This morning I want tie together some themes we have
looked at lately. One is the subject of the incarnation (the
humanity of Christ, and His glory concealed in human flesh).
The other is the theme of general revelationCGod's glory as
revealed in the heavens. And the passage that brings those
two themes together is Psalm 8. Turn there and that's where
we will spend our time this morning.
Some of you could no doubt recite psalm 8 from memory.
We sing a couple of familiar praise choruses based on this
psalm. It is quoted repeatedly in the New Testament. It's got
to be one of the most familiar and best-loved psalms in the
psalter. It's an expression of praise and wonder that you'll
appreciate if you have ever been awestruck by any aspect of
First, look at the inscription at the beginning of the psalm.
It says, TO THE CHOIRMASTER: ACCORDING TO THE GITTITH. A PSALM OF
DAVID. The meaning of that is somewhat mysterious. "Gittith"
is the feminine form of Gath. The Hebrew word gath means
"winepress." Of course, Gath was also the name of the
Philistine village where Goliath was from. A person whose
hometown was Gath was called a "Gittite"Cand despite his
history with GoliathCor more likely, because he had killed
Psalm 8 2
the champion of GathCDavid had several friends and
followers from Gath who were loyal to him. According to 2
Samuel 15:18, 600 Gittites followed David; and 2 Samuel
18:2 says they served as his bodyguards. So the word
"Gittith" has something to do with Gath, or the Gittites, or
the winepress. But to be honest, no one knows for certain
what it means.
The most likely explanation is that this psalm was to be
played on a musical instrument that was associated with the
town of Gath, perhaps some kind of stringed instrument that
was used by the Philistines. Or it may refer to a tune that this
psalm was set to, a tune that might have originally been
associated with the Philistines, or (since the word refers to a
winepress) it might refer to a tune associated with the songs
workers sang when they were treading grapes after the
Two other psalmsCPsalms 81 and 84Care also titled "TO
THE CHOIRMASTER: ACCORDING TO THE GITTITH," and both of them
are joyous psalms, too. So whether this refers to the tune or
the accompanying instrumentCwhatever "Gittith" isCit
seems to convey some sense of delight. In any case, David
seems to have borrowed some tune or instrument or other
expression of delight from Philistine music and applied it to
the praise of God.
Now look at the Psalm itself. It's short, so I'll read the
whole psalm, and then we'll work our way through it.
Here's the flow of logic you want to follow: David is
looking at the skies, and it causes him to break into this
glorious psalm of praise. He starts contemplating the
incomparable majesty of the God who made such a universe,
and that in turn makes him take note of the relative
insignificance of man. That makes him ponder the wonder of
God's grace to such a small and insignificant part of His
creation, and what pours forth from David's heart is this
inspired psalm that (according to the New Testament) has
great messianic significance. Psalm 8:
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the
earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have
established strength because of your foes, to still the
enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at 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, and the son of
man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly
beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your
hands; you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
Psalm 8 4
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the
There's nothing in the text itself that explicitly tells us when
in David's life this psalm was written, but some of the best
commentators believe he wrote it while he was still a youth,
possibly even while he was just a shepherd tending his
family's herds. That's when he had the most opportunity to
gaze at the heavens and meditate.
The psalm also makes no reference to the troubles David
often wrote about later in life. It seems to pour forth from a
heart undarkened by the memory of sins, unhurried by the
opposition of enemies, untroubled by the matters of state that
consume a king's mind. So this may well have been a psalm
that David wrote as a young boy or a teenager. We know that
he was a skilled musician and harpist from the days of his
youth. So this psalm could have been written while David
was working at night, watching the sky while he tended
sheep as an adolescent.
I want to sort of move with the flow of David's praise as
he goes from thought to thought in the phrases of this psalm.
It's a psalm of wonder and amazement and delight, and I
want to point out for you five amazing things that moved
David's heart to praise God. And as we go through them, let
your own heart be moved to worship and praise. First,
The Glory of the Son of Man 5
1. HE PONDERS THE VASTNESS OF THE UNIVERSE
The opening statement and the closing statement of this
Psalm are identical: "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your
name in all the earth!" That verse (of course) has been used
verbatim in the chorus of a praise song we frequently sing. It
expresses the main point of the psalm. It's an exclamation of
unadulterated praise to God's name. Words fail when we try
to express the glory of God, so what we have here is not a
description of God's glory, but an exclamation about it.
