But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. 4 Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. 5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. 6 I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
After the question: "Does God exist?" to which God answers, “I Am” (Exodus 3:14), the next question that has shaped us most deeply at Bethlehem is: Why did God create the world?
The short answer that resounds through the whole Bible like rolling thunder is: God created the world for his glory. We’ll talk in a moment what that means, but let’s establish the fact first.
Notice the key verses in Isaiah 43:6b–7, "Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." Even if the most narrow meaning here is "I brought Israel into being for my glory" the use of the words "created," "formed," and "made" are pointing us back to the original act of creation. This is why Israel ultimately exists. Because this is why all things ultimately exist — for the glory of God.