My days are like a lengthened shadow, and I wither away like grass. But You, O LORD, abide forever, and Your name to all generations.
What did Owen D. Young, James F. Byrnes, Pierre Laval, Harlow Curtis, and Hugh Johnson all have in common? More than likely, you do not recognize the names of any of these men. Yet each of these men was a Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year.” They were judged as the person having had the greatest impact on the rest of humanity during a given year. It is our nature to think that we are really something special. And we are drawn to the business of celebrity. Whether it be sports, Hollywood, or business, we love thinking about greatness and determining who is the greatest.
The writers of Psalms had no illusions about who we really are. Here in Psalm 102, the days of our lives are compared to withering grass, but not so the Lord’s. He is great and His name lives for all generations—He is the same . . . His years will have no end. Why do we insist on plying mankind with glory and adulation when we have the God of the universe before us? Our attention and adoration should not be focused on man’s folly, but rather upon the greatness of God.
J. I. Packer addresses this very point: “The Christian’s instincts of trust and worship are stimulated very powerfully by knowledge of the greatness of God. But this is knowledge which Christians today largely lack; that is one reason why our faith is so feeble and our worship so flabby. We are modern men, and modern men—though they cherish great thoughts of man—have, as a rule, small thought of God.”
Let’s get real about ourselves and mankind as a whole: admit that underneath the façade the world sees, we all are sinners by nature, deserving none of mankind’s praise. Should we really care about the comings and goings [and every detail in between] of celebrities; stars; idols? No! Let’s focus our aim where it should be, and say with the Psalmist, “But You, O Lord . . . ”