What is man?

Aug 05, 2017
Joseph Caryl

We read in Psalm 8:1-4, “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”

The Scripture gives many answers to this question, “What is man?” Ask the prophet Isaiah: “What is man?”, and he answers, “all flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field”. Ask David “What is man?” He answers: “Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie”. Man is a lie; not only a liar, or a deceiver, but “a lie” and a deceit. All the answers that the Holy Ghost gives concerning men are to humble man: man is ready to flatter himself, and one man to flatter another, but God tells us plainly what we are.

What is man that God should take notice of him. Is he not a clod of earth, a piece of clay? But consider him as a sinner … and we may wonder to amazement. One step further; what is REBELLIOUS man, man an enemy of God, that God should magnify him? What admiration can answer this question?

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