Christ in Psalm 8, Part 2

Welcome back to Defender’s Voice. We will continue our studies on Christ in Psalms. Today, let us continue our meditation on Psalm 8. I would like to ask your undivided attention to 7 things in this Psalm. 

  1. Children of Praise
  2. Creation of the Universe
  3. Consideration of man
  4. Crowning of humanity
  5. Character of Christ
  6. Control of nature
  7. Consummation of History

    Previously, we have seen 2 things. So, let us complete the remaining 5 things.

3.Consideration of Man

Let us verse 4

What is man that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that Thou dost visit him?  (Psalm 8:4)

  1.    What is man? As we live in this world, we realize the vulnerability of our beings. An infection left untreated can cost us our life. A heart attack, a stroke, a motor vehicle accident can cease our existence. I heard about a business woman full of ambition. She boarded a plane which was traveling from New York to Dallas. Midflight, a fan blade of this Boeing 737 broke apart. The debris hit the fuselage and broke the cabin window. All passengers woke up and started to shout. As the cabin rapidly lost pressure, this woman passenger was partially sucked out of the jet. The other passengers bravely pulled her in, but they could not save her life. She died from the injuries. Human beings developed more technology in the last hundred years than in all the preceding centuries combined. But we are still so frail and vulnerable. Our puniness becomes more obvious when compared to the size and power of the universe. David was bewildered by this human condition. What is man before your creation?

    What is the man that you are mindful of him?

    What is man that you care for him?
       President John F.Kennedy used to keep a prayer on his desk in the Oval Office. You can see it now in JFK Presidential Museum and Library in Boston. This poem goes like this:

    Thy sea, O God, so great,

    My boat so small.

    It cannot be that any happy fate

    Will me befall

    Save as Thy goodness opens paths for me

    Through the consuming vastness of the sea.
    Thy winds, O God, so strong,

    So slight my sail.

    How could I curb and bit them on the long

    And saltry trail,

    Unless Thy love were mightier than the wrath

    Of all the tempests that beset my path?
    Thy world, O God, so fierce,

    And I so frail.

    Yet, though its arrows threaten oft to pierce

    My fragile mail,

    Cities of refuge rise where dangers cease,

    Sweet silences abound, and all is peace.

       John F.Kennedy, the most powerful man of his time, reciting the prayer,

    Thy sea, O God, so great,

    My boat so small.

      Imagine going in a space vessel and comparing it with the vast size of the universe.

    Thy universe, O God, so great

    My spaceship so small.
        Yet, David says, this great God of the universe reached out to us. To every individual. President Trump made news this week by meeting Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea. Stephan Gladieu is a photojournalist from Paris, France. Last year he traveled to North Korea to study individual lives across that Communist nation. He was surprised to find out people in that nation do not take individual photographs. Only group photos are encouraged and allowed, not individual portraits. People don’t take individual photos even on special occasions like wedding!!

       Without God, there is no value to the individual. Joseph Stalin famously said, ‘One death is a tragedy, one million is a statistic’. Atheism has always been a fertile ground for totalitarianism. Not all totalitarianism looks and feels like North Korea. Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. Both wrote dystopian novels featuring totalitarianism. In Huxley’s Brave New World, totalitarianism is through numbing up people using materialistic excesses, and instinctual liberation through drugs and sex. In contrast, in Orwell’s 1984, totalitarianism is through hunger, starvation and imprisonment. Either way, in totalitarian societies, individual has no value. Into such a repressive system, God breaks in. David says,

       God wants to visit the individual.

       God is mindful of the individual.

       God cares for the individual.
    In Jesus Christ, God became an individual, a human individual to interact with each one of us on an individual basis.  The Son of God became the Son of Man, ben adam in Hebrew.

    1. Crowning of Humanity

    Let us verse 5

    ‘For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor’ (Psalm 8:5)

       British philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873) once said, “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied”. With all our deficiencies, it is better to be a human being than any other being in the universe because only the humans did God create in his image. He gave us intellect, rationality, morality, emotions, free will, and fellowship.

       God created humanity in his image. Evolutionists do not believe this fundamental truth of the Bible. They say human beings are products of a purposeless universe. There is no Creator and there is no such thing as image of the creator. Man is just a walking, talking animal. There is nothing special about him. God says, man is very, very special because of all beings in the universe, only man was created in the image of God.

       Never before in human history the identity of the individual has been such a controversial subject than it is now. Am I a man or a woman? Many people are not sure. They just want to call themselves, ‘Gender Fluid’ because they are not sure how their gender evolve in the next few weeks. David has a message for our confused world: God preordained our identity.

       The central message of Psalm 8 is the Glory of God & Dignity of man. You are dignified because of God. Man’s chief end is to enjoy God. Sadly, we lost this view of life, thanks to godless philosophies like Marxism. Karl Marx starts his The Communist Manifesto with these words,

    “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed”

      There is no God in such a worldview. It’s all about class struggles, it’s one big fight. Bible gives us a different picture of reality: Glory of God and Dignity of Man. We derive our dignity from God and we live for the glory of God.

      Last time I was in Washington D.C, I went to visit African-American Museum on the National Mall. I stopped near a large exhibit on which the words of great abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison were etched: ““Wherever there is a human being, I see God-given rights inherent in that being, whatever may be the sex or complexion”

        God crowned every human being with his glory and honor. Realizing and practising this truth is the remedy for all our social evils.

