That Majestic Name
July 15, 2014 Pastor: Don Green
Topic: Midweek Sermons Scripture: Psalm 8:1-9
Now we come to Psalm 8 and what a great, great Psalm this is. We looked at it recently in a different context but we're going to take a completely different look at it really tonight than what we've done in the past when we were going through our doctrinal statement. For those of you that have been with us on these past many Tuesday nights which is almost all of you, I don't see any exceptions to that, Psalm 8 gives us something different than what we have seen over the past several weeks. It's a completely different spiritual atmosphere. In the past Psalms we have looked at, we've seen David in distress and discouraged and I just want to remind you of that, just kind of hopscotching through Psalms 3-7. Look back at Psalm 3 and verse 1, David said, "O LORD, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me." In Psalm 4:6, he said, "Many are saying, 'Who will show us any good?' Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O LORD!" In Psalm 5:1, he says, "Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my groaning." In Psalm 6:2, he says, "Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am pining away; Heal me, O LORD, for my bones are dismayed. And my soul is greatly dismayed; But You, O LORD - how long?" And in Psalm 7:1, he says, "O LORD my God, in You I have taken refuge; Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me, Or he will tear my soul like a lion, Dragging me away, while there is none to deliver."
So, in each of those five Psalms, we have seen a tone, a current of discouragement, of lament, of complaint, of Christ for help and there has been an undercurrent of discouragement that has marked those Psalms even though David works through the character of God and comes to a position of trust in the end. In Psalm 8, you have none of that. In Psalm 8, you have a pure statement of praise, of giving glory to God and reflecting on his works and it is by contrast quite the refreshing breath of air. Look for just a second at Psalm 7:17. I'd like for us to see the little connections that kind of stitch the Psalms together like this. In Psalm 7:17 after these multiple Psalms of lament, David says, "I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High." Now, having said that, you go right into Psalm 8 where he says in verse 1, "O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!" And so in Psalm 8, no enemies are breathing down David's neck. He is not discouraged. In fact, he begins and ends with praise. Verse 1 again, "O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth." Verse 9 at the end of the Psalm, the exact same refrain, "O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!" That's a literary device called an inclusio which is just a fancy word to refer to something like bookends. What begins the Psalm is the same thing that ends the Psalm and what that means is that everything in between is designed to reinforce and build up that refrain, that sense of giving glory to God. Everything in verses 2-8 are designed to bring praise to God and so it's a very interesting technique just from a literary standpoint, to begin and end at the same place. You've come full circle; you start with praise and you end with praise. But to give you a little bit of a teaser, a little bit of an appetizer for what's to come, what you're going to find is that even though the words are identical, once you have worked your way through Psalm 8, there is a fuller richness to what is said in verse 9 than there is in verse 1 because it has been informed by what David has said in between and so this is one magnificent Psalm that we get to study tonight.
Let me just pause for second and say something because I want you to be mindful of the way we're trying to approach this series overall. So far, the Psalms have been short enough that it's worked for me to do one message per Psalm instead of doing 2-3 messages on a Psalm. There are a lot of reasons for that but one of the reasons that I’m doing that and I want to call your attention to it because I’m wanting to help condition your mind to think about Scripture in a particular way. We're doing the Psalms this way so that you can see the overall flow of an entire unit of Scripture. The Psalms are, in one sense, self-contained units and we need to see them that way. We need to see them from beginning to end all in one setting. That will help us not only understand the Psalms better but it will also help us learn that we are to understand Scripture in its context. We shouldn't be taking one verse out of context and then just building whole theologies around a single verse yanked out of its context. Scripture is meant to be read like other literary things, in its flow and its context. The author says one thing and builds on it and then says something else that builds on that and that's a very important way to approach Scripture. If you have a teacher that only gives you one verse and then can talk for 20 minutes all around it and talk about things and you wonder, "Where is he getting that out of that verse?" That's not a healthy way to understand Scripture. A teacher should be helping you understand what a verse means by what went on before it and what comes after it. That's how you enter into the mind of God in the writing of Scripture and so one of the things that we're trying to do by example in this series on the Psalms is to establish an approach to Scripture that understands it in its context and that's what we're going to do again here tonight in Psalm 8.
