The self-sufficiency of God

universeBy the self-sufficiency of God we mean that God is unique, solitary and self-sufficient in all his excellency.

Exodus 5:11 says,

“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?  Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”

The answer is that there is no-one like God.  The first four words in the Bible, “In the beginning God”.  God was there in the beginning.  God was there in eternity past and will be there in eternity future.  Before there was anything, God was.  During a past eternity, God was alone, self-contained, self-sufficient and self-satisfied; God was in need of no one or no thing. God did not need heaven, or angels, or a universe, or an earth, or human beings, or you.  God was not lonely, or sad, or lacking anything.  God was under no constraint, or obligation, or necessity to create anything; God was and will always be self-sufficient.

However, God chose to create a universe and human creatures; and his choice was purely a divine sovereign act, caused by nothing outside himself, determined by nothing but God’s own good pleasure because he works “all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11).

Do you think that God somehow needs human creatures or that you make up something in God that is lacking?  Do you think that if you did not exist, God would somehow be worse off and that you add something to God?

Note Isaiah 40:15-18:

Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,

Take all the nations of the world in all there supposed greatness, ingenuity and grandeur.  Compared to God all the nations are like a single, small, drop in a bucket, in fact not even that:

All the nations are as nothing before him,

  they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

To whom then will you liken God,

  or what likeness compare with him?

How very different is the God of the Bible to the god most people imagine.  God does not need us.  God is self-sufficient in his majesty; unique in his excellency; peerless in his perfections.

He sustains all; but he himself is independent of all.

He gives to all; but is enriched by none.

You cannot find this God by your own reasoning and intelligence.  Unless this self-sufficient God reveals himself to you, you cannot and will not, ever, find him.


Do you know that it is guesstimated that there are 100 uncontacted tribes left in the world?  That is, tribes that have not yet been contacted by anyone else outside that tribe.  Now imagine a tribesman who has had no exposure to any technology, finds a watch on the ground.  Suppose he sits down on the ground and endeavours to form a picture of the watchmaker: the watchmaker’s personality, manners, moral character etc.  Could the tribesman figure out what the actual watchmaker is like? Never.   How much more is it impossible for the finite human mind to try and figure out, by itself, what the eternal, infinite, self-sufficient God is like? 

Thankfully, this God has sovereignly chosen, out of pure grace, to reveal himself to human creatures in the Bible and in Jesus (the focal point of the Bible).  We can know the self-sufficient God by humbling ourselves and trusting in the Lord Jesus. 

Will you ask this Great God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to reveal himself to you more and more by the Spirit of God as you devote yourself to the Word of God?


(Adapted from the chapter, “The Solitariness of God“, in the book “The Attributes of God” by AW Pink.) 



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