What is Man…?

What is man, that you make so much of him,
and that you set your heart on him,
visit him every morning
and test him every moment?

Job 7:17-18 (ESV)

Have you ever wondered why God bothers with humanity? Why, of all other creatures and creation, does He give the highest concern and attention to mankind?

At least 2 different people in the Bible wondered the same thing. The first guy was named Job. God allowed Satan to test poor Job, who lost everything, wealth, property, children, with really no explanation on why he had to suffer so. As he sat mourning, 3 friends pay a visit to mourn with him. But Job had grief to express and soon bursts out proclaiming that life would have been better if he died at childbirth. His friends are understandably shocked by his sentiment and try to talk him down, but he won’t have it.

During one of Job’s speeches, he seems to address God and wonders aloud why the Creator of the universe set a target on him. Then come the words above, “What is man, that You make so much of him…visit him every morning and test him every moment?” Job despairs at the fact that God chooses to occupy His time with humans. Why won’t He leave us alone?

Another man in the Bible also considered this question. King David, though, came at it from a different angle (as you can read below). He looked up and wondered at the expanse of the night sky, dotted with flickering white lights and dominated by the large orb of the moon. He also asks, “What is man that You are mindful of him…?” But his question doesn’t lead to despair, it leads to a humbling realization.

He sees that God has given man great power and standing. Things are given to humans that are not given to any other in the created order. Angels aren’t given dominion over the earth, man is. The sun, moon, and stars aren’t given access to God, man is. It humbles David to see that God should give such concern to weak, frail, and volatile humanity and draws him to praise God for such arrangements.

Through both of these men’s musings, and in the rest of the Bible, we’re never given a straightforward, pat reason why God decided to make humanity chief of creation. But who really expects the Creator to fully explain Himself? Perhaps you’re with Job, wishing God would forget about us and leave us alone. I hope, though, that like David you come to see the beauty of our position in God’s eyes and the wonder of a relationship with Him through Jesus.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor…

O LORD, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8:3-5, 9 (ESV)


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