Read Psalm 8
The Excellency of God
This Davidic psalm touches on the themes of the expanse of the universe and on the dignity of man, but neither subject fits the overall theme that is the excellency of God. David begins and ends with the words, “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1, 9). The skies are beautiful, and the dignity of man is glorious, but both are only used as proofs of the Lord’s excellency.
David writes, “Out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2). The story of Moses begins when he was but an infant, placed in the Nile and discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter. It was through that baby that God would eventually deliver His people from the slavery of Egypt.
Likewise, the history of God in the flesh begins in Bethlehem when Jesus is born of Mary. It was through that baby that God would eventually deliver His people from man’s greatest enemy, Satan, and the slavery of sin via the crucifixion. Thus, this Psalm looks both backward to the historical deliverance of Israel through Moses, and prophetically looks forward to the deliverance of all mankind through Jesus.
David looks at the sky above him and acknowledges the smallness of man in relation to heavenly bodies. “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:4). What makes man significant in the eyes of God, considering all the beauty of His creation?
The answer comes in the next line: “For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5). It is nothing that man has done, but what God has done. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’” (Genesis 1:26). What an awesome standard for which we should strive: to be like God! His righteousness, His graciousness, His mercy. A lofty and noble goal for His creation!
Man has dominion over all creation because God has granted such to him. May we ever remember that we are stewards of the nature He has made and that we have done nothing to deserve that honor. Indeed, “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!”