Summary: Before it’s too late, it is important to find an answer to David’s question, "What is man that God is so concerned about us?" What are we, & where are we going? (Powerpoints available - #145)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #145.)
ILL. Some years ago, Time Magazine featured a story about Peter Sellers, a well-known English actor. The article was about him appearing on the Muppet Show & being interviewed by Kermit The Frog. His interview began with Kermit telling Peter, "Now, just relax & be yourself."
Peter Sellers responded, "I can’t be myself because I don’t know who I am. The real me doesn’t exist."
Now I suppose that Peter Sellers was trying to be funny, because he was a comedian by trade. But on this particular occasion his words were anything but funny. In fact, they were rather sad.
One of his long time friends, commenting on those words, said, "Poor Peter! The real Peter disappeared a long time ago. What he is now is simply an amalgamation of all the stage & screen characters he has ever played, & now he is frantically trying to unsnarl that mess & find out who he really is."
I don’t know if Peter Sellers was ever able to unsnarl the mess or not, for just six months later he was dead. But whether or not he did, he wasn’t alone in his feelings. I’m convinced that many people go through life wondering who they are, & what they’re supposed to be doing, & where they’re going.
A. There are many beautiful & insightful Psalms, & today we’re going to turn our attention to the words of a Psalm written by David a long, long time ago.
It is the 8th Psalm, & as I read it, I can just picture young David sitting on a hillside outside of Bethlehem, gazing up at the moon & stars, his heart filled with the wonder of it all. Then taking out his harp, David begins to sing, & here are some of the words of his song:
"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children & infants you have ordained praise. . .
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon & the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
"You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings & crowned him with glory & honor.
"You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks & herds, & the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, & the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the sea.
"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (Psalm 8:1-9)
(Musical ensemble sings 2 verses of, "The Wonder of It All.")
B. As David looked up at the vastness of God’s universe, he felt his own smallness. So he asks God, "What is man that you are mindful of him?" – that You care about him?
ILL. Psychologists tell us that there are two major crisis periods in life. One comes during adolescence, & the other when we reach middle age.
During the early teens our bodies go through tremendous changes. We develop acne, & our feet seem awkward. Our voices begin to change. And as a part of the growing up process we begin thinking about who we really are, & what we’re going to do with our life. Now that’s adolescence!
Adults face some of the same problems during middle age, & we call it the "mid life crisis." You see, our adult bodies go through changes, too. Our skin no longer has acne, but it loses its elasticity & develops all kinds of wrinkles.
We men begin to lose our hair, & often start fighting the battle of the bulges. The print on the page gets smaller, & the lights seem to get dimmer.
ILL. But one middle age mother came to the conclusion that there was not a whole lot of difference between some of her physical problems & those of her teen age children. Take their eyesight, for instance. Both of her children seemed to have a real problem with their eyesight.
For example, her teen age son could look in a refrigerator full of food & say, "There’s nothing to eat." Her daughter could open a closet full of clothing & complain, "I don’t have anything to wear."
Psychologists tell us that birthdays with zeros behind them are often considered either a blessing or a curse. For instance, we look forward to the birthdays of 10, 20, & 30 as stepping stones on the road to maturity. And the 70th, 80th & 90th birthdays are seen as milestones to a triumphant old age.