Now, for those of you that know what lies ahead in the Psalms and you know that there are 176 verses in Psalm 119, I don't know exactly what I’m going to do with that. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it and maybe I’ll have to use more time to go through that than just one message but I’m aware also that that is out ahead. So we're just taking advantage of this while we can.
Psalm 8, let's get into it. There are four points for this evening that I want to give to you and the first one is this, David shows his first point: the magnificence of God. The magnificence of God is the theme of this Psalm. It begins and ends with verse 1 that says, "O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!" As we pointed out, verse 9 ends in the same way. The operative word here, the defining word for what David is saying here in the opening two verses is "majestic." He's referring to the name of God which is a shorthand way to refer to the totality of his character. It's the sum of all of his attributes. From his glory to his greatness to his grace. From his holiness to his mercy to his kindness. All of those things wrapped up, talking about the name of God as the covenant-keeping, faithful God who reigns over all of the universe. This is a sweeping look at who God is and the totality of his being, is what he starts out with and he says, "Lord, you are majestic," and that word communicates the idea of something which is superior to everything else. It's a word that means the splendor of his character: it is magnificent; there is no sight in nature, there is no expression of beauty, there is no poetic word, there is no beauty that exceeds the excellence of God to be found anywhere on the face of the earth.
So David is speaking in the most comprehensive splendid ways as he opens. He's talking about the splendid fullness of God and saying that it's above all of the heavens and that it is more excellent than anything that can be found on earth. So in a very compact concise way, David has ascribed the greatest glory possible to God in this opening verse. So he has summarized all that God has revealed about his character and his might and he is thinking in the most lofty terms.
Look at verse 2 with me. He says actually at the end of verse 1, he says, "You've displayed Your splendor above the heavens! From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease." And so, what David has done, we can express it this way: he has gone beyond and outside of the universe to express the glory of God and said, "Your splendor is above everything that is created." Then he comes in and he rapidly goes to the small concept of a young child giving praise to God and says that "Your praise is found beyond the universe and your praise is found on the lips of young children as well." In such a way, God has revealed himself in such a macro way above the universe and in a micro way on the lips of children that it simply silences those who would be opposed to him, those who would rise up and teach contrary to him, who would sin against him. The totality of the heavens from the greatness to the smallness and all points in between silences the enemies and opponents of God. That's how great his majesty is.
And Jesus quoted this passage. I want you to turn to Matthew 21 because it is a little bit of an odd statement it would seem without anymore context. What does he mean "From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength"? Well, Jesus quotes this verse in Matthew 21 when he is being told to silence those who are praising him. Look in Matthew 21:14, "The blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, 'Hosanna to the Son of David,' they became indignant." God's enemies on the face of the earth at that time were the temple leaders and they go to Christ in verse 16 and say, "Do You hear what these children are saying?" They are opposed to Christ. They want to silence him even after he has done inexplicable miracles by the power of his hand to heal the blind and the lame in the face of the evident display of the power of God, they are still blaspheming. And these are men of societal nobility; these are men of strength; these are men of position. They are men of rank who are speaking and yet the voices of children are praising Christ in the temple and Jesus says to them after they ask him, "Do you hear what these children are saying?" Jesus says, "Yes, I hear them. Have you never read that, 'Our of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise for yourself?'" A loose quotation of what we are seeing here in Psalm 8 this evening.
So, even during the life of Christ when he was being opposed by the strongest religious leaders of the day, in the background were the voices of children praising him that exposed the sinfulness and the futility of their opposition to God and so it continues generation after generation. Sometimes in the days of the martyrs, the young children were lifting praise to God as the martyrs were being burned at the stake. It's told of George Whitefield that when he was being pelted by stones, that little children would come and bring him questions for him to answer and so while adults were assaulting the word of God and the testimony of God, children were there to affirm the truthfulness of what was being said. And for those of you that are young, those of you that are under the age of 12, 14, you're young, you're still on the front end, why don't you take this verse and says, "Here's what's going to set the trajectory for my life through my teenage years. I'm going to be one of those young people that declares the glory of God without shame no matter who's around me." And you just take this verse and set that and say, "I'm going to identify with the young one who praise God rather than the adults that I see that adulterate his word." Why don't you be someone like that? That would be a great outcome from a message like this for you tonight.
