What wonders fill the heart when we look up into those distances of light. And we may justly say of both: Lord, what is man, that Thou art mindful of him? Impenitent man, God is mindful of you. It is when we pass from the intellect to the moral faculties that we first begin to gain reassurance. We may fear lest imagination should carry us into inferences which the organs of experience cannot verify. It is a word which everybody knows. Beard, B. II. He is worthy of God's thought and visitation. IT IS, HOWEVER, IN HIS MORAL AND SPIRITUAL NATURE WHERE HIS IMPORTANCE IS MOST FULLY DISPLAYED. — The influence on religious faith and hope of what we call "nature" — of the sun and the moon, the stars, the mountains, and the seas — varies with different men, and varies with the varying temper and mood of the same man at different times. There is absolutely nothing besides.5. The sun does not bind its rays to and within itself. We were none the wiser after he left us. "Who am I, that I should think the Creator of these blazing orbs, the forth-putter of this tremendous power, the wisdom that has planned and keeps in order this marvellous mechanism — that He should count the hairs of my head, or think of me as His son?" Now, if an elevated gesture of man have a fitness to express a lofty thought, much more has the expanse of the firmament, or some mountain of the Lord, a fitness to suggest an idea of His exaltation. What wonders fill the heart when we look up into those distances of light. The real greatness of man as a sinner lies in his penitence, contrition, confession.3. Copyright © 2021, Bible Study Tools. And the son of man? In the individual heart; in families; in churches; in nations. What is man?I. And when I thus consider, my spirit is tranquillised; a great peace steals over my soul. As for those modern thinkers who deny the moral freedom of man, they are engaged in a hopeless struggle. When the history of this century is written no fact will stand out store conspicuously than this, that it has witnessed an extraordinary visitation of God in the revival of Christian faith, Christian worship, and Christian practice. Satisfying his spiritual needs. Man's imitative art is a resemblance of the Creator's power. Astronomy has taught us our insignificance in space. )The glory of manhoodL. )That Thou visitest him.Some crises of human life and their moral lessonsE. "Two objects," said Kant, "fill my soul with ever-increasing admiration and — Above us the starry heaven, within us the moral law." AND THIS REASONING APPLIES ALSO TO THE WORKS OF GRACE. There must be, in this moral universe, influences more powerful than others, and objects which attract in an especial manner the notice and contemplation of the rest. But a moment comes when mere materialistic investigations and discoveries do not satisfy. When you look at man in history there again the same sensation is borne in upon your mind. But Christ died for sin. Mind is above matter, intelligence above force.2. The great sentiment in his mind at the time was undoubtedly the infinite condescension of the great Creator and Proprietor of the heavens. Consideration is the best use of nature. Thou oughtest not to be proud, but neither shouldst thou be of an abject mind.3. The Psalmist has been contemplating the starry heavens. Yes, this also is beautiful, to weep and mourn, not for an earthly happiness, which we have lost, but for happiness spiritual; because we have not kept a commandment engraven on the heart. Ye may make a judgment of yourselves by the motions and affections that ye feel in yourselves at the mention of this. Look on to the eternal future. BUT WHY IS HE THUS MINDFUL OF US? If you consider that this world is a university. As we glance at the construction of the human frame we cannot fail to notice the amazing wisdom and power therein displayed. Only mathematical argument excludes, or can exclude, controversy. Is the soul's growth to stop? Nay, must we not rather confess that, as the world has grown older, the chasm between the greatness and the meanness of man has widened, and the paradox has increased from age to age?I. By which it is apparent that he speaks of man, not according to the state of his creation, but as fallen into a state of sin and misery, and mortality. WE SEE THE ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHYSICAL SOVEREIGNTY AND MORAL CONTROL. Therefore, on the whole, the creative theory is to be preferred. Be consoled. "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." But how easy it is to forget that we are made a little lower than the angels, a little less than God, to live unmindful of our high calling as the children of God, unmindful of the splendid destiny which lies within our reach. Wonderful is the scene which is opened to the eye when it looks from earth to heaven. We are told the whole world in which we live is a mere speck in the universe, and it is incredible that God can have a special care for it. It is hardly possible for us to escape from the remembrance of our littleness and our weakness. A. He did not come to destroy men's lives, but to give life. But this prejudice lies as much against the works of nature as against those of grace. They symbolise and demonstrate His Divine attributes by the vastness and richness of His visible universe. They made gods of brutes, and became brutes themselves. The child is ambitious to climb the heap of soil in the field; the youth must scale mountain peaks to view landscape and sea; the man must leave native lands to conquer forests of unexplored continents; the sailor yearns to reach the poles; and then, after navigating the globe and bringing up from its heart unnumbered treasures, the play of human ambitions is not finished. But science itself contains the reply to this argument. Christ alone gives the satisfying answer. 