What is man, that you should magnify him? and that you should set your heart on him?
Pride is the great besetting sin of our corrupt nature. This it is which unfolds man's self-righteousness, self-seeking, self-dependence, and self-complacency, in all their varied forms. It will show itself as family pride, professional pride, intellectual pride, yea, and in that low and contemptible exhibition of it, even the love of personal attraction.
I. MAN'S LITTLENESS. As a creature. As a fallen creature. Is it too much to say that he is lower than the beasts? It is a strong expression. Is it too much to say that sin has sunk man as low as Satan? Man is a sinful, guilty, and condemned creature. The law condemns him. All that is in God condemns the impenitent, unbelieving sinner. Man is a proud, self-righteous sinner. There is no man but what has some apparently good qualities — at least, he thinks he has them — and these blind him to all his bad qualities, and he thinks he can blind God with them.
II. GOD'S MOST WONDROUS DEALINGS WITH MAN. Out of these materials does God choose a people and erect a temple to His own glory. How wonderful is the exhibition of God's grace in the conversion of a sinner! Look at the wondrous display of grace in redemption, and in bringing all the redeemed ones safe to glory. See in this subject the greatness of God: notice how contemptible is our pride when we can look down upon others. Though our Lord shows us our littleness, yet we ought not to forget that He has magnified us.
(J. H. Evans, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?