Loftiness and lowliness
Psalm 8 (NIV)
1 For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour. 6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: 7 All flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8 – Loftiness and lowliness
(Verses 1-2) Psalm 8 shouts out the majestic loftiness of our LORD God, as known worldwide. His glory is greater than the heavens.
‘Heaven’ can refer to one of three things. First, it can mean the sky immediately above us, with its clouds and beauty, especially when sunny. Our aeroplanes now fly there. Second, space’s vast and infinite domain is also called ‘heaven’. This houses the sun, moon, stars, planets, and whole solar system. Spaceships travel there. Third, Heaven is the eternally blessed place with Christ. No sin, sadness, sickness or sorrow are there. All who turn from sin and come to the risen Jesus will be there with Him. You cannot see it now with human eyes. You only get there by personal faith in Jesus crucified. He bore your sins on the cross, was punished for them, and rose again. Innocent children are so impressed as they gaze up at the first two heavens. They praise God naturally. Their knowing that God exists silences the empty claims and vain lives of atheists and of God’s enemies who oppose those who love Him.
(Verses 3-8) David is also struck by God’s amazing creation: all He has made in the second heaven are only the work of His ‘fingers’. So, how great is God? That compels David to humbly contrast the incomparable and amazing Almighty God with relatively insignificant mankind.
Consider the vastness of His mere ‘finger work’ in creating the heavens. This must proclaim loudly how much greater is our eternal God than we are, with our feeble and fallible and passing nature. That is why some rebellious men choose atheism. In fact, man is not even the strongest of God’s created beings. Obviously, some animals are stronger. But here we read that Man, even though he alone has an ever-living soul, is more than a ‘higher’ animal with body and spirit. God created Man ‘a little lower than the heavenly beings’ (better translated ‘angels’). Jesus willingly was made ‘lower than the angels’, as God coming to earth as a man to die for and save us (Hebrews 2:7). Yet God put man to rule over his animal kingdom, including birds and fish. And He loves men and women so much that He freely offers us forgiveness and eternal life, if we turn from sin and trust in Christ.
(Verse 9) David sums it all up by repeating verse 1. Note that he calls God ‘our Lord’. A Christian shares his Creator, Redeemer and Lord with all others who trust in Jesus.