The praise of God, the magnificence of God opens up this Psalm. One of the things that might be helpful for us to remember just as a matter of astronomy, it's okay for me to talk about astronomy because Dr. Faulkner isn't here this evening I don't think. I'm not going to go too deep anyway. But just for us to remember that what David saw 3,000 years ago when he looked up into the night sky in Palestine in the land of Israel is much different than what we see here in a metropolitan environment where the lights of the stars are washed out by the city lights. Those of you that have ever been on a dark ocean or in a dark country place and look out and you know that there are multitudes of diamonds sparkling and just displaying such great glory and you're looking out at this spectacular, almost like a massive snow globe just displaying glory all around you and you quickly feel very small in light of it because it's just mesmerizing to look at the galaxies that you can see with the naked human eye. That's what David was seeing, not what we see in a city looking up and maybe you see 3 or 4 stars clearly. No, David was looking up and he was just seeing a kaleidoscope of heavenly bodies on display that silenced the human lips with their magnificence as he reflected on what he saw.
So David sees what Psalm 19 says "the speechless testimony to God," the silent testimony to God from the heavens; he hears the sweet innocent voices of children, as it were, testifying to the glory of God and what we see here in the magnificence of God in these first two verses is that God is so mighty, his display of his greatness is so profound that he can use silent things to silence the voices of his enemies. He can use the weakness of children to confound the strong. He can testify conclusively and convincingly to himself without a word being spoken. Just look up at the great night sky, is the idea. Charles Spurgeon said it well when he said and I quote, "What a contrast between the glory above the heavens and the mouths of babes and sucklings, yet by both the name of God is made excellent." And so, David opens this Psalm in this first two verses with a declaration of the magnificence of God.
From there, he goes on in verse 3 and this brings us to our second point this evening. He goes from the magnificence of God to the insignificance of man. The insignificance of man. That's point 2 if you're taking notes and I will be collecting the notes after the message tonight to grade them. No, that's not true. 2. The insignificance of man. What David is doing now in these next two verses is he is turning his gaze from the sky to the earth and having gazed on the magnificence of the galaxies which makes him realize that the work of God is displayed in a way that makes God himself even greater by comparison, his creation is so great how much greater must the Creator be? David turns his gaze from the sky to the earth and all of a sudden, he feels very small by comparison. The created order has humbled him. Look at verse where he says, "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?" This word for "man" is a word that suggests the frailty of man, the weakness of man, that man is mortal, that is subject to death. He is small and miniscule by comparison.
We all know too well but this is the idea that he has on his mind, is that man lives for a time and then passes away and so he's looked up and he sees the glory of the galaxies and he looks down and by comparison he says, "Here I am as a man. Here is this human race, a speck on a speck in a magnificent universe. God, why would you, in light of the greatness of the cosmos, why would you pay attention to a man like me?" He has been humbled and he says, "When I consider your heavens." It's interesting, the possessive pronoun there, "When I consider your heavens," he says, "the work of your fingers." Now, he's not saying that God literally has actual fingers, it's a figure of speech that ascribes human characteristics to God in order to express a thought in poetic ways. What he's saying is, "The universe that I see that is so great and so magnificent was simply a work of your fingers. It was easy for you to create the universe as it is for me to bend my knuckles." So great is the power of God, so great is the wisdom of God, that he could create the universe as easily as we can flick our fingers. It did not exhaust, it did not test the power of God to create everything that we see in six 24 hour days. That's how great he is. We couldn't begin to hang a single star in space; he's hung billions of them there. He's put them in orbit with mathematical precision. Te knows them all by names and it didn't test his power, it didn't plumb the depths of his omnipotence at all. There was plenty left where that came from.