    It solves racism, because people of all races were created in the image of God.

    It solves regionalism, because people of all nations were created in the image of God.

    It solves casteism, because people of all castes were created in the image of God

    It solves sexism, because both men and women were created in the image of God.

    It solves religious intolerance, because people of all religions were created in the image of God.

       ‘Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor’ : No other worldview gives humanity more value and honor than Christian worldview.

    1. Character of Christ

        Interestingly, this Psalm also describes the nature of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    ‘For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor’ (Psalm 8:5)

        The writer of the Epistle to Hebrews quotes this verse in Hebrews chapter 2:  7 – 10

    1. Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

    Please note those words: We see Jesus

    He was made a little lower than the angels.

       Jehovah’s Witnesses, you should note those words. Jesus was not an angel. He was and is a human being.

    He was born a human.

    He lived as a human.

    He died as a human.

    He raised from dead as a human.

    He ascended into heaven as a human.

    Now, in heaven, he is glorified as a human.
       Jesus was and is God who became a man. Jesus is our God. He is our Man.

    He was made a little lower than the angels.

    God who created the angels,

    God who commands the angels,

    God who is worshiped by angels,

    was made a little lower than the angels.

       Why? for the suffering of death, to taste death for every man.
    In Adam, the human race went into curse, pain, suffering and death.

    In Christ, a new human race is being created by God.

    In Christ, a new human civilization has started. And the best is yet to come.

    Then the writer of the Epistle to Hebrews says, Jesus became the Captain of our Salvation.
      For many people in America, cricket is nothing more than a bug. But for people in India and other British ruled nations, cricket defines life. I still play cricket in my neighborhood. Every cricket team has a captain. The Captain goes on our behalf to the toss, he determines where we stand in the field, he decides who bats and bowls. We follow his directions. Jesus Christ is our captain. He becomes the Lord of our lives.

    1. Control of the nature

      Let us read Psalm 8: verses 6-8

    1. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8. The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

        God gave man the dominion over the nature. True, we don’t feel like that today. Even our dogs and cats often do not follow our commands, let alone sharks and whales. It was not like this in the beginning of the creation. God gave complete dominion over the nature to our first parents, Adam and Eve. You remember Jesus telling Peter to go and find a coin in the mouth of a fish? I wish I could do pay my taxes through fishing! That was the kind of dominion the original parents exercised on nature. After sin entered into human race, entire nature lost its original order.

       (May, 2018) We can see how volcanoes have been erupting on Hawaii’s Big Island. Rivers of lava forcing thousand of people to flee. People are terrified. They made a goddess out of these volcanoes. Madame Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, the woman who devours the earth. One person who lost her home in the lava said, “My house was an offering for Pele. I have been in her backyard for 30 years. In that time I learned that Pele created this island in all its stunning beauty. It’s an awe-inspiring process of destruction and creation and I was lucky to glimpse it”. Another person called this goddess Tutu Pele, meaning grandmother Pele, she made us, we are her descendants. Some say this goddess Pele was born in Tahiti to the fertility goddess Haumea, then forced to flee to Hawaii in a canoe after seducing the husband of her older sister, the goddess of the sea. Pele went around and using her stick she dug out fire pits under different islands in Hawaii. That’s how we got these great volcanoes and craters. Kimo Awai, a 67 year-old hula teacher said, “We believe in 40,000 gods, but Pele is in the highest echelon for obvious reasons. Pele created Hawaii; she is that primordial force that exists within all land masses. And she can be vengeful, so watch out.”

      This is Romans chapter 1 stuff, folks. Nature terrifies us in myriad ways.When people are terrified of nature, they start to worship it. They made gods out of sun, stars, planets, oceans, rivers, animals, plants, human beings. Instead of repenting of their sins and coming to the Creator, they are worshiping the nature.

        When Lord Jesus Christ establishes his millennial reign, things will change. Under His lordship, human beings will regain their dominion of the nature. We saw last week, when the United States inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem, violence broke out in Gaza and over 60 people died. This will change. When Lord Jesus Christ, establishes his kingdom in Jerusalem, there will be no destruction from nature, there will be no violence between the Jews and Gentiles. He brings forth complete dominion over the natural world and political world. There will be no more bloodshed or violence.

    We read in 1 Corinthians 15:24-27

    Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

    1. Consummation of History

    Let us see verse 9

    O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!

      This chapter started in praise and ended in praise. Human history started with praise and it will end with praise. When God created the universe, there was praise. Then the sin entered and disturbed God’s creation. God came into this world, died for our sins on the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended into glory. One of these days, God will put an end to human history and all dominion belongs to Christ.

       In 1992, political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote the book The End of History and the Last Man. In this book, Fukuyama argued that at the end of human history the Western liberal democracy becomes the final form of government for all nations. He is wrong. The end of history is not liberal democracy, but divine autocracy. Our God and Lord Jesus Christ will rule this world. And all God’s children will say, O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all earth!
    PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you for the precious thoughts from Psalm 8. It is a great delight to see your portrait unveiled before us as we studied this chapter. We praise your dear and loving name, Amen.

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