Every major English translation punctuates the opening
sentence of the psalm with an exclamation point. That is the
idea the words themselves convey, and I'm certain that's how
it was sung: with great fervor.
Notice also that the psalm begins and ends with the same
exclamation. Those two identical exclamations are like
parentheses, bracketing the substance of the psalm with its
own refrainCa celebration of the excellence of God's name.
In verse 1, he comes off that refrain with these words:
"You have set your glory above the heavens." As vast as the
heavens themselves are, God's glory is greater still: above the
heavens. Implicit in that statement is an acknowledgment
that God's glory is too great for David to express. He's
setting pen to paper to write a psalm of praise about God's
boundless glory, and he essentially confesses at the very start
that he has undertaken a hopeless task. Human words simply
cannot do justice to the inexpressible glory of God.
Psalm 8 6
But as he gazes at the heavens, David can see billions of
miles out into the universe. And he knows the universe
extends billions and billions of miles further beyond
thatCfurther than David's imagination can possibly carry
him. It causes him to realize that the One who made all that
must necessarily be even greater than everything He has
made. As vast and glorious as the heavens are, God's glory is
even greater than all that. The glory of God is higher, and
broader, and greater and infinitely more impressive than all
Now, remember that David's vision of the night sky was
unimpeded by the haze of urban smog or the glow of
artificial lights. If you have ever looked at the night sky in
conditions like those, you can see an absolute spectacle of
millions of stars. A few years ago, when our friend Jeff
Williams spent six months in the International Space Station,
Darlene and I would watch the charts to see when it was
going to fly over at dawn or at dusk wherever we were in the
world, and we would find a secluded area (a beach or a
vacant field) and watch the sky until the Space Station
passed overhead. One thing we discovered is that the night
sky is a lot brighter in most parts of the world than it seems
to be under a canopy of nighttime Los Angeles haze. One
night we stood out in the Arizona desert on a clear night,
several miles from any city lightsCand it is breathtaking
what you can see. Here in Southern California we don't
The Glory of the Son of Man 7
usually see that spectacle, but it's there, and it's a constant
reminder of how vast God's creation is, and how small in all
that expanse is man. The sheer number of stars you can see is
breathtaking. That's what David was looking at.
We have an advantage over him. If you really want to be
amazed, download some of the high-resolution photographs
that have been sent back to earth from the Hubble space
telescope. They are brilliantly detailed images of space
objects that look like single stars to the human eye. But when
you examine them, they are entire galaxies composed of
hundreds of thousands of unique stars. It turns out that the
universe is billions of times larger than David's eyes told
him. When you see that, how can anyone keep from being
awed at the majesty of God, as David was?
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I used to watch
Carl Sagan pontificate about science and the size of the
universe. And he'd be talking about how there were "billions
and billions of stars" in the universe. And he would explain
some of the complexities of it all, and marvel at it. But he
was hostile to the idea that God designed it. He was an
atheist. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he was
a pantheist. He deified the universe itself and everything in
it. His famous saying was, "The Cosmos is all that is or ever
was or ever will be."
Carl Sagan looked at the universe and saw its greatness
and concluded nothing could possibly be greater. He denied
Psalm 8 8
that it was the result of intelligent design. He denied that it
was created at all. He saw it as eternal and infinite, and so it
took the place of God in his thinking.
How can such unbelief exist in someone whose life's work
was the study of the heavens? Scripture says it is because
sinful minds suppress the knowledge of God in order to
accommodate their own sin and self-centeredness. Listen to
the description of such unbelievers in Romans 1:18-20:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their
unrighteousness suppress the truth.
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them,
because God has shown it to them.
20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power
and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since
the creation of the world, in the things that have been
made. So they are without excuse.
So much about God and his glory is clearly visible in
creation that anyone who concludes, as Carl Sagan did, that
there is no GodCis utterly without excuse. David saw the
vastness of the universe and it drew his mind instantly to the
glory of the creator.
Notice the play on words between earth and heaven here
in verse 1 of Psalm 8. God's name is excellent in all the
earth; His glory exceeds the furthest reaches of heaven. So
God both fills and surpasses all his creation. If you could go
The Glory of the Son of Man 9
to the farthest reaches of the universe, you would find that
God's glory extends even beyond than that. On the other
hand, if you examine the most infinitesimal particles of this
earth, you find that God's glory fills it all. There's an
inexpressible sense of wonder in what David is saying here.