So he says, "When I consider your heavens," and he just multiplies the synonyms, "the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained." Here's what he's thinking, here's what he's saying, "God, I look out and I see this universe that is so vast and I look down and see man by comparison and there is such a gap, there is such a vast gulf between man and this great universe which you created with your fingers. God, if you can do that and display your glory in such a magnificent broad realm, why would you give your attention and care to a little one like me? I feel small by comparison. I feel that big," pinching his fingers together, as it were. So the universe has humbled him. The display of the galaxies has made him low. It has made him realize that in comparison to the created order, he is a fleck of nothingness by comparison. He can't go to the stars. His eyes can't plunge the depth of them. They orbit around him and all he can do is watch and he's been made small. He recognizes – listen to me very carefully – he recognizes his comparative insignificance in relationship to the heavens which God has made and he says, "God, in light of that, when you have such bigger things going on, what is there about man that you care for him and that you think of him? It's just incomprehensible. God, don't you have something better to do than pay heed to one like me?" That's the insignificance of man that he feels in comparison to the created order.
But now we're going to move into point 3 which is this: the significance of man. The significance of man. That sounds like I’m getting ready to contradict myself, doesn't it? The insignificance of man, point number 2; the significance of man, point number 3. Here's what you've got to follow and here opens up vast understandings of what we're going to see here in the next 10-15 minutes or so, just opens up vast reservoirs of greatness of the purposes of God for man, the purposes of God in Christ and the noble dignity that belongs to us as members of the human race, especially as redeemed members of that human race. Here's the thing, beloved: the universe trivializes man. It most certainly does if you only look at things outwardly. If you go into the planetarium show at the Creation Museum and you see the exponential glories of space on display, the universe will make man look small and yet, here's the thing, here's where David is going, here's the pivot in the thought: the God who made that universe has given to man a lofty position in it. We do not define our relevance in the universe by comparison to the stars but in comparison to and in submission to the one who made the stars and we ask the question, "Why did he put us here? Why did he put the human race here?" and only the revelation of Scripture can inform our understanding so that we see things and understand things that are not outwardly visible. You can only understand the position of man through what God has revealed in the 66 books of the Bible.
Look where David goes in verses 5-8, I’ll read all four verses here together. He says in verse 5, "Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas." Now, put your finger on verse 5 and just kind of scroll down with me a little bit and notice the creative significance that God has given to the human race. He says in verse 5, "You have made him." Verse 5, "You crown him with glory and majesty." Verse 6, "You make him to rule." Verse 6, "You have put all things under his feet." What he's saying is that man owns a unique position because God has given it to him. God has assigned a place in the created order to man that is unique among all creatures on the earth and the significance of man is derived not in comparison to the environment in which he lives, the significance of man is found not in comparison to the canopy of space that surrounds him, his significance is derived from the one who made him and placed him where he is. That changes absolutely everything and we're going to talk through these verses in a moment but here's what I want you to see as a bigger point in the whole scheme of things: when our fellow so-called intellectual men deny the existence of God and define him out of existence and define man in relationship to the beasts instead of to man's real Creator, they have forfeited their dignity. Then, once they have forfeited the creative dignity that God has bestowed on him, as they deny his very existence, in trying to become free they have made themselves irrelevant in the created order. They have forfeited, they have severed the umbilical cord to their own significance by their foolish, atheistic designs that would try to rid God of his presence and all they are left with, instead of being connected upward to the great God who confers dignity on the human race, all they're left with is sharing the ground with crawling beasts who have no soul. So the consequences of an evolutionary philosophy are such that it defines the true significance of man out of existence and you deal with the consequences as men and women start to behave like beasts instead of aspiring after the one who truly created them.
Now, one other little passing thought, a little observation here. Psalm 8 does not address the reality of the fall of man in Genesis 3. It doesn't deal with the problem of sin or the consequences of sin. It doesn't deny those spiritual and theological realities. It simply isn't dealing with that point here. It's simply dealing with what God created man to be. It's dealing with the position that man holds in creation even though he has forfeited much of the privileges and he has forfeited the fellowship with God through his sin. Still, he bears the image of God and he still bears that position in creation even though it has been marred by sin. David is not dealing with that problem here, he is dealing with the more narrow reality of what God created man to be and where man derives his significance from.
