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October 13, 2020 7:00 pm
Former BJU Vice President Sam Horn begins a doctrinal series entitled, “What Is Man?” from Psalm 8.
Welcome to The Daily Platform sponsored by Bob Jones University today. BJ you VP Dr. Sam Horn begins a doctrinal series entitled what is man like to ask you take your Bible this morning, turned to the Old Testament find a book of Psalms together will be turning to the eight Psalm and we will be addressing as Dr. Pettit mentioned a moment ago. The subject what is man is we spend the next 12 to 13 weeks together, looking at this topic. I think we are are really wise to begin by asking the question, why should we take an entire semester to do a study on ourselves because really that's what were doing when we come to the question, what is man really asking the question about her own significance and maybe the best way to begin. That search maybe the best way to examine that answer is to consider a footprint. Many of you probably immediately know what this footprint is. This is arguably the most famous footprint in human history.
This footprint was made on July 21, 1969 at 2:56 AM in the morning when this individual made this footprint half a billion people were watching its arguably the most watched single most-watched event by by any portion of human history. And it was made by a man named Buzz Aldrin, who was the second man to step on the moon first man obviously was Neil Armstrong and right after he step down came buzz Aldrin and he put his foot down and this is a picture of his footprint that has been preserved some 46 years later, on the surface of the moon you supply in the world would a footprint like this have anything to do with our study of man and I want to ask you and I want to ask myself the question what kind of being had wisdom from below that was so significant and so amazing that it could move itself and produce all that was necessary to move a human being from the planet that we live on from the surface of this planet and transform him and transport him rather, some 250,000 miles away in the land him on the surface of the moon and then bring him back again a fully by the way, only 12 members of the human race have ever step foot on the moon and this is the footprint that marked a change in our race. So when we look at a footprint like this, we begin to realize that there is something immensely sick to forget about ourselves, about the human race that distinguishes us from any other created being on the planet. So as we think about our topic this morning.
I think we come to a footprint like this and we have to ask ourselves what is happened in the half-century that has followed since that footprint has been made.
If if a being like the human race if if if if a creature like a human being has the wisdom from below to be able to do something like this. How has it gone on his planet and I would think that as we just take a moment to look at that any neutral observer. Any observer at all of what is been going on on the planet where this being lives and has his occupation would have to acknowledge that this wisdom from above that took us to the moon has really not played out very well for us here below. When we think about ourselves as a race and we start thinking about how we seem to have lost our way. The evidence of that is overwhelming. How could someone with wisdom to get to the surface of the moon end up in a place on earth where human life has become so devalued. Think about the sheer devaluation of human life that is going on really throughout the existence of our race, but it is culminated exponential levels in the last 50 years. Think about the abortion rate. Some statistician tells it over in 1,000,000,000 1/2 lives have been taken since 1970 across the world. I don't know how people count those things. But that's an amazing shocking statistic. Think about the fact that this devalued devaluation of human life is not limited to infants. There is all kinds of other ways in which people are are forcibly removed from their lives. Infanticide, euthanasia, genocide that is plagued our plan over the last 50 years. Again, certainly not in any way ignoring the fact that this is going on since the race began, but it has culminated and it is certainly risen exponential levels is not just the devaluation of human life. It's really a disconcerting loss of human self identity.
Think about the identity crisis that were going through. Even now, that seems to be escalating in the days ahead when it comes to things like gender identity when it comes to things like human sexuality, the meaning of marriage the meaning of family we start thinking about all of these things it points to a shocking loss. A disconcerting loss of human self identity. And then there's on top of all of that the dig dehumanization of human personhood what it means to be human.
Think of the advances that have come in technology. Think of things like biotechnology, nanotechnology, cyber technology. All of these technologies have so merge themselves or what it means to be a human that there there really are discussions are happening in and movements toward the question, what is the machine and what is a man and how much of a man is a machine and how does a machine become a man and we really are living in a time when there has been not just the devaluation of human life and disconcerting loss of self identity, but a dehumanization of what it means to be human itself. So we come back to the question is like that footprint.
How did a man with this kind of wisdom, end up losing his way to such a degree, and more importantly where do we go to find our way back to what it means to be a man, what is it mean to be human. Using the term man. Not in the sense of mail and using the term and the way that Neil Armstrong used it when he talked about a small step for a man, but a giant leap man kind.
What is it mean to be a member of the human race. And where do we go to find wisdom to give us an answer and I think 3000 years ago.
David found the answer to that intended and song that were looking at this morning. Psalm eight. So what I would like to do in the time we have together is look at the questions that David posed that we are asking this morning. You can see it in the very middle of the Psalm verse four. When he asked the question, what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that without visitors to him the words David is looking at God and he is asking the very question that we are attempting to look at an answer in the course of our series on anthropology. We want to know God's thinking in terms of how he sees man and why man is so significant to him. So as we attempt to answer that question.