In verse 2 he comments on the glory that fills all the earth.
Even babies' mouths are full of God's glory and strength:
"Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established
strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the
Now here David introduces the great theme of this psalm:
How God's great glory is magnified by the insignificance of
humanity. Remember, he's talking about the unfathomable
majesty of God. His thoughts about that majesty began when
he was pondering the furthest reaches of the stars. But when
he gives a concrete example of how God makes his glory
known, he says, "You ordain strength out of the mouths of
babes and sucklings, and in doing that, You put Your
enemies to silence."
That is an amazing thought, but it is exactly how God
delights to work. And that's a theme that runs throughout
Scripture. God uses insignificant things to make His glory
known. Listen to 1 Corinthians 1:26-29:
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were
wise according to worldly standards, not many were
powerful, not many were of noble birth.
Psalm 8 10
27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame
the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame
28 God chose what is low and despised in the world,
even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that
29 so that no human being might boast in the presence
And God can use the mouths of babes and sucklings to
silence His enemies. That literally occurred during the
ministry of Christ, just after he turned over the tables of the
money-changers. Matthew 21:14 says:
And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and
he healed them.
15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the
wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out
in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were
16 and they said to him, "Do you hear what these are
saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never
read, [and here he quotes directly from Psalm 8] "'Out
of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have
This strategy of ordaining praise from the weak and lowly
is epitomized in David himself. He killed Goliath when he
was still an adolescent. He wrote psalmsCperhaps even this
The Glory of the Son of Man 11
oneCwhile he was technically still in his childhood. And
here he has put his finger on a truth that epitomizes the
dominant character of all true faith. What God wants from us
is sincere, childlike, trusting praise.
I'm always amazed at those who seem enthralled with
sophisticated approaches to doctrine and philosophy, people
who are automatically impressed with academic degrees and,
or titled people, or wealth and prestige. I'd say the same thing
about people who are infatuated with elaborate liturgies in
worship. Nowhere in Scripture are we ever exhorted to
pursue such things. In fact, simple, childlike faith is always
commended in Scripture, and we're cautioned repeatedly
against the dangers of philosophy, the vain deceitfulness of
lofty speech, and the folly of human wisdom. God's chosen
way of spreading the truth is to "[hide] these things from the
wise and understanding and [reveal] them to little children."
Authentic faith, in the words of Jesus Himself, requires us to
"turn and become like children."
But (back to our psalm) verse 2 only introduces this
theme of God's strength being made perfect in human
weakness, and then David turns his attention back to the
heavens. Verse 3: "When I consider thy heavens, the work of
thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained
. . . "
Let's consider the heavens for just a moment. What are we
seeing when we look into the heavens? The closest star to
Psalm 8 12
our galaxy is Alpha Centauri. It is actually a star-system
made of three stars. It is 4.28 light years away from earth.
That's more miles than you can possibly imagine, but it
means if you go out tonight and find Alpha Centauri in the
sky, what you'll actually be looking at is light that left that
star system in about August of 2010. If Alpha Centauri blew
up tonight, we would not see it happen until the year 2019.
And that's the closest star you can see. Most of them are
billions and billions of miles further away than that.
In fact, the furthest star that is visible from earth is about
15-thousand million light years away. That is an
unimaginable distance. But beyond what you can see are
more galaxies. And as the Hubble telescope keeps reminding
us, some of the lights that appear like stars to us are whole
galaxies of hundreds of thousands of stars. One point of light
in our sky might be a galaxy larger than the Milky Way.