So with that little bit of qualification in mind, where do we find the significance of man? What is it that ultimately makes your life matter? What is it that makes the human race matter? It's nothing that we can define on our own. It's nothing that we can achieve. In that sense, it's just like biblical salvation, it was something that was given to us. It's nothing that we could earn on our own. It's nothing that we could assert through our own power and that's what David is saying. We find the significance of man, first of all, in creation in verses 5-8. The significance of man in creation in verse 5-8: God has assigned man a high place in the created order despite his frailty and weakness. Look at verse 5. He says, "You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty!"
Now, let me just say a word about that phrase "lower than God." Some of you may have a version like the ESV or the NKJV or maybe even the NIV and other versions are translating it, it's not "lower than God" with the sense of lower than the heavenly beings or lower than the angels. The Hebrew word "Elohim" can be used in both ways. It can be used as a name for God; it can be used as a reference to angels or heavenly beings. Now, here in this case and I almost never do this, here in this case, I believe that the ESV and those other versions are translating the term better. The NASB says "a little lower than God," it's better to see this as "a little lower than the angels," and I’ll give you a couple of reasons for that. First of all, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint which was done about 200-250 years before the time of Christ, when they were translating the Hebrew into Greek at that time, they used the word for angels, not God, as the word that they used to translate this passage here in Psalm 8. That's one reason. The more important reason is what the New Testament tells us about it, how the New Testament takes it. Look over at Hebrews 2. I just want us to be as precise as possible in understanding what David is saying here. In Hebrews 2:5, the writer of Hebrews is describing the superiority of Jesus Christ over the angels, the ministering spirits from chapter 1:14 sent out to render service for those who are saved. Now, in verse 5, he says that God "did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. But one has testified somewhere, saying," and then he gives a quotation from Psalm 8 and he says, "What is man that you remember him? Or the Son of man, that you are concerned about him?" Verse 7, "You have made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, and have appointed him over the works of your hands; you have put all things in subjection under his feet." That extended quotation which he's applying to Christ in Hebrews 2, in that extended quotation he uses a Greek word referring to angels to express the meaning of Psalm 8.
And so we believe here in Psalm 8 that he's saying that, "You have made man," in Psalm 8:5 if you want to go back there. In Psalm 8 we believe that he's saying, "You've made man a little lower than the angels and you crown him with glory and majesty." What would that mean then? I mean, it's obvious that man is lower than God and so what does it mean that he would be lower than angels? Well, angels are spiritual, angels are immortal. Man is physical and mortal and yet in that lower state than angels, a little lower than angels, yet in that state, nevertheless, God has taken man and appointed him over the created realm on earth and David says, "This is remarkable. Here we are of a lower order than angels and yet you have put the human race, you have appointed man to be your representative on earth to rule over it. We're a vice regent for God over the created realm on earth," David says. "Why would you do that? And yet you have. You've crowned us, you've crowned man with glory and majesty. You've given him this great position of nobility, of responsibility, of opportunity. You've given to man so much that he never could have claimed on his own. You make him to rule over the works of your hands?" There are echoes of Genesis 1 here, aren't there?
In fact, let's turn back to Genesis 1 for just a moment. David in a sense is expounding on the account of creation from Genesis 1. Genesis 1:24, "Then God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind'; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good." So God has created the earth, he's put the animals on it and then in verse 26 he says, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness," and so he creates man in his own image. We've talked about that in the past, about what that means in terms of man's ability to think with reason and to have relationships. "Let Us make man in Our image and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth." So he completes his creation and then he puts man in charge. What a place of dignity. This is infinitely better than a President appointing you to be an Ambassador to a great country. This is God appointing man to rule over his creation. That is a place of significance not because man is bigger than the universe, but because God has given him something to do. He has assigned a good nature to man; he has given him something to do for which he is accountable and responsible to God himself for. That gives man significance. That is what God has made man to do.
He says at the end of verse 6, it almost reads like a commentary on those verses from Genesis 1. Turn back to Psalm 8 if you haven't done that already. Psalm 8:6, "You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet," and then David explains in verses 7 and 8 what he means by "all things." He explains what that means. "All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas." That is what man rules over. As I like to say, that's why men build zoos and animals live in them rather than vice versa. A zoo is an expression of the created order. We put animals there and we use them for our enjoyment because that is fitting and proper for the ruler over God's creation to do.
