October 19 2022
Today, Wednesday October 19
“What is Man…?”
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet…”
Yesterday we learned that David wrote this Psalm and possibly it was on the occasion of his defeating Goliath of Gath. He meant for it to be song of victory for God’s people. In this beautiful expression of praise to God, David stands amazed that the God of creation, the great and glorious Jehovah, would pay any attention to frail people on earth. David understands that God glorifies Himself in the heavens, but how can He glorify Himself on earth through such weak, sinful people? David asked the question, “What is man that you are mindful of him?”
This is a "nature Psalm" meaning that David often used God’s creation of the heavens and earth to describe His awesome power and glory! For other “nature Psalms read Psalms 19, 29, 65, and 104. Psalm 8 is also a Messianic psalm and is quoted at least three times in the New Testament (Matt. 21:16; Heb. 2:6-8; 1 Cor. 15:27; Eph. 1:22).
The answer to the question "What is man?" is ultimately answered by Jesus Christ, the "Last Adam," through whom we regain our lost dominion. That God, in His remarkable condescension, should focus attention on us is proof of our dignity as creatures made in the image of God. The grandeur of men and women is found only there. Apart from knowing God, we have no understanding of who we are or what we are to do in this great universe.
In this chapter we learn at least three reasons that we should worship and praise God for God. In verses 1, 2, and 5a, we are reminded that God Created Us. The phrase "our Lord" is a threefold confession of faith: there is but one God, all people were created by God, and the Jewish people in particular are "his people and the sheep of his pasture" (Ps. 100:3). They can call Him "our Lord." Read Psalm 135:5, 147:5, and Nehemiah 10:30. However, Jehovah was not a "tribal god" who belonged only to Israel, for He wanted His name, meaning His character, His reputation, to be known "in all the earth" (Psalm 66:1; 83:18; Ex. 9:14, 16; Josh. 3:11).
In verses 4 and 5, we are reminded that God Cares for Us. God spoke the worlds into existence, but David saw creation as coming from God's fingers (v. 3; see Ex. 8:19 and 21:18) and hands (v. 6), the work of a Master Craftsman. It was evil for the Jews to worship the heavenly host (Ex. 20:4-6; Deut. 4:15-19; 17:2-7), but they understood that creation was proof of a caring Creator who prepared the world for the enjoyment and employment of mankind. God is mindful of us ("remembers," see Gen. 8:1; 19:29; 30:22) and cares for us ("visits," see Jer. 29:11; Job 10:12). God completed His creation before He made Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden, so everything was ready for them, to meet their every need.
In verses 6, 7, and 8 we are told that God Crowns Us. Why does God pay attention to "frail creatures of dust"? Because He has made them in His own image, and they are special! The Lord crowned Adam and Eve and gave them dominion over the other creatures (Gen. 1:26-27). We are co-regents of creation with the Lord! The angels are servants (Heb. 1:14), but we are kings, and one day, all who have trusted Christ will be like Him (1 John 3:1-3; Rom. 8:29).
God the Father created us to be kings, but the disobedience of our first parents robbed us of our crowns. God the Son came to earth and redeemed us to be kings (Rev. 1:5-6), and today the Holy Spirit of God can empower us to "reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:17). When you crown Jesus Christ Lord of all, you are a sovereign and not a slave, a victor and not a victim. "O Lord, our Lord, how excellent in your name in all the earth!"