Only Man Walks Upright

The heavens and stars have long fascinated humanity with their beauty and mystery. For they speak of something higher and greater than ourselves. The wise men who worshiped Christ were just such star gazers. Searching the heavens for a sign of the coming king, the greatest ever. 

They, as humanity always has, were searching for something bigger, higher, and greater than themselves.

The immensity of the starry heavens left David so awestruck by God’s glory and majesty that he inquired: Why would you think of and care for us weak, mortal human beings?”

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:1-4).

And the answer lies in the fact that God made us different from the animals, and above them.

I love the way the Matthew Henry Commentary puts it. He points out that man is the only creature who thinks of these things. We are the only earthly beings who — when looking up at the sun, moon, and stars — see in them God’s glory and majesty.

We alone of all beings, walk totally upright, looking toward heaven. The animals, by their very form, look down toward earth. As earthy creatures, even their head hangs down toward the ground.

But God made us with a heavenward stance. He made us to look up toward something higher and greater than ourselves. To look up toward our God and Maker.

Created in God’s image, and made for higher things, lesser things will never totally satisfy us. God made us for a higher walk. Made us for greater things than being mere earthbound creatures!

We are made to honor God and magnify him by declaring, “Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (verse 9).

God created us in his image, with such noble faculties and capacities that we are higher than the animals, with dominion over them. We are made to love God, to serve him, and to walk uprightly with him.

So let’s look up, remembering to live with character, virtue, and integrity that reflects God’s character.


While we are infinitely lower than man, we are also made in God’s image, intended to rule and reign with him. God meant for us exercise dominion or rule over the physical nature all around us. To conserve it, tame it, and care for it. Especially all the living creatures in the air, sky, and seas, or on land. For we have been given a wisdom they can never possess.

But we are also meant to rule and dominate our own tongue and internal nature. We can enjoy the great satisfaction of controlling weeds so vegetables will grow, or even of taming a wild creature. But there is nothing more amazing or admirable than the person who has learned to truly control their tongue and keep their nature in check.

When we conquer bad habits, when we leave unkind words unspoken, when we don’t act out of rash impulse but with wise forethought. All of these display that we have indeed been created in our Maker’s image, and are growing to become more like him every day. They are the testimony that we are learning to rule and reign with him.

For how will we one day rule and reign with Christ in heavenly realms, if we cannot even hold ourselves in check?

The great aim of every life should be self-control, dominion over self,” (Joseph Parker).


[Image by StockSnap/ CC0]

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