Section 1

WHAT IS GOD'S MASTER PLAN?

1. Objective

The aim of this section is to outline and explain the Master Plan of God as revealed in the Bible. In this section the Bible's answers for questions like, "Why was the earth formed?" and "What is the purpose of life?" will be provided.

2. Overview

Firstly we will establish what plan God has for the earth and the people living on it. We will then explain in more detail exactly what this Master Plan means and how it involves you.

3. Lesson

3.1 Does God Have a Master Plan?

This may seem like a foolish question - but many people in the world today feel that the earth and its people are heading nowhere. Some will tell us that planet earth is heading for total and utter destruction. But God has other plans. The Bible is a book about the earth - it starts with the story of the creation of the earth, it continues to describe the lives of men and women on the earth and concludes with a future vision of the earth. It therefore seems logical that God's Master Plan should focus on the earth. God does have a plan for the earth - He did not create the earth for it to be destroyed.

"For this is what the LORD says - He who created the heavens, He is God, He who fashioned and made the earth; He founded it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited."
( Isaiah 45v18 )

3.2 What is God's Master Plan?

On a number of occasions God expresses clearly His intention for the earth. The words of Numbers 14v21 concisely summarise God's intention.

"But as truly as I live all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD" ( Numbers 14v21 - AV )

Here God tells Moses that as truly as He is the living God, one day the whole earth will be filled with His glory.

The prophet Habakkuk in the Old Testament adds a little more to the description of the plan:

"For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."
(Habakkuk 2v14)

Just as there is no part of the sea where there is no water, in like manner, one day there will be no place on the earth where God's glory is not found. What an exciting plan!

3.3 What does the Master Plan mean?

What exactly is involved in this plan that God has for the earth? It seems simple enough, but what is the 'glory of the LORD' which is to fill the earth? To understand the answer to this question we turn to the Bible to find a definition of the glory of God.

Almost 3500 years ago, the prophet Moses, requested that God reveal his glory to him, (Exodus 33v18). Moses wanted to see the glory of the LORD. Moses may have expected to see flashing lights, lightning or even visions of God's beautiful creation, but he saw nothing like that. Instead Moses heard a voice, which said:

"The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness."
( Exodus 34v6 )

This was God's glory - His character, the very essence of what He is. God was telling Moses that His glory is revealed through His compassion, grace, patience, love and faithfulness.

Having understood what is meant by the glory of the LORD we can now better understand the meaning of God's Master Plan. God wants to fill the earth with His character. In other words, it is God's plan to fill the earth with characteristics such as love, faithfulness, and grace as the waters cover the sea.

3.4 What have Humans got to do with the Plan?

Everything! Humans form an essential part of God's Master Plan. Humans provide the vehicle through which God will fill the earth with His glory. Strictly speaking it is only humans who can truly reveal the glory of the LORD. The mountains, stars and other items of God's natural creation, beautiful as they are, cannot fully reveal God's character. A tree cannot show love, a mountain cannot show grace - they all lack the essential characteristic that gives humans the capacity to reveal God's character - free will.

We all have the freedom to determine our behaviour and to mould our characters. We have the ability to reveal the many wonderful characteristics of God. God wants us to use this gift to reveal His character in our lives. This is, in essence, the purpose of life ( John 17v22 ).

3.5 How is the Plan progressing?

At present, judging by the performance of men and women, the plan is not going too well. The fact is that none of us are able to fully reveal the character and glory of God and with no humans revealing God's glory, God's plan cannot be achieved. Paul the apostle confirms our dismal failures:

"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" ( Romans 3v23 )

Clearly, without some intervention from God, the Master plan is destined for failure.

4. Conclusion

We have learnt that:

  • God has a Master Plan for the Earth
  • God's Master Plan is to fill the earth with His glory
  • God's glory is revealed in His character
  • Humans are the vehicles through which God will fill the earth with His glory
  • The purpose of life is to develop the character of God
  • Man has constantly failed to achieve this purpose and placed the Master Plan in jeopardy

WHAT IS GOD'S MASTER PLAN?

God's Master Plan is to fill the earth with His glory through men and women.

5. Exercise

  • Does God have a plan for the Earth? - support your answer with a biblical reference.
  • In your own words describe exactly what God's Master Plan is.
  • Why did God create human beings with free will?
  • What is the purpose of life? 

6.  Additional References

The following references provide additional support for the issues raised above:

Psalm 72:19, Isaiah 11:9, Isaiah 60:1-3