2. Astronomy has shown that this planet is not the centre of any system at all. True, when we consider God only in the light of the most benevolent of beings, and man in the character of the most wretched, we may discover some reason why God should thus regard and visit His creatures; for there is an attraction between benevolence and misery. He descries the mysterious movements of the Almighty, guiding the heavenly bodies on their way, prescribing to them where they shall shine, and when they shall disappear. Napoleon thought most of Austerlitz, Wellington of Waterloo, Morse of the telegraph, Lincoln of the Emancipation proclamation. Yet is that a trifling glory — to ascribe this to Himself, and to regard all our actions as emanating from God? Psalm 8:4, ESV: "what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" Wonder — that God should have chosen him. Not only has this wonderful world been given to us, not only has this wonderful world been mastered by us, but it has been given to us to find the way to the mastery of it ourselves. We can reduce astronomical results to figures, but to all this the mind responds by no adequate effort of conception. He is capable of virtue and of sin. This expression supposes more than mere care or providence. Ince, M. Our argument is briefly this: The material system, so far as it is open to our knowledge, surpasses all power of conception. Modern sophistry either regards man and the laws of man's conduct as but a part of the course of nature, or talks of necessary determinations and invariable antecedents of the human will. The first duty of man is enjoined upon him as the command of God: The first sin of man is disobedience against God. The word means, God keeps man constantly in view, ever watching over him, and never ceasing to do him good.2. As He chooses to disclose His attributes in the punishment of the wicked, when this punishment is needful for the common welfare, so He chooses to dispense with punishment when He can disclose the same attributes, and impress the same truths, and promote the same well-being in some equivalent way. He has given us the pleasures of sense, of imagination, of friendship, of memory; above all, the pleasure of holiness. His real degradation and misery. We are free to be fools and to be vicious, only we prefer to be rational and to be virtuous.(W. And these mercies are called visitations in two respects: Verse 4. He visits man —1. 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? 4. What is man, considered as a spiritual being, and capable of redemption? With what pomp and circumstance is he ushered into the world. What has Christ added to our thought about ourselves?1. I am conscious of my own identity and of my utter separateness from all besides. P. Liddon, D. D.)ImmortalityClement Bailhache.The Psalm reveals not the littleness, but the greatness of man. The proverb is, that actions speak louder than words. The Divine care of man exhibits His goodness; but even Divine goodness is not without a purpose, for it is a form of the Divine wisdom. Even that power by which man discerns the truth he employs to hurl truth from the throne, and to set up error in truth's stead; squandering upon it the enthusiasm which only the truth should inspire. But Christ died for sin. And the son of man? A sufferer is a being of importance in God's universe. It is the possession of this princely power to think that places him on the very throne of material beings, in his hand the sceptre of dominion and on his brow the crown of a possible and glorious destiny. Psalms 8:4. Prayer is but empty breath. Where is it treasured up? Why should He repress it? There is nothing like it in all the variations in the material world. FINE ANIMAL ORGANISM. or the son of …. Reference: Psalms 8:3, Psalms 8:4.—Bishop Temple, Rugby Sermons, 3rd series, p. 91. We, no doubt, are confined and baffled in the presence of a multitude of objects. I. Thomas Washbourne, D.D., 1654. In nature, first, God shows us His estimate of man. But there is another and more modest form of this same impiety, and which is derived from the contemplation of the vastness of the universe. Redemption has far-reaching purposes. Man created after grand plan: "Let us make man in our own image." To the Infinite they have no meaning. We are encompassed by laws which take no heed of the personal differences of men, of the varieties of their character, or of the vicissitudes of their condition. THE DISTINCTIVELY CHRISTIAN VIEW. Here the clouds will begin to disperse, and we shall see the wisdom as well as goodness of God towards men. We learn from our own hearts and from nature —1. All its powers are hidden from us until by our own energy we have discovered them, mastering us until by our own supremacy we have dominion over them; if you consider that all this has been given to us to make "character" — does it seem so strange that this world should be also the theatre of a more Divine redemption, the place whereon a greater service to character has been wrought than can be wrought by cloud, or tree, or mountain stream, or ocean? He does not mean to imply that man constitutionally is a contemptible being — a creature too insignificant for notice. And it is equally at variance with the account of the Creation, which teaches the simultaneous creation of both soul and body. P. Liddon, D. D.Religion is the maintenance of a real bond between God and the individual man. J. True, there is a sense in which science gives back to us with its left hand what it has taken away with its right. Ever and anon a wave of liquid fire will heave up mountains and overturn cities and hurl them into an abyss, and the cries of myriads will rend the air; and never will