March 13, 2020

What Are Human Beings?

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
 
Psalm 8 

The universe that the writers of the psalms perceived was far smaller than the one we know about today. Yet even they recognized that, when compared to its vastness, human beings were just a speck in the eye of God. Too often, today's people believe all things must serve human life—especially those who call themselves pro-life, for they seem to care nothing for the lives of non-humans or the planet we live on, let alone the galaxies that exist beyond the reach of human power.

Psalm 8 should teach us humility, for truly we are minuscule creatures. But once we have acknowledged this, the same psalm can teach us dignity, for the Vastness that is God has chosen us to take responsibility, and to receive love and grace beyond description.  

I acknowledge to you, Lord, my smallness in the scheme of things. Who am I that I dare bother you with my prayers or expect you to take notice of me? And yet, you ask me to come to you, and you do listen. Thank you for your greatness and thank you for your kindness; in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Crossposted to Psalm Today

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