SoChow small is the earth? Well, to put it in perspective,
if our sun were the size of a baseball, the comparative size of
the earth would be not much bigger than a poppy seed. If you
want exact figures, the diameter of the sun is 14 million
kilometers. The diameter of the earth is only 12,720
kilometers. That's less than a thousandth of a percent, if
you're doing the math. It means if the sun were hollow, it
would take more than eleven-hundred earth-size objects to
The Glory of the Son of Man 13
But that's pretty small for a star. The universe beyond our
solar system is incredibly largeCinexpressibly large. I was
trying to think of a way to help you appreciate the size of the
visible universe, and I finally gave up. Words fail. If the
universe were the size of earth, our whole galaxy would be
less than a grain of sand on a beach
somewhereCinsignificant. If that one grain of sand
disappeared from existence, it would not diminish the glory
of the world itself. In the same way, if our whole galaxy
disappeared from the vastness of space, in the scope of the
whole universe, it would hardly be worth noticing. And
within the galaxy itself, our solar system is similarly
insignificant. If you could get far enough away to see the
whole galaxy at once, you would not be able to see our solar
system within the whole. And within our solar system, earth
is likewise insignificantCagain, like a poppy-seed compared
to the sun.
Now think about how insignificant that makes you and me
among the billions of people who populate the earth. Indeed,
it is amazing that God would take any notice of us at all.
The unbelieving mind considers the size of the universe
and concludes that no God could possibly be big enough and
powerful enough to create and govern all that.
But David had the opposite perspective. He understood
that the very existence of such a vast, well-ordered universe
argues for an infinite Designer. As he was pondering the
Psalm 8 14
vastness of the universe, it prompted him to marvel at the
greatness of the God who created it. If you're taking notes,
this is point 2. (Point 1CHe Ponders the Vastness of the
2. HE MARVELS AT THE GREATNESS OF THE GOD WHO
Look at the end of verse 3: "the work of thy fingers, the
moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained." All this
expanse of the universe; David says it's just finger-work for
God. Matthew Henry writes,
[The moon and the stars.] He made them; he made them
easily. The stretching out of the heavens needed not any
outstretched arm; it was done with a word; it was but the
work of his fingers. He made them with very great curiosity
and fineness, like a nice piece of work which the artist makes
with his fingers.
Listen, if you can ponder the size and the intricacy of the
universe and not be in awe of the greatness of God,
something is wrong with your head. No, I take it back. If you
can think about how vast and complex the universe is and
not give glory to the God who made it all, there's something
seriously wrong with your soul.
Look at the very end of verse 3: "the stars, which you have
set in place." The expression "set in place" is from a Hebrew
word that means "to set up" or "to ordain." It speaks of the
The Glory of the Son of Man 15
utter sovereignty of God, who merely speaks the word and
these things are called into existence and set in orderly
motion. David is acknowledging that God established these
universe and set it in order by a simple decree. He fixed the
stars in place. He sovereignly directs them in their course. He
did not create these things and them leave them unattended,
but His sovereignty over them continues.
I always admire the Old Testament character of Job.
There he was, smitten by Satan, his whole world destroyed.
And it would have been the tendency of most people to lose
confidence that God is really in control. But we have these
words of Job recorded in Job 9:4-10:
He is wise in heart and mighty in strengthCwho has
hardened himself against him, and succeeded?C
5 he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
when he overturns them in his anger,
6 who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars
7 who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who
seals up the stars;
8 who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the
waves of the sea;
9 who made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the
chambers of the south;
10 who does great things beyond searching out, and
marvelous things beyond number.
Psalm 8 16
Nehemiah 9:6 says, "You are the LORD, you alone. You have
made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the
earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and
you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you."
Again, if you can look at the heavens and not be overawed
with the majesty and glory of God, something is seriously
wrong with the way you think. And Scripture says sin is the
reason people suppress what they know to be true about God.
Remember what the apostle Paul says in Romans 1:20, "The
invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his
eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."
It's inexcusable to contemplate these things and not
recognize the glory and power of the Godhead, whose eternal
decree created such a vast universe full of wondersCand who
continues to orchestrate every aspect of His creation in
When David gazed into the heavens, he saw the glory of
God clearly. As he pondered the vastness of the universe,
that made him marvel at the greatness of the God who
created it. And that, in turn, moved him to see the very
obvious truth that we've already referred to. Here's our third
The Glory of the Son of Man 17
3. HE REALIZES THE INSIGNIFICANCE OF MAN AS A
Listen to verse 4: "What is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?" In the expanse of all
these glorious stars and planets, a universe so immense that
compared to just one galaxy, our whole earth is like a small
fraction of a subatomic particle. And on that tiny planet in
such a vast array of stars, here is man. To call him tiny or
insignificant doesn't do justice to the reality of how small we
are in the scope of all creation. If our entire solar system
were the size of the whole earth, and if you could examine it
through the equivalent of an electron microscope, you would
not even be able to see this tiny creature.
