1/7/2019 3:09:57 PM
What Is Man? | January 8-14
Pastor Chris Johnson
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal, they lay down for the night and went to sleep.
Some hours later Holmes woke up, nudged his faithful friend and said, "Watson, I want you to look up at the sky and tell me what you see." Watson said, "I see millions and millions of stars." Sherlock said, "And what does that tell you?"
After a minute or so of pondering, Watson said, "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three in the morning. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Metereologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day today. What does it tell you?"
Holmes was silent for about 30 seconds and said, "Watson, you idiot! Someone has stolen our tent!"
Theologically, Watson got it both right and wrong. God is powerful and we are small, but we are not insignificant. We see in Psalm 8 that David is marveling at the majesty of God in creation. In fact, the psalm begins and ends with this glorious declaration, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” After considering the amazing size of creation, David is amazed at the condescension of the Creator toward humanity. He asks rhetorically in verse 4, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” God is indeed big, but He is also benevolent and kind toward lowly humanity.
God has given man dignity and dominion: “Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5). God gave humanity dominion over the earth and put all other living creatures under him (Genesis 1:28). In fact, “heavenly beings,” translated from the word elohim, is probably better translated “God.” In other words, “Man was created as God’s own representative on earth, over Creation, but lower than God.”1 As a result of sin and the Fall, man has not rightly or fully ruled the earth, but when Jesus returns, man’s rule will be fully realized (I Corinthians 15:25-27).
What this means is that all people have worth, value, and honor because God has made all people in His image and for the purpose of His glory. We further understand our worth and value when we consider the cross of Christ. We are made by God and redeemed by Christ through faith in Him.
Later this month, we will be celebrating Sanctity of Life Sunday, immediately followed by Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 21 and 22). Psalm 8 ties the two days together perfectly. We believe the womb should be protected and that racial prejudice is wrong because God is mindful of man and we should be as well. Yes Watson, God is powerful and people are small, but not insignificant in God’s eyes.
“Oh Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all of the earth!” Psalm 8:1
1 John Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament (Victor Books, 1985), 797.