Now, let's back up for a second to repeat myself, if you only looked at man in relationship to the universe and the vastness of it and there he is small by comparison, you would completely misinterpret his significance. The Creator has assigned a high place to man. He is in charge of creation on the earth. That's quite a role. That's quite a place to be given to you. Now, note this: we can only talk about the dignity of man, we can only speak of the noble place of the human race in the context of submission to that Creator God. As I said earlier, if you try to cut God out from it, you're left with man being a beast and he forfeits his own dignity on it. By the same token, like almost any doctrine in Scripture when you study it all the way through, there is a very fine balance to walk. You're always walking on a knife's edge as you're discussing doctrine because it's easy to go to one extreme or another and fall off the edge. We talk about the significance of man but notice this: we talk about biblical the significance of man from a place of utter humility, of complete deference, with no sense of pride in our mind at all because, first of all, in the literary context of Psalm 8, this Psalm is not about praising the dignity and glory of man, it is about praising the dignity and glory of God. "How majestic is your name in all the earth?" Here is the significance of man. "How majestic is your name in all the earth, O God?" From beginning to end it's all about the glory of God and so you understand the dignity of man only in connection to the greater glory of God and man sees his dignity and does what David did, at least he should, "Praise be to God. What a great magnificent God he is."
Now, I’ve used this illustration before but I’m going to use it again. This is crucial. We talk about the significance of man, we talk about the dignity of man, it is utterly essential to realize and Psalm 8 teaches so clearly that man has only a conferred dignity. He does not have an independent dignity. His dignity is derivative from the one who gave it to him. The human race has dignity only because of what God has done with it and what God has assigned to it. Here's the illustration that I’ve used in the past: man is like the moon in that the moon has a brilliance in the night sky but it is only reflecting light from another source. It's reflecting light from the sun and that sun is what gives the moon its brilliance, gives it its own unique glory. Take away the sun and the moon is just a dark, ugly rock in space. It reflects the glory of the sun but has no glory of its own. In the same way, beloved, man has dignity but it is a derivative dignity, it is not an independent dignity, it is a dignity that the race has because God has given it to man. So rightly understood, our dignity comes from the one who assigned our place to us and because of that we give glory and praise to him, "Thank you, O God, for giving the human race a special place in the order of your creation and giving us minds to understand it and eyes to see it with and we give you praise for your goodness to our race."
Now, if you had seat belts, if this was an airline announcement, I would say, "Please fasten your seat belts because it's going to get so much better than what I just described." Psalm 8 describes this and in what we have said, hopefully we have been faithful to what David intended us to understand, what David intended as he wrote it but by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, what David wrote went beyond what David probably understood in his own writing at the time that he wrote it because the New Testament tells us that there is another even greater aspect to the dignity of man. We've seen the significance of man in creation and that is a lofty place for it to be displayed because it is the place where God has given man his dignity but the human race enjoys an even greater source of dignity because our significance comes not only in creation, the significance of man is found in Christ. In the Lord Jesus Christ, the New Testament applies Psalm 8 to Jesus Christ multiple times. We saw it once already from that passage in Hebrews that talks about the Incarnation. Well, watch what happens now. Look at Ephesians 1. We'll get there soon enough on Sunday mornings. What you have in Christ is the perfect man. You have the second Adam. You have the ultimate representative of the human race. The eternal Son of God taking on our nature, our human flesh, and walking on earth. The Son of God entered the human race and that confers a dignity on the race that transcends anything that creation could have done.
In Ephesians 1:19, talking about the church, Paul says in verse 18, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ," now follow this, "He brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places," it gets better, "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He," meaning God, "put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church." In the Lord Jesus Christ, all the spiritual realm has been put under his feet. In the God who became man, the realm of the church has been put in subjection to Christ. In Christ, in the God-man, in the one who became flesh, every invisible rule and authority and dominion has been subjected to him. Christ is the God-man and all the invisible powers in the church of the redeemed are submitted to him. Truly, when David said, "What is man that you give thought to him? You've made him a little lower than the angels, you've put all things in subjection to his feet," David was thinking about it in terms of the created realm, the New Testament says that God had an even greater plan in mind to the ultimate man, to the second Adam, even the invisible realm would be put under subjection to the feet of a man. Our head, our representative, our King, our brother, the Lord Jesus Christ.
