Summary: In light of God's greatness why would He concern Himself with mankind?
“Who Am I?”
David P. Nolte
The philosopher Immanuel Kant's lifelong research revolved around four questions: “Who am I?” “What am I?” “What can I do?” “What can I know?” The questions which he said were unanswerable were: "Who am I?" and "What am I?”
“Who am I? Moses asked it; David asked it, and we all ought to ask it from the “mininess of man” reference point of David when he considered the magnitude of God and the incredible wonder of creation.
Throughout the ages people have asked the question, “Who am I?” Many people do not know who they are or why they exist. They try all sorts of philosophies, treatments, religions and drugs to find themselves. It’s like when a young man with an Afro the size of a haystack and a beard like a caveman went to the barber. He was so buried in facial hair his eyes looked like two raisins in a bush. He told the barber he was getting a haircut and beard trim to “find himself.” The barber sheared him and, Voila! There he was.
Many believe the lies. “You are what you look like.” “You are what you own.” “You’re an animal with free-will.” “You are a zero, a nothing.” “You are a victim of circumstances.” “You are a loser.”
Paul posed the question in his song;
“When I think of how He came so far from glory
Came to dwell among the lowly such as I
To suffer shame and such disgrace
On Mount Calvary take my place
Then I ask myself this question
Who am I?”
David pondered the enormous work of God and the comparative insignificance of man and wrote these words: “ O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the Earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the Earth!” Psalm 8:1-9 (NASB).
The phrase, “What is man?” is generic for, “Who am I?”
I. WHO AM I THAT GOD WOULD TAKE THOUGHT OF ME?
A. Compared to the heavens, the moon and stars, what is this little scintilla of a speck called man?
1. With so much on His mind how could He even remember me?
2. The Message puts it like his: “I look up at Your macro-skies, dark and enormous, Your handmade sky-jewelry, Moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, ‘Why do You bother with us? Why take a second look our way?’” Psalm 8:3-4 (MSG).
3. Yet God gives us more than a passing acknowledgment – He concentrates on us – He dotes on us.
B. What are God’s thought of us? Jeremiah tells us: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV).
1. Thoughts of peace, but not as the world defines peace.
a. Peace of mind and heart.
b. Peace with God.
2. Thoughts of good not evil.
a. Not the kind of evil that is sinful or morally wrong.
b. Evil meaning harm or disaster or calamity.
3. Thoughts for a future.
a. Future meaning “a longed for, and desirable, end.”
b. Our assured hope is that, “The best is yet to be!”
C. You can understand God’s thoughts about us best by putting yourself in the place of God the Father and putting your children in the place of Israel.
1. What are your thoughts about your offspring?
2. What are your desires for them?
3. What kind of future do you envision?
D. The 103rd Psalm gives us insight into God’s thoughts about, and attitude toward, us: “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the Earth, So great is His loving-kindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.” Psalm 103:8-14 (NASB).