In the deepest depths of his suffering, Job posed existential questions that concern us all: “What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him, visit him every morning and test him every moment? How long will you not look away from me, nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit?” (Job 7:17–21) This question about human existence is of timeless significance, touching the roots of our identity.
“God, why do you take us so seriously? Why even bother with us? All we are is a puff of air; we’re like shadows in a campfire. Step down, inspect us from head to toe, oh yes, because of how much you care for us. So, why not look the other way? Why not forgive?” Job 7:17-21
Job, plagued by inexplicable suffering, doubted God’s interest in an individual. Faced with the immense greatness of God and the vastness of His creation, Job wondered why God would bother with an individual at all. This question, “Mah enosh?” (What is man?), expresses the fundamental need to understand our place in the universe.
Although some interpreters argue that Job might have been mocking later Psalms, the question of the essence of being human remains central. Regardless of Job’s specific situation, we are all called to ask these questions: Who are we? Why are we here? What is the meaning and purpose of our lives?
The answer to these questions may lie in God’s love for us humans. The Bible reveals in John 3:16 and 1 John 3:1 that God’s love is so profound that He sent His own Son so that we may be called His children. This love gives value and meaning to our lives. Ellen G. White aptly emphasizes this: “Through the infinite sacrifice of Christ and faith in His name, the sons of Adam become the sons of God.” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, p. 563)
Therefore, the essence of being human lies in the love of God, who accepts us as His beloved children. This truth not only gives meaning to our lives but also provides hope and comfort, even in the darkest hours.
In our contemplations on the essence of being human, we come before you, the Creator and Sustainer of our lives. Job’s existential question about the significance of humanity resonates in our hearts, and we seek answers that are profound and meaningful.
In our search for identity and purpose, we recognize the love you bestow upon us. Your love, manifested in the sacrifice of your Son, gives value and meaning to our existence. May this realization bring us comfort and grant us hope in the challenges of life.
In accepting that as your beloved children, we have a unique place in the universe, we want to express our gratitude before you. Let us find the essence of our humanity in this truth and be guided by your love as we solidify our identity in you.
In humility and gratitude, we pray. Amen.
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