Who Is Man? (Psalm 144:3-4)

Psalm 144:3-4

O Lord, what is man that you regard him,
or the son of man that you think of him?
Man is like a breath;
his days are like a passing shadow.


These two verses, found in the midst of a song of worship or prayer, remind us of our lowly position before God. Though God created humanity in his image and declared that creation to be super-good, in comparison to the Lord, we are so very small indeed.

It is far too easy for us to think too highly of ourselves. It is far too easy for us to think that we are so very important that God dare not allow any calamity to befall us. People far too easily think of themselves as indispensable to God’s plan. “Without me,” we think, “God might not be able to accomplish all he wants to accomplish.” And while we may never say this aloud, our self-important attitudes can most certainly reveal for us that such thoughts are in our hearts.

But the psalmist has the right idea. What is man that God would pay any attention to him? Who am I that God would even notice me? I am weak. My life is short, like a breath to the Most High. I am sinful from my youth. I have been rebellious since the moment I began making decisions for myself. I am weak. I am frail. I am fully dependant on God for my life. He does not need me. It is I who need him. He can accomplish anything he wants without me. But apart from him, I can do nothing (John 15:5).

Today, let us recognize and not turn away from our lowly position. Though God made us and God loves us, God most certainly does not need us. We add nothing to him. He is fully perfect and fully able on his own. We bring him nothing that he does not already have. Let us learn to marvel that such a strong, sovereign, all sufficient God would even think of us. Let us give God thanks that he would choose to use people like us to accomplish his will. Let us lay our lives at his disposal, asking simply to be tools and instruments in his mighty hands. Let us rejoice at the thought that the God of all the universe might choose to use us for his purposes and glory. And let us give our lives to the cause of God’s glory, so that our lives might accomplish the purpose for which we were created in the first place.

Dear Lord, who am I that you would think of me? Who am I that you would use me? I am weak, sinful, and inadequate in so many ways. But I thank you that it is not my skill that you seek. You do not need me. You do not lack anything that I or anyone else could make up. So, Lord, I ask that you will first continue to remind me that I am not the most important person in all the universe—you are. I also ask that you will use me and my life to accomplish your will. While you do not need me, I still ask that you will use me so that my life might be spent in bringing glory and honor to your holy name. I recognize that nothing will ever give me greater joy than when you accomplish your will and bring glory to your name through me. Please make me a tool in your hand for the accomplishing of your will. And thank you, o Lord, for willingly using a sinner like me, for giving me grace and making me a part of your plan.