I was looking up stuff on the Internet to make sure I had
all my measurements and statistics correct, about the size of
our universe and baseballs and poppy seeds, and all that. And
I found a document on the Web titled, "Religion and the size
of the universe." And this Web page was put up by some
atheists with a really condescending attitude who want to
enlighten their Christian friends about the marvels of
humanistic astronomy. And after giving all these statistics on
the size of the universe, they write this (and I'm not
paraphrasing; these are their exact words):
People think that we are somehow blessed or special, so of
course the Creator Of The Universe must have set aside this
little corner of the universe just for us.
Psalm 8 18
Now we know better. If the Earth was destroyed
tomorrow, the universe would neither miss us nor mourn
our passing. Would you notice one grain of sand missing
from the beach?
We think we are special, and that supremely powerful
beings look after us. We are not special, we are simply the
result of a (probably very common) chemical accident
billions of years ago, in a place where the conditions are
right for life to flourish.
We are certainly lucky, yes, but special? No.
Carl Sagan said something similar. In 1996, just a few days
before he died, Sagan was interviewed on 'Dateline' with Ted
Koppel. He knew he was dying, and Koppel asked him if he
had any closing remarks or words of wisdom he would like
to share with the Earth's people. Here was Carl Sagan's last
We live on a hunk of rock and metal that circles a humdrum
star that is one of 400 billion other stars that make up the
Milky Way Galaxy which is one of billions of other
galaxies which make up a universe which may be one of a
very large number, perhaps an infinite number, of other
That is a perspective on human life and our culture that is
well worth pondering."
Our whole planet is less than a grain of sand in a vast ocean
of gargantuan rocks, and the unbelieving mind again comes
The Glory of the Son of Man 19
to the 180-degree wrong conclusion about it. Rather
marveling at the fact that God has lavished so much of his
goodness and so many of His blessings on the human race,
they conclude that we don't really matter at all in the big
scheme of things.
David had the opposite perspective. He realized that God
has exalted humanity to a level we certainly don't deserve,
and it caused his mind to turn to the subject of divine grace.
Having pondered the vastness of the universe; then
marveled at the greatness of the God who created it; then
realizing the insignificance of man as a creature; he could
only stand in awe of the incredible grace God has shown to
humanity. If you're taking notes, that's point 4:
4. HE STANDS IN AWE OF THE INCREDIBLE GRACE GOD
HAS SHOWN HUMANITY
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly
beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your
hands; you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
Here David marvels at the lofty position God has given man
in creation. In the King James Version verse 5 is translated,
Psalm 8 20
"thou hast made him a little lower than the angels." I'm using
the ESV, and it says, "you have made him a little lower than the
heavenly beings." The word in Hebrew is elohim. So this
verse could literally be translated, "thou hast made him a
little lower than God." In fact, that's what you have if you're
using the New American Standard Bible: "You have made him
a little lower than God." Because the expression is ambiguous,
I actually prefer the ESV here: man was created a little lower
than heavenly beingsCbut no matter which way you translate
it, the point is the same: Man is the highest creature in the
material universeCthe only one of God's creatures that bears
the stamp of His own image. In other words, in the
incomprehensible vastness of God's creationCwith so much
that is large, and bright, and powerful, and grandCGod
magnified man over all of it.
That is a remarkable thought, isn't it? When God put that
first couple in the garden, he gave them dominion over all
His creation. He told them to subdue it and rule over it.
Adam was created to be a living depiction of GodCbearing
the very image of God, and ruling over all the rest of
Adam's fall not only marred the image of God in
humanity, but it also drastically altered the state of creation.
Sin introduced death, and disease, and for the human race it
meant toil and sweat rather than automatic dominion over all.
It's ironic and tragic when you think about it, that man was
The Glory of the Son of Man 21
designed to rule over all creation, but in our state of sin, we
can be brought low by the tiniest microorganisms, which
cause all kinds of disease and disability.
But here David was seeing humanity as God intended,
ruling over all creationCverses 7-8: "all sheep and oxen, and
also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish
of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas." And I
believe David was seeing with the eyes of faith, and
envisioning humanity in a redeemed state.
