The Mystery of God Entering His Own Creation (Psalm 8)

Psalm 8 (NIV)

LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!


Today’s post is from A Meditative Journey Through the Psalms by Timothy and Julie Tennent. He serves as the president of Asbury Theological Seminary among other posts he holds across the global church. She is a gifted musician and was one of the driving forces that helped bring to fruition the Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise. We will share some of their writing on the Psalms on Sundays.

Psalm 8 gives us the proper perspective on life. On the one hand, as bearers of the image of God, we have been exalted above the entire created order. He has “crowned [us] with glory and honor” (v. 5) and created us to rule “over the works of [our] hands” (v. 6). The whole created order, including flocks and herds, birds of the air, and fish of the sea, have all been placed under our feet. On the other hand, we are part of the created order, and nothing compares to his eternal and uncreated majesty and glory. Indeed, “how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (v. 1). Most of our misery occurs when we either fail to recognize his eternal majesty, or we fail to see how the image of God has given us a unique role as stewards over all creation. Some people overreach, thinking that humans are like God. Others under-reach, thinking that we are no different from the animals. One of the ironies in the naturalistic atheists is that they have the capacity to ask eternal questions, but accept the verdict that they are mere animals by denying the very transcendence inherently revealed in the questions they ponder.

The New Testament gives us an even deeper perspective on the psalm when we listen to this act of praise through the lens of Christ. For in the incarnation God has placed Jesus as the head of the new redeemed humanity. For our perspective, Psalm 8 shows how exalted we are. From the perspective of Christ, Psalm 8 is the story of his condescension into the human race through the incarnation. Although Jesus is the second person of the Trinity—coequal, coeternal, and consubstantial with God the Father—he nevertheless entered into the human race for our sake. By taking on humanity, Jesus was made “a little lower than the heavenly beings” (v. 5; see also Heb. 2:6–8) and, by that, showed us the full depth of God’s glory, humility, and love.

When Jesus entered into the human race, we probably expected him to avenge our enemies through an exertion of God’s power in defeating all those opposed to him. However, in the mystery of the incarnation, he faced his foes not with power, but with vulnerability and humility. When Jesus entered Jerusalem and the temple for his final passion, death, and resurrection, it was not the religious rulers, but the children who sang, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” Jesus noticed this and quoted Psalm 8 to the chief priests and to the teachers of the Law: “have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?” (Matt. 21:16). This act foreshadowed the whole cross, whereby God’s weakness is greater than all human strength.

For the Awakening,
Timothy and Julie Tennent


Sing Psalm 8 with the Seedbed Psalter today! Visit the free resource here or purchase the book A Metrical Psalter: The Book of Psalms Set to Meter for Singing here.

P. S. Get the Resource

Several years ago we published a book called A Meditative Journey Through the Psalms by Timothy and Julie Tennent. Find today’s entry and writing on the rest of the Psalms in this beautiful resource. Order a copy of A Meditative Journey Through the Psalms from our store here.

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. The Mystery of Life’s Meaning and Purpose is Revealed Through Christ.

    Hopelessness happens when we fail to let the glorious grandeur, wonder, and design of the material universe keep our heart overflowing with awe and appreciation, for the one who created it. Materialism offers people no inner peace. Only something non-material can do that. I’m always inspired and hopeful and filled with a great sense of purpose and meaning. Christ in me truly is the hope of glory!

  2. “He became what we are that we might become what he is.” This was written by St. Athanasius in The Incarnation of the Word, his case against the Arian controversy in the fourth century. Only through the Incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ could fallen humanity be restored to the former reflection of our Creator’s image. Thanks be to Christ, our Victory over sin, death, and the power of Satan!

  3. “Most of our misery occurs when we either fail to recognize his eternal majesty, or we fail to see how the image of God has given us a unique role as stewards over all creation.”

    Not really. According to the Psalms, much misery comes from oppressors.

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