“What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them.” – Psalm 8:4
Growing up, whenever bad behavior would not yield to the rod, the next thing that would make one run to the nearest corner of the house amidst loud crying was to say, “Let me send for the ‘buggerman’,” and pleas of mitigation like you have never heard before would promise, “Have mercy, I ain’t going to do that no more.”
Early in Genesis after God had completed creation, He said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
But the wickedness of man was so great that God repenteth He made man.
From the dawn of creation to now, man has excelled in wickedness; deceitfulness; criminality in all shapes and forms; and the lack of love for the brotherhood, motherhood and childhood. But the mercy of a great and just God, in sending His only son to be the propitiation for the sins of man, paves the pathway for the return to God and righteousness.
What is man? This is the poignant question of the ages. It has been asked by philosophers and theologians as well as the ordinary man on the street. In comparison to the beauty of the universe, man is almost insignificant, yet he is made in the likeness of God and can hold fellowship with his creator.
Man is made from the dust and when he dies, he returns to the dust. Man has the capacity to hold spiritual fellowship with God as one would with kin to kin. Man is earthly but with heavenly potential. Man is more than a monkey with clothes on, an animal to be scorned or a predator to be fearful of. Man is the crème de la crème of God’s creation, but in many cases, he is oblivious to the vast gifts he possesses and the power to love, ascribe, attain, flow and glow – to be the very best more so than the very worst.
Yes, what is man, Father God, when he rules with an iron hand and is foreign to justice for the poor, downtrodden and misrepresented, and swollen with hate for his brother?
With the pandemic upon us, I call it a plague, because the plagues upon the Egyptians of frogs, flies, boils, locusts and the death of the firstborn were not borne out of surprises, but the multitudinous abundance of the same surpassed the ordinary and became plagues.
The common cold and flu is not a stranger to us as human beings, but when the virus is multiplied out, or the ordinary becomes the extra extraordinary, then the global village is faced with a pandemic with devastating proportions.
What is man? Time has brought us to begin to evaluate the God-given qualities of mankind as prescribed in the Micah mandate – “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
The day that a man, woman, boy or girl discovers who they are and their purpose on planet earth, will be the day of joy in the morning.