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September 11, 1996

Are You Standing in Awe?

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What is man that you are mindful of him? PSALM 8:4
Unlike some places in Scripture (Psalm 144:3, Job 7:17; 25:6), there isn’t a hint of pessimism or sarcasm when David asks, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” Instead, this question is a heartfelt expression of David’s thanks for all that God is and for the favor God has bestowed on man.
You can just see David staring up at a black-velvet sky filled with glowing stars and a picturesque moon, the sounds of the desert night singing in the background as he shouts into the air, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1, 9). David is standing in awe of his God, as well he should.
David knew that God gave him the gifts to be a shepherd, a soldier, a musician, and a king, just as we should know that God gave us the gifts to be a plumber or an accountant or a CEO or a painter or whatever. Without God, there is no man. Without God’s blessing, not one single piece of technology, ancient or modern, would exist.
Reading Psalm 8 should be a daily requirement, especially during those times when we are feeling really good about life. When life is good—when our families are happy, when our careers are doing well, when our cups overflow—we tend to do one of two things, and this song of worship is appropriate for either of them. Sometimes we allow arrogance and human pride to seep into our minds, and we need this psalm to remind us of our place in the universe. At other times, our hearts are truly grateful to the Lord, and we can read this psalm as an expression of that gratitude.
How often do you look around at God’s creation and genuinely marvel at the fact that He created the moon and the stars and all that is in the universe? How frequently do you consider the complexity of His grand design and His sense of order amid the chaos? And how often do you silently whisper the question “What is man that you are mindful of him?” into the gentle night breeze? Do it right now. Not later. Right now.

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