The Glory of the Son of Man (Phil Johnson)

Psalm 8   |   Sunday, January 18, 2015   |   Code: 2015-01-18-PJ

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

God's creation.

First, look at the inscription at the beginning of the psalm.


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

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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


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.

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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,

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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.

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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

the heavens.

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

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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

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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

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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.

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27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame

the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame

the strong;

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

of God.

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

prepared praise'?"

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

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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

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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

fill it.

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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

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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




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

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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.

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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

meticulous detail.

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



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.

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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

public statement:

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

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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:



Verses 5-8:

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,

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"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

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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

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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:



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

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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

his feet.

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!"