I love Psalm 8:3–4 as it reads in the New Living Translation of the Bible. Perhaps David remembers himself a shepherd boy tending his father’s flocks as he writes. I can’t honestly say, but that’s the way I like to think of it. In my mind, It’s a crystal-clear spring night on a hillside meadow somewhere outside the walls of Bethlehem. Laying on a plush cushion of fresh grass, his eyes transfixed on the vast heavens above. David is spellbound by the canopy of twinkling lights blanketing the sky; such majesty is just too much to comprehend. Every once in a while, the sound of a babbling brook and grazing sheep penetrate the quietness of the moment, but he is not distracted, his thoughts are deep:
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?
— Psalm 8:3–4 (NLT)
David’s question is reasonable and fair. Why would the God of Heaven, the creator of the universe, give a hoot about man? Why did he care then, and why does he care now? Knowing fully well the thankless, ungrateful, rebellious creature he would become, why create man in the first place?
Now, here I sit some 3,000 years later, staring out the dining room window at a spectacular sunrise topping the trees. Lost in thought, a songbird’s song wakes me to the sight of a hummingbird suspended in midair feeding. His wings beating at some 70–80 times per second, enabling him to remain stationary without falling to the ground, is one of God’s greatest feats in nature. I cannot help but then think of the whole of creation, its majesty and greatness. As did David, in awe of my thoughts, I too ask, “What is man that you would care for him?” Who am I that you would show concern for me? What can I possibly offer the great I Am that would prompt even a modest glance in my direction?
He is self-sufficient, self-sustaining, all-knowing, all-powerful. He doesn’t need me. He doesn’t need you. He has need of nothing. Or does he?
Not that he would cease to be, relinquish the crown, be removed from the throne or anything crazy like that. Of course not. He will always be who he is: The Great I Am, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. The supreme ruler of the universe is above impeachment, but I think God does have a need. The most known and treasured passage of scripture of all, John 3:16, attests to this being true, God’s need is to love. Not that he has to, it’s just who he is.
…God is love.
— 1 John 4:8
From the beginning, every brick in creation was laid with you and me at the center of God’s heart and mind. And when the last creative component necessary to sustain human life was in place, when the last creepy, crawly critter had been created and crept away into this vast new world:
God [then] said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
— Genesis 1:25; 2:7 (NLT)
And there humankind stood, to the end of the ages, the reason for it all, the object of his immeasurable love.
Yes, he knew the road ahead. He knew what would happen in Eden. He was acutely aware of the choices man would make then and now: to reject him, choosing to pursue what looks good opposed to what is good, what seems right instead of what is right. The Bible calls it a life of sin. What man never got a handle on was that the choice was one of life or death and, in choosing to live a life of sin, rejecting God, we chose death. Sadly, it’s the popular choice still. Even so, the lead story in the Heavenly Herald continues to read:
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
— Romans 5:8 (NLT)
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16 (NLT)
Have you received God’s gift of love in Christ Jesus? If yes, you are my spiritual sibling. We are bound together relationally through the shed blood of Jesus. If no, you can experience the love of God and be in a living relationship with him through a simple prayer inviting his son, into your life. You can do that right now and live in full assurance of his enduring love.
Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul:
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Romans 8:38–39 (NLT)