What is man? What meaning has his life? What is his origin, his condition, his destiny? To achieve knowledge of himself and his place in the world, man has from the earliest appearance of civilization scanned the heavens above and looked into his own heart.

If we were to talk about man, I would suppose that this would refer to an adult, of course man also refers to mankind and includes women as well as being God's creation and both have dominion over the earth.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
We can also see from the Genesis account that man not only has a soul but is a soul. "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

When Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden of Eden, it was because they had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam, by disobeying the Lord, had placed himself above God by going against His word to him. "man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." If Adam and Eve had obeyed, they would have continued in their innocence, they would not have had the knowledge of good and evil but only the knowledge of good. The lesson here is that through disobedience to the divine mandate, we set ourselves up as false gods. God cannot speak to us if we think so much of ourselves that we are better than God Himself. If we are truly to eat of the tree of life, it would be to deny ourselves, even to the point of denying out humanity with complete humility and let God be God. This is hard for man to do, we want to be the man, we want to have others respect our manliness, our man-hood, our right to stand up like a man - worldly wisdom for sure. If we are to stand as men, it is toward the face of God in confidence and in His authority, not apart from Him and on our own.

Kierkegaard: "Man is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity.. So regarded, man is not yet a self.. by relating the self to its own self and by willing to be itself, the self is grounded transparently in the Power that posited it."

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repents me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

When God decided to destroy man, it was because they had exalted themselves, they had become flesh, considered as giants and mighty men, men of renown. They had become prideful, and again it is in this pride that sets man up to be better than God, man is so great that God is not needed. What saved mankind? Grace. "And Noah built an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done."

Surely we are our brother's keeper: "And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man."

Job has all kinds of questions for us and to the Lord for us to ponder: "is there not an appointed time to man upon earth?" Job asks the Lord, "What is man, that you should magnify him? and that you should set your heart upon him?" "Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?" "happy is the man whom God corrects: therefore despise not the chastening of the Almighty." "I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?" Job did not have the answers to these questions but what he did know was that he would stand on His faith in God. What this did for him however was to give himself a false sense of righteousness and he was yet to learn. If anything Job had learned from all this, it was that God is control, not man.

God answered Job in a whirlwind: "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now your loins like a man; for I will demand of you, and answer you me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if you have understanding. Who has laid the measures thereof, if you know? or who has stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?..." What can Job say? Then Job answered the LORD, and said, "I know that you can do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from you. Who is he that hides counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech you, and I will speak: I will demand of you, and declare you unto me. I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Job did not repent until he was broken. Job did not see God until he was humbled enough to see Him clearly. Again it is the pride of man that blinds him.

Although mankind exists only by the grace of God, it is the sinless like of Jesus that gives man the grace to become what God would have us to be and gives us the answers that Job asks of God. It is the sin of man that was dealt with on the cross. Paul writes that: "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." Man is flesh, God is spirit. The more we become like God, the more we take on a spiritual nature. We were created in the image of God, that means that if we take on the Godly nature, we do not become less of a man but more, at least more of a man that God would have us to be. We are to be like Jesus who is the true image of the true God, as we deny ourselves, putting away our pride in wanting to be as gods instead of like God, we take on that divine nature.
[134, 401, Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7. 3:22-24, 6:1-8, 8:20-21, 9:5-6, Deuteronomy 8:3, Job, Romans 7:14-25]


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