Reading the Word
Psalm 144:1–8 (ESV)
1 Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for war,
and my fingers for battle;
2 he is my steadfast love and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me.
3 O LORD, what is man that you regard him,
or the son of man that you think of him?
4 Man is like a breath;
his days are like a passing shadow.
5 Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down!
Touch the mountains so that they smoke!
6 Flash forth the lightning and scatter them;
send out your arrows and rout them!
7 Stretch out your hand from on high;
rescue me and deliver me from the many waters,
from the hand of foreigners,
8 whose mouths speak lies
and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
Understanding and Applying the Word
In these verses, David gives credit to God for his strength and military successes. It is only because of God that David has accomplished all that he has. In verses 5-8, David once again calls on God to come to his assistance.
In verses 3-4, we find David asking an important question: “O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him?” In other words, why does God care about mankind? In the vast scheme of all of creation, why does God take interest in the affairs of humanity. We are so small and seemingly insignificant!
Have you ever wondered about this? Why does God care so much about us? Christmas is a wonderful time to think about this. After all, this is the season when we remember and celebrate the incarnation. God came into the world as man. This is amazing in and of itself, but when we also consider that Jesus gave up his life for the salvation of mankind, it is truly a cause for wonder and worship. God entered the world and died to save mankind from our sin. What is man, O Lord, that you regard him? As the great hymn asks:
What wondrous love is this,
O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse
for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.
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