nature spare one relenting sigh or drop one sympathizing tear. And the angels sang, "Glory to God in the highest," etc. True, there is a sense in which science gives back to us with its left hand what it has taken away with its right. By visible manifestations of His presence.2. Further, it should be remembered that these men of science have elevated their abstract laws to the position of effectual causes of things, and so have Set aside the first great Cause, and, in their minds, supplanted the higher truth. He wrote the Psalm. What has Christ added to our thought about ourselves?1. He must have understood that man finds his true and proper life, his human heritage — even as God does — in the thoughts which visit his mind, in the choices which proceed from his will, in the feelings which glow within his heart, in moral activities and spiritual enjoyment.2. Will not this form an eternal separation between man and God? FINE ANIMAL ORGANISM. Take humanity out of the universe, and it is neither moral nor immoral, it is simply natural. I am not sure that we do not feel our littleness more when we think of the thousand millions of living beings on the earth now, and of the thousand times a thousand millions who have mouldered into its elemental dust. The moment you introduce the ideas of personality and consciousness, it becomes necessary to measure the relations between man and the universe on quite a new scale. Yes, these are the only relics which man has rescued from the Fall. He did not come to destroy men's lives, but to give life. But He has more than this constitutional tendency to develop His character. If we had ever any doubt of man's destiny, and the purpose of his creation, surely the incarnation of God has removed it.2. This fact of reflective consciousness would seem strange and significant enough, if it implied no more than the power of simply cutting ourselves off from the universe, and so recognising ourselves. But a moment comes when mere materialistic investigations and discoveries do not satisfy. How instantaneously, how inexpressibly, are we dwarfed by the result! It is a wonder that God should vouchsafe a gracious look upon such a creature as man; it is wonderful, considering the distance between God and man, as man is a creature and God the creator. The Psalmist thought of man's dominion over the beasts, birds, fishes of the sea. We are conscious that there is a wide distinction between the influence of a motive, and anything which might be fairly called restraint. Consideration is the only profitable use of history. But the naturalist will tell us that all attempts at classification with a view to separating man off by a broad line from the lower creation fail signally. )Night thoughtsThomas Fuller.How cometh he to mention the moon and the stars, and omit the sun? The scale of space and time. Man is God's image, and God would not have His image marred. The kingdom of grace. IT BECOMES NECESSARY, THEREFORE, TO MEASURE MAN'S PLACE AND IMPORTANCE IN GOD'S UNIVERSE BY ALTOGETHER OTHER STANDARDS.1. TO DAVID. From wise deliberation result laws, which are administered with wisdom and authority, establishing domestic and foreign safety, protecting life, property, and reputation, and promoting whatever tends to the well-being and improvement of those who are fellow citizens. Even that power by which man discerns the truth he employs to hurl truth from the throne, and to set up error in truth's stead; squandering upon it the enthusiasm which only the truth should inspire. Banks, D. D."What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? Scripture: Psalms 8:4. Zollikofer. In all the helpless years of infancy and childhood. It is a necessity of man's nature to divide the whole vast sum of things into two marvellously unequal parts — himself, and all that is not himself. The moral kingdom of God is extensive. But if the flying straw and gnat display His wonderful works, what will He not have done in and for man? Their controversy is not with philosophy or with religion, it is with the human race. and leant to this view, the latter finding in it explanation of the transmission of sin. To the lowly it is much to enjoy the notice of the strong and high.5. The exaltation of Jesus is not His own personal supremacy merely; it is the hope and encouragement of the whole race. What improvements has it undergone? "What is man?" Again we ask, What is man? And this conscience forces us to believe, that there is a moral purpose in this world, which must at last be vindicated as supreme. It is God's house; it is man's house; God-given for man's use and man's supremacy. What is our knowledge but that of a single spot? Further, it should be remembered that these men of science have elevated their abstract laws to the position of effectual causes of things, and so have Set aside the first great Cause, and, in their minds, supplanted the higher truth. In all the dangers and snares of youth. Where is it treasured up? Then people, in their pride, think that God has not visited man at all, nor do they desire that He should. )LinksPsalm 8:4 NIVPsalm 8:4 NLTPsalm 8:4 ESVPsalm 8:4 NASBPsalm 8:4 KJVPsalm 8:4 Bible AppsPsalm 8:4 ParallelPsalm 8:4 Biblia ParalelaPsalm 8:4 Chinese BiblePsalm 8:4 French BiblePsalm 8:4 German BiblePsalm 8:4 CommentariesBible Hub, (2)Show contrastively the power and weakness of man. And not only from you, ye heroes in virtue, but from those also who inflict upon themselves painful austerities, do we recognise the sublimity of our nature. A somewhat inferior check, by which God humbles our pride, springs from man's mistakes in judgment. Geology teaches us our insignificance in time.3. Let us therefore note -. Modern sophistry either regards man and the laws of man's conduct as but a part of the