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!
4 responses to “What Is Man?”
Wow, I really enjoyed this. I don’t know if it was what you wrote or your background, but I was reminded of Zechariah 12:7 “…Thus declares Jehovah, who stretches forth the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him.” God ranks us “specks” up there with the heavens and the earth. Even in Genesis chapter 1 after God created the lights He said it was good, and He said the same thing after He created the plants and the animals. But after God created man He said it was very good. God loves man. We really are, as you said, His most precious creation.
Considering that the assessment of “good” and “very good” came from the perfect, holy and good God, that really is saying something, don’t you think! 🙂
Wonderful post. Sigh, I wouldn’t trade God’s love and care for me for anything, even absolute freedom to do whatever I felt like!
I almost missed this post. You might want to put up a follow button for us!
Hmm. A follow button — that’s a good idea. I’ll have to learn how that’s done.