What is man, that thou art mindful of him? (Psalm 8:4)
Whether voiced or not, this question dominates the culture not only of our nation, but of the world in general. What is man? The humanist would say that we are no more than highly evolved apes. The pantheist regards man as a parasite that sucks the life out of nature and therefore must be eliminated or constrained for the good of the planet.
But in God’s eyes, man is His most precious creation. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27). Such high regard did God have for mankind that He gave them stewardship responsibility over all of his creation (Genesis 1:28). Human life is of such value that God demands capital punishment for any man or any animal that takes the life of a man (Genesis 9:5-6). God ultimately demonstrated His value of human life when He “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold … But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
As we contemplate the awesomeness of the Creator and His love, care, and concern for “the work of [His] fingers” (v. 3), is it any wonder that David marveled in amazement: “What is man that thou art mindful of him?” The Hebrew word translated “mindful” is zakar, which means “to mark” and by implication it indicates that God remembers us, “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
In comparison to the vastness of God’s creation, man is but a speck, and yet “the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30). “What is man that thou art mindful of him?” The thought should drive us to our knees!