Psalm 8:4-6 - 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. You have given him dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.
The experience of standing beneath a clear night sky with its expanse of stars or viewing a seemingly endless landscape can make us feel very, very small. Perhaps the psalmist felt small as he sat beneath the canopy of countless stars or viewed the hills stretching into the distance. He was moved to ask God, "What is man that You are mindful of him?"
What is man, what are human beings, that God should pay attention to them? God created human beings in His own image, "male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:27b). Although a "little lower" than the heavenly beings, the man and woman were created to worship and serve the Creator. Crowning the people He had made with glory and honor, God made them the managers or caretakers of the world He made. He gave to them dominion over the works of His hands, telling them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Genesis 1:28b).
God announced that all He had made was very good, but that very good creation was plunged into the darkness of sin and death when the first man and woman rebelled against the Creator and disobeyed His Word. Each of us has inherited that sinful inclination to rebel against God and His Word. We sin daily against our Lord's will and ways, feeling prideful and imagining that we are bigger than we really are. Yet out of His love for the world and people He made, God acted to restore His creation, to once again bring light into the darkness, sending His Son Jesus, the Light who shines in the darkness.
The writer to the Hebrews provides the prophetic meaning of our psalm. Jesus, the Son of God, took on human flesh. He was born in Bethlehem and, for a little while, was "made lower than the angels." For our sake, Jesus suffered and died on the cross, taking onto Himself the penalty of death for our sins and "tasting death for everyone" (Hebrews 2:9).
Jesus was raised from death, crowned with glory and honor. He was exalted to reign at the Father's right hand, "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come" (Ephesians 1:21). We, small as we are, have been created anew through faith in Jesus and crowned with glory and honor as God's holy people. We are called to care for the world that God made and, like the heavenly beings, we joyfully worship and serve the God who created and redeemed us.
WE PRAY: Lord God, accept my worship and humble service. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. What in creation—when you see it or think about it—do you really sense God's hand in it?
2. Why would God in Jesus become one of us? What does that say about Him?
3. How has mankind been given dominion over the work of God's hands? What does this mean to you?
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