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From the beginning of time, mankind has been searching for an answer to the age-old question, "Who are we?". We’ve been searching for a reason for our existence. A purpose. An explanation. The meaning of life. If we could just figure out why we’re here, then maybe we could complete our task and find fulfillment.

And so for thousands of years, man has created myths, theories (such as evolution), and false gods (idols) to explain our existence. We’ve searched everywhere from money and power to drugs and sex, trying either to find our purpose or to escape the pain of purposelessness.

But our purpose is not found in all of our searching, and we lose hope. Even in our spirituality, we do not find peace in our searching. It seems far too simple that we were created just to fellowship with and enjoy God. Our lives are far too complicated for that. There are too many needs in our world, too many missions, too many vain attempts to build our own kingdoms, or even to build God’s Kingdom, and we get so caught up in doing that we just can’t accept our real purpose. It’s too simple. There must be something more. Eve must have thought that when she ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. “It can’t be this simple. What’s God not telling us?”

The Scriptures leave so many unanswered questions about our creation. Why did God create us? Of course, many speculate that He was lonely, but then what of the angels? What of the eternity He spent without us? Why was He suddenly lonely? Why create us in the way He did, in natural form, in the scope of time and space, though He is Himself not bound by those things?

If we were to subdue and rule the whole earth, why were we put in a comparatively small garden? Did God know that we would be cast from the Garden? If we weren’t to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, why did God create it in the first place? Was He expecting us to eat from it anyway? Why would it be so wrong to eat from both the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge together that God cast us from the Garden? And if after gaining the knowledge of good and evil, man thought it was evil to be found naked, why did God create us naked in the first place?

Why did He create man with reproductive organs before He ever created woman? And if He was planning to make woman all along, why didn’t He make her at the same time as man? Why was man lonely in the first place, if He was with God? And why does the mere existence of woman now cause so many men so much loneliness?

If we’re made in God’s image, does that mean that He also desires purpose? Is that why He created us? And why did God create a being so obsessed with purpose and yet leave so many questions unanswered? Is it because He knew that our search for answers would continually lead us back to Him?

I could go on and on with the questions raised by such a simple story as is portrayed in the book of Genesis. And I may never know the answers to any of them. But the fact is, I’m still here, and I want to know why.

So where better to look for answers than in the beginning?

Indirect though it may be at answering our question, the account of creation in Genesis 1-2 gives us great insight into our quest for purpose. Looking particularly at the life of man before our fall, we can gather much about our purpose, our identity, and the meaning of life.

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