What is man that You take thought of him, Yet...
Psalm 8 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
The Lord’s Glory and Man’s Dignity.
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
2 From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
3 When I consider Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
4 What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
7 All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!
The psalmist begins with this simple statement or declaration: O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth. The word Lord, in the Hebrew is Yahwey, actually spelled Yhwh. It was so revered that it really could not be spoken, you almost have to whisper the syllables, breathing in and out. That’s the reverence the psalmist has for God. The psalmist recognizes the greatness of God and his own insignificance in the magnitude of creation, saying: When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? The existence of creation and all of its glory testifies to the existence of an even more glorious creator. When you consider such things as the formations at Stonehenge, the figures on Easter Island, the pyramids and the Sphinx in Egypt, the Great Wall in China, the Mount Rushmore Monument or the Hoover Dam; no one looks at any of these created things, even though they cannot fully comprehend how they were made, they attribute them to a creator, recognizing the impossibility that they occurred randomly. Yet unlike the psalmist, those who deny God, also deny He is the creator. With much less probability than the existence of the fore mentioned things they attribute all of creation, both its endless expanse and its intricate detail, to a random sequence of events. Romans 1:18-21 says: The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. To deny God is really to elevate oneself above God. In Isaiah 14:13-15 it describes the devil himself wishing to rise above God: You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.
The psalmist takes the other approach, rather than deny or presume to ascend above God, in view of God’s greatness, testified to by the glory of creation, he doesn’t presume to be greater than God. Instead he says: Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. That is God’s plan for man from the beginning, that we would be like Him and we would rule over His creation. Genesis 1:26-28 says: Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” When we look around ourselves, we see what man has done trying to rule over creation without God. We see a history of violence and man’s inhumanity to man. We see how we have polluted the land, the water and the air. We see that rather than having dominion over the creatures of the earth, we have jeopardized their existence.
Try as we might, with all of our wisdom gained throughout history, man cannot restore the earth. Man cannot ascend above God. In truth we cannot, on our own reconcile ourselves back to what God intended. We cannot redeem ourselves from the error of thinking we can rise above or exist apart from God. Yet, like the psalmist we can say: What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? We are His creation, created in His image and likeness, created with the thoughtfulness of a master artist and the love of a caring Father. So much love, beyond comprehension, so much that: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Not only do we have eternal life with Him, we also, through the cross, are redeemed, we are reconciled to God and restored to what He intended for us. In Matthew 28:18 Jesus says: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” In Matthew 16:13-19 Jesus says: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock (the revelation from God the Father that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Redeemer) I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Through Christ we are redeemed. We ourselves are restored to the position of authority God intended for us. Through Christ we have the authority to rule over creation and to take part in God’s plan to restore it. We share the authority of Christ in heaven and on earth, having the keys to the kingdom of heaven, through the knowledge of Jesus the Christ.
Jesus taught us to pray: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth! Amen.