Praying for a New Perspective (Part 2)

You Matter to the Majesty

 

As David pondered the power of God while seeing the solar system, his thoughts come back to earth in verse 4: “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” On this dark night, on this little pebble of a planet, why would God even care about me? Listen carefully. In God’s eyes, you are more spectacular than a supernova. The glory of the galaxy has been placed upon your head. If there is anything more marvelous than the sheer scale and splendor of the universe, it’s that in all of that vastness, you matter to the Majesty.

 

The word for “man” here is the word that means “weak and frail.” Our lives are like a vapor, here one moment and gone the next. And yet, God is mindful of us, meaning that He remembers us. This is a covenant term, indicating that He is committed to us and will never forget us. The word “care” has a rich meaning. It literally means, “to visit.” Because God treasures His creation, He looks for ways to come and get close to us and to visit us with His blessings.

 

Some of you don’t really believe that God thinks about you all the time. You have a hard time understanding how He could love you because of all the things you’ve done. While you may be unworthy, as we all are, you are not worthless! Allow the truth of Psalm 139:17-18 to break through your guilt and shame: “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.” Do you know what that means? It means that you can’t even count the number of times God thinks about you!

And Zephaniah 3:17 tells us what He does when He thinks about us: “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” When God thinks about you, which He does all the time, He takes great delight in you and even breaks out into song!

 

You are the pinnacle of His creative power, the apex of His awesome plan for the cosmos. We see that in verses 5-8. We are made just a little lower than the heavenly beings and have been crowned with glory and honor. God’s plan for us was to make us co-regents, as He’s called us to have dominion over flocks, herds, beasts of the field, birds of the air, and the fish of the sea. There has always been a special place in the heart of God for humans, whom He made superior to any other part of His earthly creation. Genesis 1:26 reminds us that we have been made in His image and therefore we reflect His glory, though rather dimly because of sin.

 

Allow Jesus to Recreate You

This Psalm leaves us feeling a bit unsettled because we know that while we can ride a horse and catch some fish, all of God’s creation is definitely not under our feet. Earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, fires, cancer, and death are a stark reminder that our world is out of whack. Our trust in corporations, our courts, and even churches has been fractured these past months. And, we wonder when the next terrorist attack will come.

 

We can heal and we can harm. We both educate and exterminate. We can overflow with humanitarian help and then explode in inhumanity to others. The writer of the Book of Hebrews felt a similar tension when he read this Psalm. Right after quoting a section of Psalm 8 in Hebrews 2:8 he wrote: “In putting everything under him [meaning man], God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.”

 

We’ve come a long way from the day when God made mankind to have dominion. Great things have happened. Inventions have made life easier. The Sons of Liberty made a stand for independence. We have looked for ways to subdue our planet and have headed to space, looking for other worlds to conquer. We’ve done well…or have we? There’s still one thing you don’t have dominion over. Do you know what it is? It’s you. Humans have never learned to subdue sin. It was unleashed into the human bloodstream by Adam and Eve and it continues to infect lives today. That’s the root of the human dilemma. We’re image-bearers of God and yet we’re marred by the magnitude of sin.

 

The Book of Hebrews also gives the provision to our predicament. Quoting Psalm 8, the writer of Hebrews 2:9 no longer applies it to us, but rather points us to “…Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death…” Jesus took on the form of a man in order to taste death for us. He did this, according to verse 14-15, in order to “…destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil; and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

 

Humans have been made in the image of God to rule and reign as the divine agent in charge of the earth. But, because of sin, we have rejected God and pursued ultimate destruction for both our planet and ourselves. But Jesus came and dealt the devil a deathblow. When we put our faith in Him, we will become who God has made us to be. He is fashioning a new creation of men and women, boys and girls, who reflect His image and accomplish His purposes in the world.

One People Under God

 

That brings us full circle to the last verse of Psalm 8: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.” Let me ask you a question. Is Jesus your Lord right now? David could say with confidence, “O Lord, our Lord.”

 

Sometime back a federal appeals court declared the Pledge of Allegiance to be unconstitutional because of the phrase, “under God.” Thankfully, that decision has been stayed and will hopefully be overturned. It was amazing to see how our entire nation rallied behind the pledge. I really enjoyed watching Congress recite it, giving special emphasis to the phrase, “under God.”

 

As I watched the reaction and read different responses, I couldn’t help but wonder if we are really “one nation under God.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad that the public outcry was so overwhelming. But, let me bring this a bit closer to home. Psalm 8 establishes that God’s glory is above the Heavens and yet it reminds us that He can be “our” God. He can be your God. But that can only happen if you decide to live your life “under God.” Under his authority. Under his Word. Under His values. Under His purposes for your life.

 

As we approach our celebration of independence in a few weeks, are you ready this morning to pledge your dependence upon God and your determination to live under His leadership? If so, will you please join me as I conclude our time by praying through Psalm 8.

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