course of nature, or talks of necessary determinations and invariable antecedents of the human will. In what does his superiority consist? And if the supernatural interposed to create, might it not interpose to save? An insignificant atom in time and space. Our very knowledge of the universe at last causes us to recede into our inner self, and we become absorbed in the mystery of our own being. The song of the Psalmist falls on the ears of Christians now with a fuller cadence, swelled with the experience of nearly thirty centuries, and prolonged into the hopes of eternity. Animal organism of little value aside from this. And the angels sang, "Glory to God in the highest," etc. The world of morals is emphatically human, and as emphatically not material. )Wonders of grace in the height and in the depthJ. It is this fact in our history which it is so needful to remember, and yet so easy to forget, amid the din and strain of our daily life. The moral kingdom of God is extensive. A. Has the issue of it been, "that the invisible things of God are more clearly seen." Some say that human nature can regenerate, can perfect itself; that it has in it a principle inherently good, and needs no Gospel to lead it into the way of truth. But man is a personal spirit, separate from all others. We are children of eternity.3. Whatever lives the life of consciousness and reflection, though never so feebly, is separated by an immeasurable gulf from that which simply exists, unwitting of its own existence. They made gods of brutes, and became brutes themselves. Then be absorbed in devotion, in adoration, O man, when thou contemplatest this theatre of the marvels of thy God.2. Man has lifted his eyes to the stars. Apart from man, apart from the consciousness and reason that are his attributes, the glory of the visible universe has little meaning. We can reduce astronomical results to figures, but to all this the mind responds by no adequate effort of conception. The old theory of final causes and foreseen adaptations of organs to their purposes we are told must be abandoned, and a doctrine of types of form must be substituted for a wise and benevolent will underlying the material universe. )Man, what is heHomilist.? Though separated by the abyss of the ocean, nations bind themselves to the exchange of mutual obligations. There must be, in the moral government of God, the same certainty and universality of principles, and a harmony and connection of the various portions, all being controlled to effect the one purpose of the glory of God. Man can comprehend many of the mighty laws which are ever operating in the vast realms of matter and of mind. Not only has this wonderful world been given to us, not only has this wonderful world been mastered by us, but it has been given to us to find the way to the mastery of it ourselves. Men need such a view. Harrison.We regard the entire Psalm as descriptive of man's dignity and importance, which is at once seen in the exalted position he occupies in the realm of nature, and in the Divine system of revelation with which God in His love has blessed him.I. Under the venerable oak, or on the skirts of the deep sea, or in the pure air of the mountain top, he talks with the Great Spirit. IMMORTAL BEING. There is absolutely nothing besides.5. ON THE WONDERS OF DIVINE GRACE IN THE HEIGHTS ABOVE. Yet what glory is greater than to seek only the glory of God; to cast our hard-won palms at His feet, and confess that He has done it, and not we ourselves. If man is so important a creature as a sinner and a sufferer, how much more so as a Christian! But the thought of our high origin and our glorious destiny awakens and fosters in us the religion of hope. A SUMMARY SURVEY OF GOD'S REGARD TO MAN. It is answered, this was David's night meditation, when the sun, departing to the other world, left the lesser lights only visible in the heavens; and as the sky is best beheld by day in the glory thereof, so, too, it is best surveyed by night in the variety of the same. Look on to the eternal future. and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?" It is lawful for us to praise thee in ourselves. 3. They quote our text in a sense the opposite of that in which it is meant. Not — and this is the greatest glory of all — not for their own glory did they accomplish this. The material universe changes, but mind lives on in conscious identity. Man in history appears as moving under the impulse of vast forces which he cannot control. (Homiletic Review. Our main business, therefore, is to save our soul.(H. So much, then, for what nature teaches. Night was made for man to rest in. The moon and the stars cost nothing — the redemption of the soul cost God's Only Begotten Son.Inferences: 1. There is a radical distinction between man and the universe. Then the peculiar attribute of God is holiness. But has not the same reason sought to obliterate this distinction, leaving him in frightful confusion? To know what man is, we ought not to consider of what he is capable under circumstances peculiarly favourable, but to look at him as he generally is.2. (Isaac Taylor. But the thought of our high origin and our glorious destiny awakens and fosters in us the religion of hope. All these ages have been necessary in order to render it possible for a creature like man to come into existence.3. The stellar universe, and others:: sermon Notes for Psalms 8:4 Divine and eternal.... Brutes, and His perishable body `` will. God humbles our pride, springs man... Disclosing the original excellence which is profoundly conscious of this fact that moral. Manjames Brand, D. D. ) that Thou canst not feel to the... 4 so that it is wrong for parents to bring children into the nature of should. 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