Psalm 8 Commentary
The heavens may refer to what we now know as the universe. It may consist of the visible but outer world as well as the invisible outer world. One glance and you immediately know we are looking at an immeasurably majestic Creator. The sun, the moon, and the stars; all display the glory of the Creator God.
But there is more to creation: humanity. Children, untrained and inexperienced, they possess a world of raw faculties to leave the world of science speechless. It is a praise song to the genius of the Creator God – glory on display.
What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
In one of the most heavily quoted psalms, David is celebrating God’s creation in very clear graphics. Had David lived in the 21st century, he would be talking about today’s technology as one of the wonders of creation. It would be the creation of God through the created – mankind. But it’s God’s attention to humanity that has taken center stage. Why us? Yes, we are special. We have seen it. We know it. And what we have achieved through technology is clear evidence of our superior standing in creation. But why us?
In a direct reference to the original mandate, as recorded in Genesis 1 verse 28, David talks about an important aspect of dominion. The Creator God made humanity ruler over God’s creation – the work of His hands. Dominion has nothing to do with political leadership. Read it again. However, it has everything to do with being in charge of every creature: all flocks, herds, animals in the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the sea.
Genesis specifically talks about man’s dominion “over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”. Importantly, this list includes a special creature identified as the serpent. Dominion, therefore, means a life above the schemes and machinations, ideologies, and infiltration of the evil one. The saint must understand dominion in the one most important word: salvation. It is salvation from the rule of evil to life above as per the original mandate.
Humanity has advanced but without dominion. Something very important is missing. David is reflecting on the original mandate and a place for mankind in creation. Let the world reflect on man’s lost relationship with the Creator God. In the meantime, the saint can look out and marvel: LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
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