Let's begin where David began and let's look at verses three through eight and I think the first thing that David would want you to know as he articulates his thoughts about this question that the spirit of God inspired him to write would be this he would want us to recognize man's significance and that significance is laid out for us. First of all, in the context of a consideration when David asked that question in verse four is coming out of something that he has been considering in verse three. So just jump back like your idea back to verse three and he says when I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, and the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained. What is what is driving this question in David's heart 3000 years ago is an observation that he had been making and that had been impacting his heart in his life, and you can imagine how David perhaps as a shepherd was out, perhaps watching his sheep and looking up and being impacted by the profound significance of the creation around and he starts talking to God about that.
He talks to God about the magnificence of this creation. These are your habits, they are the work of your fingers. All of this that I am observing is something that is spectacular in its origin.
It is spectacular in its design. It belongs to you.
It comes from you. It speaks of you, the writer, Psalm 19 would acknowledge this very thing when he points to these very heavens and he says that they are continually announcing in every language beyond any boundary any linguistic boundary they are announcing the existence and the glory and the magnitude of the one who created them and so David is observing all of this profound creation and as he makes this observation and as he considers what he is observing 50 takes the question in a very surprising direction. I do know about you, but as I listened to David and as I I sort of jumped into the conversation with David and II try to follow along what he's saying, I am expecting the next thing out of his mouth to be an exultation of God. When I think about your heavens, and when I think about the incredible significance of what you have done in this creation.
I'm expecting the next thing to be a question or an observation about God but instead out of nowhere David asks a question about man and he says this in light of this incredible creation that that I am observing. Why is man so significant to you. In other words, the question is this.
If I'm looking at this profound thing that you are doing. I am becoming aware that there is even something more significant than all of this to you, and it's me, and Lord II don't think that way when I think about how life works and I look at the heavens and I look at the planets and the stars. I think they are the most significant think they are certainly are more significant in my eyes then then somebody like me I'm just a son of dust. I am a dazzling.
So Lord I don't understand why in your side when you have all of this splendor in all of this grandeur in all of this creation. That is the work of your hand.
I don't understand why somebody like me is far more significant than any of this.
That's question that David is asking and he confirms that this really is the question in articulating what God is done for this particular piece of his creation noticed what David says here he he establishes his observation by pointing out and recognizing that God has made man just a little lower than himself. Look at verse five for the house made him a little lower than the angels. He says you have crowned him.
You have crowned man with a share of your own glory and your own honor. If you go back to verse one and you go but down to verse nine. This is the honor that God has put far above his have been David says that honor that you have put far above that you have granted more significance to you, then the work of your hands. That honor is an honor that you have placed on this creature that you have created in your own image you have granted a more honor than the heavens you have given him dominion over all of the works of your hands.
You have given him dominion and authority over this. Look at verse six, thou has made him to have dominion over the work of your hands and they've just been talking about the work of his hands. I can't imagine that David when he was petting these words and saying you have given to him dominion over all the works of your hands and you have put all things under his feet. I can't imagine that David ever thought that one of the members of his own race would one day leave a footprint on an object in the sky that David was observing. David says you have placed him over every sphere of creation and you have put every creature in those fears under his authority. Now, Lord, I don't understand why you have given to this creature such significance to stop here for a moment and I want to ask you to stop and ask yourself the question, have you ever thought inappropriate ways.
Have you ever thought of the significance that you have the sight of God. There are appropriate times for us to recognize our own sinfulness in Scripture talks about that. It's certainly true that in the sight of God.
All of her own efforts of righteousness are worthless and the Scripture does remind us that we are but dust.
So there are places in the Scripture were God sort of stops us, and hence is not want you to know something about this side of you, but there are other times and here's one where God sort of stops is that he says in another direction. I want you to know how significant you are. I want you to know why you matter. There might be some of you in this room when you hear something like this, you would say I really don't feel like I matter to anybody. I don't feel like I matter to talk to anybody on this planet. In fact, if I weren't around. I don't know that anybody would even miss me if I don't matter to anybody on this planet.
I'm not sure that I really matter to God. Sometimes God in his providence takes a text like this and he just sort of sits us all down and says to us, and I want you to know that if everything that I have made. You are the object in my creation. You are the being to which I have attached the greatest significance.
You matter to God immensely and that brings us to the question why why is man so significant to God, Job talks about the fact that we are always on God's mind and we are always in his heart. Why does God matter and so we notice in verses 1 to 9. The reason for this.
The reason that man is incredibly significance to God and we can we can sum it up into very quick observations number one we are significant to God because of what God is doing with his glory.
God is established his glory above the heavens you you can see that in verse one were David says the Lord, and he's talking there in terms of God being Yahweh and and he's acknowledging it in and in a in a day and age where every nation had their gods that the true God was their very own God and he saying to God I recognized that you have taken your name and your glory. Your excellent name and you have set it above all of the heavens. It's the most magnificent thing in all of the created order in all of the cosmos.
Then David says you want that glory you want your name to be magnified on this planet your glory, your excellent character who you are who you are and what you like, you have established as the most significant thing in all creation. There is nothing more significant in the cosmos than that and you want your name to have that significance in this realm on this planet.
