Psalm 8:3-5 - When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
If you have ever looked up into a clear night sky, you know that the sight of the vast, glittering expanse of stars can make you feel very small. David the psalmist must have had a similar experience, perhaps often, during lonely nights as a shepherd. He examined the night sky, amazed at the moon and stars that reflected the majesty of their Creator. David may have felt small and insignificant as he spoke in prayer and awestruck praise, "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?"
In the vastness of space, among the countless stars, does God even notice the people He created? Does He care for those—comparatively—tiny beings? Scripture assures us that the God who knows when even a little sparrow falls, who keeps count of the hairs on our heads, knows us and cares for us. God has placed the people He created in His own image only "a little lower than the heavenly beings" and has crowned them—men and women—with glory and honor as His image-bearers, giving them dominion over His created works.
But the Spirit-inspired words of this psalm reach beyond the thoughts of a shepherd entranced by the night sky. The writer to the Hebrews uses the words of the psalm to turn our attention to one particular Man, God in human flesh, our Savior Jesus Christ. In the prophetic words of the psalm we are reminded that Jesus, the Son of Man, was made "for a little while lower than the angels" (Hebrews 2:7b). Jesus humbled Himself, laying aside His divine majesty, to be born of a virgin, to be wrapped in swaddling cloths in a manger bed in Bethlehem. Jesus humbled Himself, suffering betrayal and arrest. No legions of heavenly beings came to His aid. For our sake He was nailed to a cross and crowned, not with glory, but with thorns.
But the Son of Man, a descendant of the star-gazing shepherd David, was raised from death. Jesus is now crowned with glory and honor, and God has put "everything in subjection under His feet (Hebrews 2:8b). When we look at the heavens, the moon and stars that God has created, or when we are lost in a place of darkness and sorrow far from the sight of such things, we may still ask in prayer, "Are You, O God, mindful of me? Do You care for me?" The answer in Christ Jesus is always "Yes!" Christ Jesus suffered, died, and rose from the dead that you might be His own. You are God's precious child. "And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory" (1 Peter 5:4).
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You humbled Yourself to save us. Watch over us and keep us in Your care, today and always. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. What strikes you most when you look at a nighttime sky full of stars?
2. What does it mean that God has crowned mankind with "glory and honor"?
3. Do you feel any particular obligation to the natural world around you?
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