Why Are You on the Earth?


George Herbert’s poem called “Praise” contains a verse that has been taped to my computer monitor since I first read it years ago.

Of all the creatures both in sea and land
Only to man Thou has made known Thy ways,
And put the pen alone into his hand,
And made him secretary of Thy praise.

This is the answer to our question. Why is man on the earth? He is here to be the secretary of the praise of God.

To which our querying minds say, “But do not the heavens tell the glory of God (Psalm 19:1), and not just man? Are not “the things that have been made the secretary of his divine attributes (Romans [1:20])? Do not the “the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord (Psalm [96:12]), and “the rivers clap their hands” (Psalm 98:8)? Do not “the mountains and the hills break forth into singing” (Isaiah [55:12])?

Yes. They do.

But “there is no speech, nor are there words. Their voice is not heard” (Psalms 19:3). This is not the work of the secretary. The work of the secretary is to transcribe the song of the mountains, the clapping of the rivers, and the singing of the forest, and the telling of the heavens.

Written by John Piper
Read more at Desiring God

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