Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Glory of God

Psalms 8:1-9

“To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.” (Psalm 8:1a)

This Psalm was written by David especially for the Harp. 

“O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.” (Psalm 8:1b)

It is amazing how great and wonderful our God is.  He is the God of all the earth, not just some local deity honored only in his own small circle.  The entire universe testifies to his mighty power and intelligent planning. 

“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” (Psalm 8:2)

God has given strength and intelligence even to tiny babies so that even they can resist Satan’s power and choose what is right.  Had he not, the entire human population would be demon possessed.  Because he has given the strength to withstand Satan’s attacks, Satan’s power is limited to what people allow him to have over them.  Though Satan is very powerful, he cannot take control of a person unless they allow him to do so.  Unfortunately some cultures encourage people to let him take control. 

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

Realizing God made the entire universe that is millions of miles across,, making each of the stars and planets  and prescribing them to follow a particular orbit, it is amazing that God would concern himself with a single human being on a small planet orbiting a relatively small star in the midst of millions of stars.  Why would he care about us?  Why would he bother to send his own son to earth as a human to save us?

“For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” (Psalm 8:5-8)

There are different levels of sentient life, from the amoeba to various insects to amphibians and reptiles to mammals and birds to humans  and finally to the angels.    Though humans are a lower order than the angels, God has given them authority ove r the things he created.  Genesis 1:26- 28 describes that authority.  “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”  

With that authority comes a level of responsibility.  We have an understanding of how things work so that we can make judgment calls about what our actions will produce.  When man chose to sin, it resulted in the awareness of moral responsibility as well.  Unlike the animals which can make decisions based on what an action will produce, mankind is able to not only understand the mechanical consequences, he is also able to understand the emotional and spiritual consequences of his actions.   As a result they are responsible for their actions to a level the animals are not. 

A dog may understand that you do not like him tearing something up, but he does not understand that doing it actually deprives you of something, whereas a human has the ability to understand that, and though he may not think about it, he is responsible for his actions in a way the dog is not.   

Unfortunately mankind tends to pervert their responsibility, sometimes focusing on a single element of the environment and ignoring the effects on other things, whether trying to manufacture some device or to protect some living organism.  It is not that those things are not importhnt , but that they are only part of the picture. 

Because Man has failed in his moral responsibility, God sent his son to provide a way to overcome the results of that sin.  His son became a human , but he fulfilled that responsibility, and thus has been given full authority over everything God created. 

“O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:9)

How wonderful is the God who would take such concern for mere humans to give them such authority and then provide a way to correct things when they mess up?

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