Does God play games?
Do you think God plays games? Would He?
This post is different from my usual posts. I don’t have any particular point to make. It’s only a rhetorical question, something that popped into my head the other day.
I suppose it’s one of those questions we can’t know the answer to. I’m content to let the secret things and the knowledge thereof belong to God (Deuteronomy 29:29).
But when I think about it, the answer I reach is “Why wouldn’t He play games?”
God created mankind in His own image. Do you know something interesting about human history? If you look into it, you’ll see that every culture around the world had games of some kind. Every culture had games, every culture had toys, and every culture had music. They appeared in different forms, but every culture had them.
Games, toys, and music aren’t practical. But if every culture had them, then every culture valued them. Why? It must speak to something about mankind.
Enjoyment, entertainment, and pleasure are necessary for us on some level as human beings. Every culture made games (etc.) to provide these things because mankind needs them. God doesn’t need anything, but if God made mankind in His own image then doesn’t He enjoy these too?
Why wouldn’t He?
This reasoning brings me to “Why wouldn’t He play games?” like I said above. We know games, toys, and music are not outlawed anywhere in the Bible, implying He has nothing against them.
Is He too busy to play games, not enough time? No, He’s God. He can do an infinite number of things at every moment. “Busy” is not an adjective that applies to Him, and time is no obstacle.
Are games beneath Him? Maybe. I can’t answer that. But in that case, wouldn’t He instruct His people to be like Him, put down all their games and “grow up?” Since mankind has some need for games and entertainment, and God never says anything about it in the Bible, I’m inclined to say no. Games are not beneath Him.
Of course I don’t know the mind of God. But I can’t think of a good reason why He wouldn’t play games sometimes.
What games does He like?
So my next question is what kind of games would God play?
Strategy games come to mind. That’s because strategy games test your organizational skills and ability to see a bigger picture. Your ability to skillfully move the game pieces around to achieve the goal of the game.
These are abilities that we know God has in infinite supply. So would He enjoy strategy games? Or would he desire taking a break from strategy? After all, that’s probably what much of His work of maintaining creation every day entails. In that case, what other kinds of games might God enjoy?
Does He have a favorite game? What do you think it is?
Will God play games with us?
Then my final question is, will God play games with us? How? What sorts of games can we play with Him?
The life of a believer can be hard at times. Trying to live out the Gospels costs us something, there’s no other way. The easier route is to live how we like with no restrictions. Doing whatever pleases us at the time and thinking of our own needs first. The Gospels challenge us to live differently, promising us something unimaginably better in exchange for rejecting the easy route and denying our desires.
But that doesn’t have to mean that the life of a Christian can never be fun. It doesn’t have to mean we can’t play games. We should moderate our enjoyment of them (all things in moderation), and we must recognize when it’s not the time for games. But a life of trying to live out the Gospels doesn’t prohibit us from playing games. Not in my opinion anyway.
So if we asked Him, would God play games with us in our life? What games could we come up with to suggest to Him? Or what might He show us?
I doubt He would deign to play earthly games like chess with me, moving the pieces around invisibly. And so I would have to get creative and think of other games that I could play with Him. If any reader can think of something, I’d be happy to hear it in the comments.
It goes without saying that our abilities cannot ever hope to compare with what He is capable of. Any games I could play with God would be no contest whatsoever. The winner would never be in question. But I wonder if maybe, like a kind father, He would let me “win” from time to time.
Why wouldn't He?