“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.” “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. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands.” Psalm 144:3; 8:3-6
David’s high view and deep knowledge of his God gave him a proper view of himself: insignificant in comparison to the greatness of God, yet exalted, highly esteemed, affectionately loved, graciously redeemed because of the Lord’s bountiful heart and measureless love. “Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And this was a small thing in your eyes, O God. You have also spoken of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have shown me future generations, O Lord God! And what more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant. For your servant’s sake, O Lord, and according to your own heart, you have done all this greatness, in making known all these great things. There is none like you, O Lord, and there is no God besides you. And who is like your people whom God went to redeem?'” 1 Chronicles 17:16-21
Today, we are taught, and our culture impresses us, to think of ourselves often and well, to do and procure whatever makes us happy, satisfied, comfortable, safe; to beware all that stings, offends, endangers, causes discomfort and hurts feelings. Even in a marriage, and in a job, ‘it’s all about me’: How can I be best fulfilled, get ahead, stay within my job description, earn the most, gain recognition? But in God’s heavenly economy, all is turned topsy turvy, and David gets this. His looking up enables him to look within with proper understanding.
In God’s providence, He ordained David to be the youngest of seven sons, a shepherd spending hours among dumb sheep under blazing sun or a galaxy of stars, alone…and He trained David in lofty thinking, early recognition that he was small and God was big. It was his high view of God that gave David his boldness, his strength, and his appeal as a leader. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:8,10)
Lord, keep me asking “Who is God?” that I rightly understand and accept “what is man.” Hone in me a divine perspective, and keep me bowing.