majesty of Christ set off against the consideration of man in his lowly
estate and the fact that Christ took our identity to Himself and
suffered death in our stead.
AIM: That we
might be in wonder as we both look to Him and ourselves; that we might
be reminded of His infinite glory and the pit from whence we are digged.
INTR: A most
wonderful picture of what was required of Christ in order to bring us to
God is presented here alongside the praise of the Psalmist in a most
1. The psalm begins with a most wondrous declaration of
the excellency of the name of the Lord and ends with the same words with
the reason of that praise inserted in between.
2. It might seem at
first reading that the Psalmist was simply addressing the high privilege
given to men among the inhabitants of the earth and their elevation to
dominion over creation. But then, we read: 6 But one in a certain place
testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son
of man, that thou visitest him? 7 Thou madest him a little lower than
the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him
over the works of thy hands: 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection
under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left
nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put
under him. Hebrews 2:6-8.
3. While the creative order is certainly in
view, the ultimate dominion referenced here is by the man Christ Jesus,
determination of the Lord to redeem a people for His name is no light
matter and it was such that took a place a little lower than the angels
in order to accomplish the divine will and purpose and so elevate man
(His people) to a place with Himself in Christ our Lord.
Praise given and strength dispersed (vv. 1-2)
1. David expresses
first the acknowledgement of who Jehovah is and then adds the possessive
1) The infinite extent of the being of God is everywhere
set forth and so the idea here is not merely a title – it is rather all
that is declared concerning Him.
2) John Gill sees the Gospel as the
declaration of that Name and all that it entails.
3) John Piper wrote
a book entitled “God is the Gospel.”
4) And so it is recognized
wherever it is declared “in all the earth.”
5) And so we will note
the attachment of the Name to all that He has done in creation and in
2. He has set His glory above the Heavens and so we see
the exaltation of Christ: For such an high priest became us, who is
holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than
the heavens; Hebrews 7:26 (above the visible heavens, the angels and all
that might be considered).
3. But, then, He has brought His strength
to bear through babes, which we all are, but consider:
1) Samuel and
the appearance of the Lord to Him at an early age
2) David, himself,
and his rise from obscurity to power which appeared in his youth.
Consider the divine purpose here: the enemy falling to babes would
demand the mighty hand of the Lord with them.
4. Consider also: And
said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them,
Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou
hast perfected praise? Matthew 21:16
II. An important
consideration (vv. 3-8)
1. Who has not been awestruck at the sight of
the heavens arrayed above us with all in the appointed place – noting
the use of the term “ordained.”
2. Verse 4 poses the question to
1) What is man it the light of all this
i. Fallen and
weak and incapable of anything to recommend him to the favor of God
ii. Why should there be any consideration of him at all?
2) But then,
to give him dominion over the works of His hands!
3. Of course, it is
here that the words lead us away from mortal man to He who shall make
men immortal through His own mortality.
1) This same One whose glory
is above all others was made a little lower than the angels who cannot
die. See But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels
for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by
the grace of God should taste death for every man. Hebrews 2:9.
was necessary so that He might redeem those that were all their lifetime
in bondage through the fear of death.
4. The dominion that was given
to Adam in the Garden is now restored to man in the person of Christ our
Lord and it is over all the works of God
1) It includes all the
domesticated creation and
2) It includes the beasts that might turn
and rend at His command
3) The flight of the birds and the paths of
4) All under His absolute control to do with as He will!
5. The question “what is man.”
1) The objects of divine love which
was so great
2) That He sent His only begotten into the world to
redeem them and
3) They are identified thusly: 5 Having
predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to
himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of
the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
III. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name
in all the earth!