Psalms 1 - 50by Mike Raiter
Romans 3:23 says: ″For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God″. This is true and we must never forget that we are all sinners. But that's not the whole story. We may have fallen short of God's glory, but we've not lost it altogether.
The human being is a paradox: capable of horrendous evil but also of wonderful acts of kindness. We ruin and destroy God's earth, while also displaying breathtaking beauty and creativity. Psalm 8 extols both the supreme glory of God and the wonder of the human being who is the pinnacle of His creation.
First, however, it begins by reminding us of the majesty of the Creator God (v. 1). Even the sum total of human achievement is dwarfed by the One who set the moon and stars in their place. According to science magazine Scientific American, our Milky Way alone contains over one trillion planets. And that's just one galaxy in a universe of at least 100 billion-all the work of God's hands.
How amazing, then, that this God should care for us. And, more than that, as David says of humanity, God has ″made them [only] a little lower than the angels″ (v. 5). David is thinking of Genesis 1, which tells us that we're made in God's image. We are not like the animals. Unique to all creation, humans are ″crowned . . . with glory and honour″ (Psalm 8:5).
Furthermore, we have been appointed to be caretakers of God's world (vv. 6-8, see Genesis 1:28-29). In 1 Corinthians 15:27, Paul quotes Psalm 8:6, but applies it to Jesus. Referring to the resurrection, Paul says that God has put everything under the feet of Jesus. He is the true human being because Psalm 8 is truly fulfilled in Him alone. Only Jesus could control winds and waves and heal diseases, because only He had full dominion over everything. Our great hope as Christians is that one day we'll be like Jesus, and will fully reflect Psalm 8.
Today, let's thank God for those signs of humanity's glory and dignity, but let us also remember the note on which this psalm begins and ends (vv. 1, 9). If a Taj Mahal or a Versailles are monuments to human creativity, then stand in awe at Niagara Falls or the Himalayas. If the intricacies of computers impress you, stand amazed at the human brain which God designed. So, then, ″Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!″ (v. 1).
What can you thank God for in your fellow human beings? What evidence do you see of our glory and honour?
Reflecting on the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus, how can we see Him perfectly fulfilling what is written in Psalm 8?