Psalm 144 – What Is a Man 2: Breath and Shadow

Psalm 144 Bible with Endangered Species 88 Percent Cocoa Dark Chocolate on zebra plate
Okay, that’s what you’re supposed to use the Bad Decision Dinosaur shot glass for.

Today’s ChocolateEndangered Species Dark Chocolate with 88% Cocoa

Today’s PassagePsalm 144

One hundred thirty-six psalms later, and David still hasn’t figured out what a man is or why he would matter to God.

That’s right: Psalm 144 echoes a verse and themes from Psalm 8. When David asks, “O Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You think of him?” (144:3), it’s a nigh-verbatim restatement of Psalm 8:4. Why should the all-powerful, all-knowing God, unencumbered by any weakness, pay attention to human beings? In awe, David tells God: “I will sing praises to You, who gives salvation to kings, who rescues David His servant from the evil sword” (144:9-10). Get that: he considers kings to be lowly, ordinary people, and it’s just as amazing to him that God would save them from evil as anyone else. A king is just another servant of God, like we all should be: an ordinary human, a breath, a shadow.

And oddly enough, I feel that sentiment today. I’ve had the hardest time focusing on this psalm and thinking about it and writing about it. I’ve been distracted by every shiny thing on the internet and wasted a whole pile of time procrastinating this post. What is Jackson Ferrell, o Lord, that you think of him? He consumes stupid trivialities on his computer all morning long—and even when he’s creating rather than consuming, he still can’t focus to save his life. One moment he’s starting a Let’s Play channel on Youtube, the next he’s drawing fan art for video games he’s never even played, and then he’s scripting comic strips for a comic series he’ll never actually draw.

And yet God gives me the resources to create, and he forgives me when I waste them. I’ve referred to the things I create as my children, and when David prays, “Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, and our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace” (144:12), I think about what a terrible father I am to my neglected and stunted kids, and how generous God is to allow me the privilege of creative fatherhood anyway. David concludes: “How blessed are the people who are so situated; how blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!” (144:15) I don’t merit this stuff. I didn’t earn it. But I’m situated here, and it’s out of his own goodness that God treats me better than I deserve.

Too real? Okay, let’s dial it back. I finished the Endangered Species dark chocolate bar; here’s some panther facts from the inside wrapper.

interior of Endangered Species 88 Percent Cocoa Dark Chocolate wrapper with panther facts

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