And so you made a son of Adam, and you crowned him with your own glory and honor and you put him on that planet is the most significant of all of your creation so that when that individual when that man crowned with your glory and your honor made in your image would rule over all the spheres of creation, the entire created order would know and experience what it is like to be ruled over and and provided for and protected by and loved by somebody like God.
That's why man matters. That's why you matter that's God's real intention to take the glory that matters more than any part of his creation and create an image bearer and crown that image bear with that glory and that honor and put him over the entire created order and say to him now when people live under your delegated authority. They should feel and experience what it is like to live under my glorious care is a what is that like I just take a moment to take one piece of that. Do you realize the sheer delight that God takes you, me, when you start thinking through the realities of the Godhead, and you begin to understand that in the dynamic of the relationship the eternal unchanging relationship of a father and a son in the spirit and the sheer delight that they take in each other, we are brought into that in terminology that Jesus uses when he talks about his father and that the father uses when he talks about his son you you sense the tenderness of that sheer delight when the father says things like this is my beloved son, Jesus talks about the love the father to him and you sense the intensity of that love and God's is now I want I want the entire world to know what it is like to share in that delight the like that we have each other. I want them to feel that delight and so I'm going to make an image bear and the whole point of that relationship is for them to experience and come in to the nature of this delight, the love of God, do you know how much God loves you sheer delight that he takes in you. Adam did. He enjoyed that every day in the cool of evening that brings us to the very sad reality. What happened, how did someone who made his way to the moon lose his way so tragically on the earth and David's answer to that is this there is a response to man significance and it is this. There is opposition from an ancient enemy wavers to images out of the mouth of babes and sucklings passed out or gain strength, and here's why strength is needed because of your enemies so that you might still the enemy and the avenger.
In other words, David is surfacing early on in the Psalm that God's purpose in creating a being like you and like me, and granting to us the significance that he has granted and crowding out with glory and honor has been horribly thwarted by a very ancient powerful enemy who has turned all of that glory in the shape the point that Paul writing the book of Romans says we have all fallen short of the glory of God and all you have to do is make your way through the tragic story in Romans one and everything that God intended to do.
Through this creature, this creature is seizing authority for himself not only ruin God's plan and ends devalued his own life. He ruined his own soul in the process. David's is all of this. All of this has come about because of the variation enemy. So what is God going to do about this. He is going to bring resolution to all of this through a very surprising source. There is going to be resolution. All of this and it is going to come through a strength that God is going to put into the mouth of the weakest and most insignificant members of the human race.
He is good to put a strength in the mouth of infants and children who can't help themselves. People like the billion and 1/2 whose lives have been taken away worldwide last 50 years.
So what is that strength that he puts into the mouth of these babies.
David never would have imagined that almost a thousand years later.
One of his own descendents would be writing into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey and as he is coming into that city had read the story for yourself in Matthew 21 is his writing that city on the donkey. There are people who are lining the roadway as he comes up up the road up from Galilee to to Jerusalem and as he comes toward the city. The entire throng begins to shout Hosanna to the son of David, this is a title for an individual that they have been waiting for for incredibly long time an individual that Psalm to describe as a person that God would appoint an anointed place over all of the nation.
And here's a throng of people looking at one of David's sons a thousand years after David wrote this and saying, Hosanna to the son of David and David or David son Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah rides into the city and he goes right to the temple and he walks into that temple and he overturns all of the tables that have been set up by the religious leaders of the day and he says to them. This house was supposed to be a house of prayer and you have turned it upside down. You have made it a den of thieves. And while he's doing that the children of those people who were shouting the day before. Remember what their parents said, and in the temple. They are pointing at him and saying, Hosanna, son of David and the Pharisees come to Jesus and they say to him, don't you hear what these children are saying.
Jesus says yes. Don't ask your question. Haven't you read what David wrote that out of the mouth of babies would come praise. Here's a shocking thing if you go to Hebrews chapter 2 don't do it now because were to pray you're just a moment be dismissed sometime today go.
He was chapter 2 and begin reading in verse eight, and just read through the rest of the chapter and you are you are confirmed in your reading that this man who stood in that temple was really the son of David, that David was writing about, because that text says that he really was crowned with glory and honor, but that text in verse 13 also identifies the children because in that text. Jesus talks about children that the father has given to him and they are going to praise him. That's you that's me. So when you want to know why we are so significant to God. We are so significant to God because it is through our recognition and our praise of him that this enemy is going to be silent and that all of creation is going to be restored so you and I as we contemplate all of this need to respond joyfully by embracing him as the chief relationship in her life. We are to reflect him accurately in the totality of our humanity. That's why your mind matters.
That's why your so matters. That's why your body matters. The cultivation of everything that you are as a human is an incredibly important part in living redemptive leak as we take the gospel that is going to restore all things and share it accurately and attractively to the world around us. So you matter immensely made the wisdom that comes from above remind us of this throughout the semester as we study this incredible topic what it is to be maintained. I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University.
Thank you for listening to The Daily Platform. Please come visit our beautiful campus in Greenville, South Carolina, and see how God is working in the lives of our students. For more information about Bob Jones University, visit www.bgyou.edu or call 800-252-6363