“What is Man, that You are Mindful of him?”
by Steven Chan
15 November 2009
In Job 7:17, Job asked the question: “What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?” Later on in Psa 8:4-5, the Psalmist raised the same question: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.” Again in Psa 144:3-4, the Psalmist expressed a similar sentiment: “O LORD, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.”(ESV). Finally in Heb 2:6-7, reference was made to what the Psalmist had written earlier: “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands”
The Bible tells us that God magnifies man, sets His heart upon man, is mindful of man, visitest man, crowned man with glory and honour, has regard for man, thinks of man even though man is like a breath and a passing shadow. God cares for man even though we are mortal and appear not to amount to much. Yet, God values us for who we are! We are after all, the only ones made in the image of God (Gen.1:27).
In this world, we are often only valued for what we can do to enrich others – and when others no longer require our services, some feel depressed as they experience a loss of their self-esteem and self-worth. We are thankful to God that He continually affirms His love for us who we are: In Luke 12:6-7, Jesus taught thus: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Our inherent value is the fact that God has made us special – in His own image with attributes that are reflective of His own personality. That’s why the Bible declares in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
According to 1 Peter 2:9-10, in Christ, we are even more special: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” Indeed, “behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”(1 John 3:1)
Let us therefore lift our voice in praise of Him who has bestowed great honor and value to each and every one of us. Let us treat each person as God treats us; let us not degrade our fellow men in how we treat them. Let us love as God Himself loves each one of us – for who we are – people made in God’s own image and for whom Christ was willing to die for – in order to redeem for Himself a people for His own possession(1 Pet 2:9, ASV). Let us continue to do the work of saving those who are yet lost in their sins so that they can also share in God’s blessings. As the apostle Paul declared in Rom 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
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