What is man that you take thought of him?

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him? – Psalm 8:3-4

Here the Psalmist is standing out beneath the night sky and meditating on the greatness of God, displayed in the glory of the heavens. What a God must He be to have created the heavens, and the galaxies and the constellations with his fingers! And yet, even more amazing is that this God should so concern Himself with man. Now, this passage can very easily be understood as meaning that God’s greatest concern is man. It is very easy to read this passage in a way that puts man in the center. But we see from verse 1 and 9 that David is not exalting man, but realizing our smallness, he is glorying in the awesome, central majesty of God.

But the amazing thing about it is that when the glory of God is displayed, man gets to be the beneficiaries and enjoyers of this glory! When the glory of God’s wisdom is displayed in how He has ordered the heavens so that we have a blazing sun that holds our planet in orbit and gives us warm summer days, and a moon that keeps the oceans from covering the face of the earth, and gives us a soft light by night, we are the recipients of this very glory. When the glory of God’s holiness and justice is displayed in how He has created in each of us a moral conscience and appointed rulers and governments so that we are able to live in peace and security, we are the beneficiaries of this glory. When the glory of God’s generous care is displayed in the faithful providence of food and shelter and comforts and relationships and countless other blessings, we are the beneficiaries of this glory. And most importantly, when God displays the glory of His love and grace, powerfully and passionately displayed in the life and death and resurrection and gift of His Son, for those who will believe, they are the eternal beneficiaries of this awesome glory.

A day is coming when the glory of God’s wrath will be displayed not for the enjoyment of man, but for those who reject His Son, it will be for their everlasting destruction. On that day, the wicked will indeed cry out, “What is man that you take thought of him?” but not with humility and love, but with weeping and gnashing of teeth. And this display will be terrible and glorious. Oh, may we seek the Lord while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near.

One thought on “What is man that you take thought of him?

  1. finnegan* October 13, 2005 / 3:44 pm

    Anny recently brought this to my attention about some songs we used to sing at church. Specifically the song “Above All” where the ending line goes, “Like a rose, trampled to the ground, you thought of me, above all.” Anny pointed out that while Christ did die for our sins on the cross, the “above all” intent was on God’s glory and not mankind. That’s a tough message to sell but I guess we’re in the business of truth and not sales.


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