In this week’s lessons we look at how mankind is described in relationship to God, and note how the Lord Jesus Christ fulfills this psalm.
Scripture: Psalm 8:1-9
In seeing Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity in taking the glory for himself that should have gone to God, I have noticed that this is precisely the way our society increasingly regards itself. Western society has lost sight of God. It no longer sees man as a creature made in God's image, whose chief end is "to glorify God and enjoy him forever." It has eliminated God from its collective conscience. Then, because it no longer looks to God to derive its sense of identify and worth from him, it looks in the only other direction it can look. It looks downward to the beasts and derives its identity from the animal kingdom. This is what evolution is all about. Eliminate God, and evolution is the only theory left. We are only slightly advanced beasts, according to this theory. Besides, since we see ourselves as beasts, we begin to behave like beasts. Indeed, we behave worse than beasts, for we end up doing things the animals would not dream of doing.
So what does God do? We know what he does, because he has done it. God sends his own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to save us from our willful ignorance and rebellion, and to fulfill Psalm 8 as we have not. Which is why the author of Hebrews uses the psalm as he does in chapter 2. He applies it to Jesus, saying that he was made a little lower than the angels (in order to die for us) and that, as a result, the Father has "crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet," adding, "in putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him" (Heb. 2:7, 8). It is a parallel statement to that great hymn of the church recorded in Philippians 2: “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (vv. 8-11).
The fullness of that great destiny is still future, as Hebrews notes: "At present we do not see everything subject to him" (v. 8). But although we do not see everything subject to Jesus yet, there is one thing we do see. "We see Jesus . . . now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone…Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus" (Heb. 2:9; 3:1).
What happens when we do? The answer is obvious. At this point we are looking up again—by the grace of God—and the grace of God, which has saved us and redirected out affections, now begins the work of once again conforming us to his likeness, and we end Psalm 8 where David himself ended it, crying, "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"
How does the author of Hebrews use Psalm 8 in Hebrews 2? What does this teach us about Christ and his work?
How does the passage from Philippians 2 parallel Hebrews 2:6-9?
Application: In what ways do you need to better “fix your thoughts on Jesus” (Heb. 3:1)?
Thinking and Acting Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Thinking and Acting Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.
The Alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars, and churchmen who hold the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today's Church.