Please read this Psalm before you consider this message. The eighth psalm is altogether a psalm of praise and thanksgiving. Its primary idea is the condescending love and goodness of God towards the human race. The thought that Jehovah God who made the starry heavens and set His glorious throne above the heavens, that He should have a regard for mankind is a thought that was well nigh overwhelming to David. The psalmist filled with this thought can do no less than than pour out his feelings of love and gratitude in song. There are four subjects in this little song: the glory of God, the glory of the universe, the glory of man, and the glory of Christ.
It begins and ends with an ascription of praise, honor and glory to God. The first verse says, “O Jehovah, our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth, who have set your glory above the heavens. The last verse says “O Jehovah our Lord, how excellent is your name n all the earth.” If you wonder about a good way to start out your prayers to God, that is an excellent way to address the Most High God. His glory exceeds the glory of the starry heavens; and the glory above the region of the starry heavens where He has set His everlasting throne; and there He dwells in overwhelming light too awesome to be described. He points out that even small children honor Him with their lips and put adults to shame who refuse to recognize and honor God. How often will children tell us of a God whom we have forgotten. Jesus quoted verse 2 about small children honoring God when the enemies of God refuse to do so. Turn to Matthew 21:12-14 and read the words of Jesus..
David goes on to say that the name of God is excellent in all regions of the earth as well as in the heaven of heavens above the earth. There is no place where God is not. In Psalm 139:9,10 David said, “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me.” Let us adore Him as did Job who said, “He alone spreads out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. He made the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades....He does great things past finding out. Yes, wonders without t number”(Job 9:8-10)
Secondly, David set forth the glory and beauty of this wonderful universe with these words, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of Him?” The whole creation is full of His glory and shows on every hand His goodness and wisdom. The countless myriads of His creatures, human and animal, are supported and nourished by His goodness. A survey of the solar system has a tendency to moderate and
control the pride of man and promote humility. Pride has been one of the chief causes of all the contentions, wars, devastations and systems of slavery and other ambitious projects that have demoralized our sinful world. However, when we look at the starry heavens and the vast creation, it shows us how insignificant we are. Though we are the object of God's care and mercy, yet man is but as a grain of sand to the whole earth, compared to the countless millions of heavenly bodies that fill the universe. When David contemplated the starry heavens, it made him feel the littleness and insignificance of man.
Thirdly, David sets forth the glory of man, and the special greatness which God has bestowed upon him. The vastness of the universe made David cry out to God in humility, what is man that you are mindful of him and communicate with him? He answers his own question in verse 5, “You have made him a little lower than the angels, and you have crowned him with glory and honor.” We are nothing, said David, compared to the starry universe, but it amazed him that man is so highly exalted in the scale of being. Most all versions read, “You have made him a little lower than the angels and you have crowned him with glory and honor.” If you have a Bible with center references, there is a note on this verse. It says the word angels is really the word for God. Thus it reads, “You have made him a little lower than God.” However, when the Old Testament was translated into Greek, called the Septuagint version, the word angels replaced the word God. There is no explanation for this change. It really makes little difference. In order of dignity the angels stand next to God, and man stands next to angels and a little lower than them. I think it quite appropriate to say that both angels and human kind are just a little lower than God. Another glory of man is that God has given him dominion over the work of His hands and has put all things on earth under the feet of man. That is an honor indeed.
The fourth thing we learn about this psalm is mentioned in the New Testament Turn with me to Hebrews 2:5-9. In Heb. 1 and 2 Paul absolutely proved that Jesus was not an angel as some false teachers in the first century were maintaining. In verse 5 Paul said that God has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels and proved it by a quotation from Psalm 8 which says God placed this world under the subjection of man. So when he spoke of the world to come, He was speking of this present sent world during the Christian age of the world, the time of Christ's kingdom on this earth.
While man was appointed to have dominion over the earth, to our surprise Paul says that he has failed to exercise this dominion mentioned in Psalm
8:6 which says, “For in that He has put. all things in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him, but we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor that he by the grace of God might taste death for everyone. The dominion given to man has not yet been completely realized or fulfillled.
What Paul is saying here is that from the creation of man and up to first century and the beginning of the Christian religion, man has not properly used his dominion. In consequence of sin and universal disobedience to God, man has, in a great measure, lost this dominion. Satan has for a time gained possession of the world While mankind in general has failed, yet we see one member of the human race who has not failed, the Divine Son of God. He too was man as well as God, and He tasted death for all mankind that man might become free from sin. And as the man Christ Jesus He was crowned with glory and honor by God, and Paul is revealing here that what was promise mankind at creation which man has lost by disobedience, will be regained through the man Christ Jesus. What God says of man in Psalm 8 was lost for the most part by sin and rebellion, but in the Christian age of the world, man is regaining his lost dominion through the leadership of Christ. The more progress the Christian religion makes in the world, the more will man exercise rightly his God-given dominion. Clearly, Psalm 8 was a prediction of the coming of Christ, for without Him, man will never rule this earth rightly in accordance with the glory and honor bestowed upon at the creation of the universe.