I'm not sure David consciously appreciated the real depth
of what he was writing here. The apostle Peter tells us in 1
Peter 1:10-11 that the Old Testament prophets often
"searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time
the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the
sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories." They did not
always fully comprehend the prophetic meaning of
everything they wrote. Peter expressly says sometimes when
they wrote about Christ, the Old Testament prophets
themselves could not fathom the full meaning of the inspired
truth God gave them. And no wonder. Peter goes on to say in
the next verse that these things were revealed for our sakes,
not theirs. And even the angels desired to look into these
In other words, certain things given to the prophets were
mysteries even to the prophets who wrote them down by
Psalm 8 22
inspiration. And they were even mysteries to the angels who
looked over their shoulders while they wrote.
And in this psalm was hidden a mystery that went beyond
anything David could consciously or rationally fathom.
He pondered the vastness of the universe. He marveled at
the greatness of the God who created it. He realized the
insignificance of man as a creature. He stood in awe of the
incredible grace God shows humanity. But what he was
really writing about in this psalm (probably without seeing it
explicitly) was the unimaginable humility of Christ. And this
is point 5, if you're taking notes:
5. HE WRITES OF THE UNIMAGINABLE HUMILITY OF
If you read this passage without reference to the New
Testament, following all the conventions of sound
hermeneutics, you'd probably conclude that David is
referring to AdamCor to humanity in generalCmade lower
than the angels, but crowned with glory and honor, and given
dominion over all things.
But the New Testament sheds some inspired light on the
passage, and we discover that this is a Messianic psalm. The
one who is crowned with glory and honor and given
dominion over all things is not Adam. Adam was given that
dominion, but he forfeited it when he sinned. The real
subject of this psalm is the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, in
The Glory of the Son of Man 23
whom dominion, glory and honor are restoredCand elevated
to new heights.
The reference to him being made lower than elohim is a
reference to His incarnation. And the writer of Hebrews
quotes this passage in Hebrews 2:6. Turn there and read with
Hebrews 2. Here the writer of Hebrews is arguing that
Christ is a higher being than the angels. And he says this,
starting in verse 5:
Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to
come, of which we are speaking.
6 It has been testified somewhere, "What is man, that you
are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for
7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor,
8 putting everything in subjection under his feet." Now in
putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing
outside his control. At present, we do not yet see
everything in subjection to him.
9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower
than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and
honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the
grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Psalm 8 24
So Psalm 8 turns out to be a psalm about Christ. And here's
the gospel: Christ became man. As Paul wrote in Philippians
although He existed in the form of God, did not regard
equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant,
and being made in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled
Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even
death on a cross.
He was made a little lower than angels for the suffering of
death. Having taken on a human form, he lived a perfect
human life. Hebrews 4:15: He "was in all points tempted like
as we are, yet without sin." But in the end, He died for the sins
of others. He took our guilt to the cross and bore the
punishment for it, so that His perfect righteousness could be
imputed to us.
That's the gospel: that ChristCwho is eternally
GodCbecame man, so that he might rescue this fallen race
from the sinful state into which we had fallen. He bought
forgiveness for all who believe by dying in their place; and
He provided righteous covering for them by living a perfect
life under the law, obeying it perfectly, doing all that God
commands us to do. He took our sin and paid for it; He gives
us His righteousness in return. Christ is the perfect man, and
the only possible mediator between God and men. He
The Glory of the Son of Man 25
restored to the human race the dominion Adam abdicated. He
is the one under whose feet all things are placed.
Incidentally, the apostle Paul quotes Psalm 8 in 1
Corinthians 15:27. listen to that passage. First Corinthians
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under
26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
27 For "God has put all things in subjection under his
The phrase "all things under his feet" is a quote from Psalm 8,
verse 6. And it means the true and final fulfillment of this
psalm will be celebrated throughout all eternity, when Christ,
eternally God and now everlastingly human, will rule over
all things. God's mercy to the human race will reach its
zenith in the exaltation of His own Son, the one mediator
between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus.
Isn't that amazing, mind-boggling truth? We close the way
David closed, with a repetition of the opening exclamation of
praise to God. Spurgeon said this:
Here, like a good composer, the poet returns to his key-note,
falling back, as it were, into his first state of wondering
adoration. What he started with as a proposition in the first
verse, he closes with as a well proven conclusion. . . .
"O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"