That's how much things have been put into subjection to him. That's great. But there's more. Turn back to 1 Corinthians 15. We just saw the whole invisible realm subjected to Christ, the God-man, the ultimate head of the redeemed humanity and now in 1 Corinthians 15:23, "But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power." Speaking of Christ, speaking of the God-man, "For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death." Now comes the quotation from Psalm 8, "For He has put all things in subjection under His feet, But when He says, 'All things are put in subjection,' it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him." In other words, all of creation is being subjected to Christ. The totality of it. Everything visible. Everything invisible. That covers it. That is exhaustive. Everything invisible and visible is subjected to Christ and then in verse 28, "When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all." Christ is going to subdue everything under his feet and then he's going to hand it as an act of worship to the Father.
As a man, Christ will return to earth and personally rule over creation. It will all be under subjection to him but the beauty of it, the glory of it, the glory of Christ, the glory of the fulfillment of Psalm 8 is that Christ will not squander the opportunity like Adam did. Adam sinned his way out of the high role that was given to him and he was kicked out of the Garden of Eden righteously for his rebellion against God. Christ, by contrast, will come, subject all things to himself and as the perfect God and the perfect man, will hand it up as the act of worship to God which is what Adam should have done in the first place. So, beloved, Christ has not only redeemed us from sin, he is going to redeem the fallen role of humanity and fulfill the role that man was given to have and in perfect obedience, he will hand it over to the Father and the purpose of the human race will be fulfilled in Christ.
What does that have to do with the significance of man? Christ became a member of our race. We share a nature with the one who is going to subdue all things under his feet. It's not just that our sins are forgiven, it's not just that we're going to heaven, we share a nature with Christ and he who shares our nature is going to subdue it all under his feet and that is what gives man his ultimate significance. The Son of God shares our nature and will one day restore to the human race the dignity which God intended. The rebels will be gone by this time, sent away into judgment and just a purified race of humanity, those redeemed by the shed blood of Christ will join together in that great act of worship. We belong to the human race which Christ saw fit to enter into himself. We share a nature with the Son of God, his human nature, not his divine nature. We share a nature with the Son of God and by him coming to earth conferred a dignity on humanity that was greater than anything else that ever could have happened. That's what God did for humanity.
Turn back to Psalm 8. Where does that leave us? Where does that leave us? We see the significance of man in the created order. We see the significance of man in Christ. Where does that leave us? It leaves us right back where we started from. Look at verse 9, "O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!" Look, I want you to see this Psalm from the great macro perspective. This Psalm started above the universe. It entered into the splendor of the skies. It came down to earth and spoke to man and spoke to the beasts and even went inside the heart of man in self-reflection and said, "Who am I that I should be a part of this? How should I have any dignity? But, O God, you've made man like this," and so from outside the universe, into the universe, down to earth, down to the creatures, inside the man it goes. Displaying and declaring the glory of God all the way through and then it's not done there, it comes out of man and in Christ reaches into the future of eternity. This is one magnificent Psalm that when it is properly understood causes us to give a depth of worship, to ascribe such magnificent glory to God for the greatness and the splendor and the wonder of his great name.
It's not just, beloved, it's not just that God has put a magnificent display in the heavens above us, although that's very true and that's what started David down this path, it's that he has such magnificent wisdom to conceive of such a plan. He such great power to carry it out. In Christ, he has such condescension to come down and share humanity with us and in the future, all the rebel powers will be subdued. They will be judged. They will be cast aside and Christ will carry the stream of the redeemed behind him into glory where we will ascribe glory to God in an echoing chamber of majesty for all of the unfolding ages of eternity. Where do you find such power and goodness and greatness and wisdom? David and the Holy Spirit speaking through David has proven the point in ways that astonish our feeble little minds.
Look at verse 9, Psalm 8. In light of all that we have seen from the Scriptures, verse 9 and bow with me in prayer as we close.
Lord, no words of ours could be worthy and so we pray simply with the inspired word of God, "O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!" We pray through the name of our great Redeemer, Christ Jesus. Amen.