“What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:4
Do you know what a horsehair worm is? Did you know they develop as parasites in insects like grasshoppers and beetles? Do you care? Is it worth even a minute of your day to contemplate it? I know I wouldn’t. There are countless of these worms so what’s one more or one less? The only reason I know about the horsehair worm is that I read about it yesterday. Even so, as of today I haven’t gone looking for one and have no plans to do so in the future.
If we are but worms, like Job, David, and even God himself have compared us, does God know about us? Does he care? Does he see the form of our microscopic speck on a minuscule spot in the middle of a mind-numbingly spacious universe?
What if we switched metaphors to something more significant? Do you care about cows? Do you love and care for them? Of course, they are many people who do; and I’m family and a friend to some of them. But most people don’t have the time of day to ruminate on the complexity of cows. And even those who do, those who are mindful and caring of their cattle, know that there are limits. Consider a stubborn, young heifer who is intent on “kicking against the goads” as it were. The kind of heifer who would rather charge through a barbed-wire fence than go where its master directs. Would you be mindful of such a terrible creature? Would you show endless care and grace to a such a dense and defiant beast? I know what my natural inclination would be. I’d shout in frustration and whack a stick across its thick skull. More than once. And you would likely do the same unless you possess heaps of patience and have advanced to the upper levels of sanctification.
So what’s my point? Well, you know we all are wayward, stubborn, and insignificant creatures who tend to shake our fists at God and question the mysteries of his sovereign rule. The prophets used similar language to describe the rebelliousness of God’s people. Consider how God compares his precious people to a stubborn heifer in the prophecy of Hosea. Or give thought to how Israel was compared to a donkey in heat going from one desire to the next. Raw imagery to be sure, and not in the least flattering. But it only begins to capture the crudeness and ugliness of sinners like us.
If we are like itsy-bitsy specks of sand why does God see us? If we are like pointless parasitic insects, why is God mindful of us? If you behave like a stubborn heifer why is God patient and graceful with you? If we are horrendous sinners whoring after false gods why did the living God send his Son to die for us?
Something to think about.