The Reading: Psalm 8:3-9
“… what is man that thou are mindful of him …” (v.4) RSV
“What is man?” is a question put to God in the face of our great insignificance. When the Psalmist looked around him at all that God has created, such vastness, such magnificence and beauty, he is amazed that God has time for little, muddling and sinful people.
Yet, he is reminded that despite human physical weakness and spiritual weakness, man is nevertheless the peak of creation. The two differing stories of creation put man first as the peak of creation (Genesis 1:26-31), and secondly as the purpose of creation (Genesis 2:7-17).
Over this week we shall learn more about our species, but today we need to get it firmly fixed in our minds that we are the high point of God’s activity on earth. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm. 139:14). Whilst on earth we are ”little less than God” (v.5)! We have been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Now if we are tempted to despise ourselves or others, we need to remind ourselves that in God’s sight we are precious.
Indeed, God thought us so precious that even “while we were sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Our value is not found in our intricate physiology, astounding though that is, nor is it found in our great intellect for we all know very little and as Paul says, “see through a glass darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Our value is that God has made us, made us in his own image, and he loves us. He loves us as individuals and he loves us as a community.
We are not just of the earth, earthy. We are not just an evolved animal. We are that, but we are also inspired by God. We are a living soul. God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).
Thank you Lord for the great mystery that makes me/us great in your eyes. May I love myself as you love me. Amen.
1 How valuable are we to God?