Intelligent life forms that felt that nature's purposes were in some sense intentional looked for the reasons and purposes behind them to 'divine' those intents and in one way or another deal with them. And their learned instincts that felt that the forces were purposeful were correct, in that if life was purposeful at all (and it seemed to need us to select a purpose), so were the apparently selective natural circumstances that allowed life to exist.
But where the instincts were correct in the assumption that there were purposes to be found in the outer world or worlds, their conception as to the possible sources of those purposes was limited to what they had seen as more powerful and purposive on earth. And as we developed rulers and kings, we developed the conception of divine rulers and divine kings.
Where if we had (miraculously) developed scientific knowledge first, we could (and then should) have developed concepts that focused on the strategic natures of purposes as an element of all natural functions, and proceeded from there. (They tell me Buddha almost did it anyway.)