We have often talked about the design of animals. Various animals act on what we often call “instinct.” Programmed into sea turtles is a journey to safety. When baby sea turtles hatch on the beach, they instinctively and quickly head to the ocean to escape the predators on land. Their mothers didn’t teach them to do that. It is programmed into them. When a kangaroo is born, it will instinctively journey to safety by climbing into its mother’s pouch. She does nothing to assist the tiny creature. Programming a specific action is very efficient, so we program computers to do specific tasks.
In contrast to programmed actions, there is free will. When we tell our children what to do, they may do something entirely different. The child can understand our instructions but still refuse to follow them. The reason is that the child finds other things he wants to do are more appealing.
The bottom line is that commanding actions is less efficient than programming those actions. A baby sea turtle, kangaroo, or robot will act in the way it is programmed. If you are a parent, you have realized that your child will not always do what you command. The question, then, is why didn’t God program humans to do what He wanted? Why did He give us free will? Programming us to act as He desired would have been much more efficient.
God commands us rather than programming us to do His will because He wants to have a relationship with us. Robots can be very efficient because they have specific functions programmed into them and will do what their designer intended. That is not true of humans. However, you can never have a real relationship with a robot. God wants to have a relationship with us. He knew what would happen when He created the first humans, but He did it anyway. We have rebelled and made a mess of our lives and our world. Hatred, war, and mayhem have been the results.
Why, then, did God choose to create us? To Him, having a relationship with us was worth the price. Jesus Christ came to Earth to restore the broken relationship. He was the perfect man, but at the same time, He was God in the flesh. He showed us how to have a loving relationship with God and each other. Then, He bore the punishment for our disobedience to restore the broken relationships.
We are not robots. We are God’s creation, in His image, with free will. We can choose the journey to safety or ignore God and choose our own path. God has made the journey to safety and peace available to us. Why choose the path to destruction?
— Roland Earnst © 2023