So it is good for God to show Himself off to the world, because only seeing Him can satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts.
It is good for God to be self-centered because He truly is the center of all things, the Grand Creator for whom everything was designed to point back to. If God did not glorify Himself, He would have to glorify something else, and that something else would be miles lesser than Him. So for these reasons God does all things to glorify Himself, because He is the best and wants us to have the best.
And the best is always Him.