“WHAT IS MAN”?
Psalm 8:4 – “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
INTRODUCTION: We need to get a Biblical perspective of man. We need to get a Biblical perspective of ourselves in the grand design of things. We need to get a Biblical perspective of pride and humility.
We need to learn to see pride in our life for what it is and to repent of it as soon as we find it. Self-centeredness is in direct opposition of the Biblical perspectives of lowliness and others-mindedness.
Christians, as well as non-Christians, are deceived by the wicked one and his devices in this area of pride. We need to get a proper view of ourselves in relation to others and God.
This proper view involves what is quite contrary to our old sin nature. This proper view involves voluntary humility toward both God, and man, and doing so with the right motives and reasons. If done with the wrong motives, we are right back to wrong thinking again.
**“WHAT IS MAN THAT THOU ART MINDFUL OF HIM?” – A great question to keep in your mind; considering yourself in light of God and His greatness.**
WE NEED TO HAVE AN APPROPRIATE VIEW OF SELF – A proper view would be to recognize that we are so totally below God and unworthy before Him.
- We are desperately wicked, and totally incapable of anything worthwhile in God’s eyes or our own apart from Him. (John 15:5-6 – I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.)
- There is nothing you have accomplished or anything you possess that you can take credit for on your own. (I Corinthians 4:7 – For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?)
- We basically have no worth in ourselves apart from God; but God has given us, as believers, a standing we did not earn, and He has given us His love we do not deserve. (Ephesians 2:4-7 – But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.)
WE NEED TO HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF HUMBLENESS – WE NEED TO SERVE GOD WITH A LOWLY MINDSET. – We need to see how low we are in comparison to God. This is why we need to serve Him with this in mind. Don’t forget how much greater God is than you. Remember it is an honor and a privilege to serve the King of Heaven. We need to voluntarily place ourselves lower than others and serve with a lowly mindset. (Psalm 8:4 – What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?)
- In order to get this proper mindset and attitude, you will need to recognize and repent of any and all pride in your life and have a proper view of yourself in comparison to God and others. (I Peter 5:5-6 – Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time)
- We must say the same thing God says about our sin, about our sin of pride. We must confess it, and we must truly repent of it in order to get this true Biblical lowly mindset we need to be living our lives with. (Job 42:1-6 – Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.)
- You cannot not simply acknowledge your sin of pride and think that is enough. You must truly and sincerely see it for what it is and repent of it and forsake it.
- George Whitefield speaking about sin and pride in our life said “Before ye speak peace to your hearts, ye must be made to see, made to feel, made to weep over, made to bewail your actual transgressions against the law of God”
WE NEED TO STRIVE TO ATTAIN AND RETAIN THE ATTRIBUTE OF HUMILITY IN OUR LIFE – As much as pride could be considered an epidemic, humility could be considered an endangered species. True humility is rare because it is not natural to man. Pride is so abundant because it is natural to man. Only a Christian can learn true genuine humility and live it with any success. The more we learn humility and the more humble we become the better our life will be. You can say, just as pride is the root of every evil, humility if the root of every virtue. (Proverbs 29:23 – A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.)
- Thomas Brooks (an old Puritan preacher in the 1600’s) speaking on pride and humility said “Here is a wonder! God is on high; and yet the higher a man lifts up himself, the farther he is from God; and the lower a man humbles himself, the nearer he is to God.”
- There are several Old Testament terms translated humility or humble. They mostly refer to the action of bowing low or crouching down. This is what we should do in our hearts in reference to God and others.
- In the New Testament there are two words used; one meaning servile, base or groveling and the other meaning gentle, meek or yielding. You can get an idea from these meanings what the attitude of our heart needs to be. We need to make ourselves low in comparison to God and others, and we need to do it with a meek and to God a submissive spirit.
**“WHAT IS MAN THAT THOU ART MINDFUL OF HIM?” – Do you have a proper attitude of yourself compared to God? Do you have New Testament humbleness about yourself toward God and others?**
THE ACTION & DEFINITION OF HUMILITY – Humble people are focused on God and others and not themselves. They have no need to elevate themselves above others. A humble person’s goal is to elevate God and encourage others. They have a servant’s mindset a mindset of Christ. They have a pursuit for the recognition and the exaltation of God and not themselves. They desire to please God in all things and by all the things He has seen fit to bless them with.
ADMIRABLE EXAMPLES OF HUMILITY
Abram gave Lot the first choice of land when they needed to part company (Genesis 13:8-9 – And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.)
Moses – It was said of him “(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)” Numbers 12:3.
John the Baptist acknowledge his position of lowliness before Jesus in Luke 3:16 – “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”.
Mary the mother of Jesus submitted herself completely to God (Luke 1:38 – And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. & 46,48).
