When we consider the majesty of God’s wonderful works in the universe,
we cannot but wonder that He should notice such a mean creature as man,
yet we may be sure he takes precedence of all the inhabitants of this world,
being made but a little lower than angels.
1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
2 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.
3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 8 – God’s Glory in Man’s Headship
This exquisite ode can reach perfect fulfillment only in our Lord, Hebrews 2:6-9. It was evidently composed at night, and probably dates from the early shepherd days, when wild creatures crept around the fold and night-birds screamed above, reminding the singer of the animal world over which man was meant to reign.
The ascription of Psalm 8:1-2 is very fine. Christ is so mighty that when His strength is given to babes they vanquish and silence His foes, Matthew 21:16; I Corinthians 1:25. Do not regret your helplessness, II Corinthians 12:9, 10. The comparison of Psalm 8:3-4 is striking. It is a great descent from Adonai above the heavens to the son of Adam (“dust”). But the king loves his child more than his palace. What must not be the worth of man, of whom God makes so much! The crown of creation was placed on man’s brow. Sin wrecked it, but the Son of man regained it, Matthew 28:18; Isaiah 11:6-9; Romans 8:19-22. The holy soul has the talisman of rule, I Corinthians 3:22. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 8:6—Thou madest him to have dominion.
Yes, broken, beaten, fallen, O child of man, thou wast made to have dominion. Not only over cattle, birds, and fish, but over thine own wonderful nature. Within thee there is a realm as full of multitudinous life as Paradise was when God brought the animals to Adam that he might name them; and over all this thou wast meant to rule. Yea, thou wert made to have dominion also over the wicked spirits that are thy sworn foes. A royal, regnant, victorious life was that which the Creator inbreathed. There is no reason, on God’s side, or in the original constitution, why thou shouldest not exercise thy dominion. Remember, thou wast made to have dominion.
We see not yet all things put under us. There is open revolt and anarchy within. The will resembles the ancient kings whose sway was limited by proud and strong barons. The animal creation largely defies us, and is in this the symbol of our loss of authority everywhere. But look away to Jesus. This old psalm is fulfilled in Him. His glorious nature rose, by its inherent glory, to the right hand of power. All authority is his in heaven and on earth. And in proportion as we identify ourselves with Him, and receive his life, we regain our lost dominion. He makes us kings and priests unto God. We share a life which neither death nor the devil can master.
What shall we say of the excellency of his name, who is not only our Creator, but our Redeemer, and who at such great cost to Himself has replaced on our brows the crown that sin tore from them? He made us to have dominion by the word of creation. He made us kings unto God by his blood. His name shall, therefore, be honoured through all the earth. —Our Daily Homily