Psalm 8 – What is Man

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (v1)

This statement of effusive praise brackets both ends of the psalm. The verses sandwiched between offer some of the most overlooked words of encouragement. The psalmist poses and answers the question that elicits the praise:

what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. (vv 4 – 5)

Humankind is not some kind of nuisance creation, destined to corruption and rebellion against their creator. No! Humankind was created specifically to be close to God, dependent on His presence for their security, perseverance, and satisfaction. Men and women were created with purpose, not to merely live out their days in empty pursuit of experience. David looks to the immeasurable complexity and glory of the heavens and compares the insignificant speck that is humankind. The Lord reveals to him that as much care went into the creation of man as in the laying out of the stars. The heavens look in on humans with envy because the people are much, much closer to God than the sky.

The joy of God’s eyes, the creatures that he will one day sacrifice His Son for, cry out,

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (v9)

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