The great Apostle Paul was perhaps one of the greatest New Testament examples of humility. Paul told the Ephesians elders in Acts 20:18d-19a – “I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears,”
The Apostle Paul also referred to himself as chief of sinners in I Timothy 1:15 “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” and as the “least of all saints” in Ephesians 3:8. We all need to have the same perspective of ourselves as Paul had in Romans 11:33-36 – “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen”
**“WHAT IS MAN THAT THOU ART MINDFUL OF HIM?” – How about you? Are you an example of humility to others? Or perhaps are you an example of a prideful person to others?**
OUR ABSOLUTE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY – Of all the Biblical examples of humility the greatest example of humility by far is Jesus Christ our Savior. The very act of Christ coming to earth was an incredible act of humility.
- Try to think of all Christ had to forsake in Heaven – the glory, honor, power, pure worship and majesty to come down to be born a babe in a manger. Born to suffer, to be mocked, falsely accused, tortured, and suffer the humiliating death on the cross all for our sins. What an incredible act and example of humility we have in Christ. (Philippians 2:6-8 – Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.)
- Jesus said of himself “I am meek and lowly in heart” Matthew 11:29. But he also knew how to be firm and rebuke others as found in the account of when he drove people out of the temple in Matthew 23. Just because you are humble does not mean you are a pushover or that you are timid.
- Christ was in complete submission to His Fathers will. (John 8:28-29 – Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.) Oh that we could say the same thing Jesus said at the end of verse 29, that we always do the things that please God.
- In today’s world we are taught that the person who is first is the greatest but Jesus taught us that the least is the greatest. (Mark 10:43-44 – But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.) This means the humble person is first in God’s eyes and the proud person is last in God’s eyes.
- One of Christ’s greatest examples of humility was in the washing of the disciple’s feet. Picture what he did, He put on the servants towel, got the bowl of water and washed all the disciples feet one by one, He washed off the dirt and the sweat of the day. The great Creator God washing the dirty feet of the creation. What an incredible example of humility found in John 13:1-17. We find that Christ became a servant of men and taught his disciples to do the same. (John 13:14-17 – If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.)
- Christ truly is the greatest example of humility there ever was or will be. He humbled Himself to be born a babe in a manger. Almighty God was willing to stoop so low for us as to wash the feet of the disciples to set an example of servitude and humility; but this was not His greatest act of humility. His greatest act of humility was yet to come. His crucifixion and death on the cross was his greatest act of love and humility, all for the benefit of man. Just because He loved us not because of anything we did or could do, but just because He loved us.
- It has been said about Christianity – “Christianity is the only major religion to have as its central event the humiliation of its God.”
ANSWERING “WHAT IS MAN?” (Hebrews 2:6 – But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?) What is man any way? What are we in comparison to all of creation? – We are just a tiny spec on a tiny spec (earth) in a tiny galaxy in a tiny part of space. When you think on how seemingly insignificant man is in comparison to all of creation you can understand this question, “What is man”?
- God was mindful of man before He ever created Adam. God knew He was going to create Adam; God knew every single person who would ever be conceived long before He created man and was mindful of them and loved them already.
- God loves us very much. All the times He has been with us through trials and tough times, encouraging us, working circumstances out for us, calming our nerves when needed, giving us courage when needed, all the ways He demonstrates that love for us is hard to comprehend.
- Christ came down to earth and became a man because He loved us and was “mindful of “us. Christ when He lived on earth showed us what life was meant to be, how humility and subjection to God was the best way to live and best path to glory and honor.
- Andrew Murray said speaking of this passage “His Humanity is the revelation of what we can be; His divinity is the pledge that we can be it.” – a great thought to dwell on.
IN CONCLUSION: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” – It has been said that if you broke man down into the base elements he is made of he would only be worth a few dollars at best. So what is man that God loves us so much and thinks so much of us?
Jesus left heavens glory came down to earth and became a man; He did not become an angel. Man is God’s favored creation. Man is who God made with His hands, He did not speak us into existence, Man was made in God’s own image, and God breathed into the nostrils of man the breath of life. God took special care and love in the making of man. Man is God’s cherished creation.
Man is of himself nothing. But because of God we are something; He loved so much that He was willing to send His own Son down to earth to die for our sins as a gift of love for us. All we have to do is accept that free gift of sacrificial love in order to be saved from our sins and on our way to heaven.
**WHAT IS MAN THAT THOU ART MINDFUL OF HIM? (John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.) – Man is loved by God. Man is God’s special and cherished creation. Man is who Christ came and sacrificed himself to save. Man is the object of God’s infinite love. We need to therefore live in a state of humbleness knowing what we are in comparison to God and others and knowing what God did for us.**