I’ve been meditating upon this great passage of Scripture the past couple of days. We find both the transcendence and condescension of God in Psalm 8. It begins and ends with “O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth” (8:1, 9). That’s transcendence. God is greater than all. His name is above every name. His splendor is displayed above the heavens (8:1). In light of His altogether uniqueness, it is amazing that He crowned mankind with glory and majesty, granting him the noble task of caring for creation. That’s condescension. God bent low, and, as a result, man was greatly blessed. Having just consumed some great spaghetti, I am grateful that God gave us sheep, oxen, beasts, birds of the heavens and fish for our food (the funny thing is that our sauce was made with ground turkey–a bird of the land! [see verses seven and eight]). Sometimes we humans falter in our thinking by believing that God owes us. Since we haven’t attempted to assassinate a politician, actually killed someone, molested a child or robbed a bank, we assume that we deserve to be rewarded for our goodness. How wrong that line of thinking is! In reality, “my country, family, church fare worse because of my sins” (The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur Bennett, ed., The Banner of Truth Trust, 1989, p. 69). In short, God is not blessed to have us. However, we are blessed to have Him, and we should be thankful for how much He has blessed us! Speaking of mankind’s God-given task to subdue and rule the natural world, John Calvin wrote, “And the more that this dominion is apparent, the more ought we to be affected with a sense of the goodness and grace of our God as often as we eat food, or enjoy any of the other comforts of life” (Heart Aflame: Daily Readings from Calvin on the Psalms, P&R Publishing, 1999, p. 13). Our majestic-named God is great, and He has greatly blessed us! “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”
By the way–if you are wondering where the Savior is in Psalm 8, allow me to tell you by sharing three passages of Scripture:
“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:3).
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth…He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16, 17).
“in these last days [He] has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (Hebrews 1:2).
Three New Testament authors confirming the particular identity of the Creator mentioned in Genesis 1 and Psalm 8! Mind if I share His name? JESUS!