Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Psalm 8 Crown of God's Glory

KEY TEXT: Ps 8:3-6 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet.

KEY THOT: In heavens, we discern the hand of God --“the work of your hands” (v.6). But in humans, we can discern the face of God—“crowned him with glory and honor”. For in creation we see the finger-prints of God—“the works of your fingers" (v.3)—but in humans, we see the image of God’s glory and honor. Though made a little lower than the heavenly beings, God has made humans to rule over all the works of his hands—“all the flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas” (v.7-8). This revelation exalts the value of every human—no matter the gender, the race, the socio-economic status, the education and even religion—for everyone carries within him/her the image of God which elevates itself above all living creatures on the land, in the air and under the seas. Every human has worth because every human bears the image of the glorious Creator.

That is why racism, sexism, elitism and sectarianism are so evil, for they denigrate a fellow human on the basis of race, gender, social-educational status and religious doctrines and affiliations. Instead we are to value everyone as humans that carry the image of God within us. 

While animal rights activists may champion animal protection, they must not forget that humans have as much right to life as animals. They must champion the right to life of the unborn human with greater passion than the life of animals, for God has placed humans above the animal kingdom as His co-regents on earth. We cannot be silent about the killing of the unborn while protesting against the killing of whales. Abortion destroys God’s image in the unborn just as much as racism and sexism do. 

A story is told about an eaglet raised by a hen who behaved like a chicken because he thought he was a chicken, pecking on the ground and walking around like the other chicks. But one day, when he was drinking from a pond, he saw a reflection of his real image in the water. When he realized he was an eagle, he flapped his wings and soared into the sky, never looking back again on his earth-bound life as a chicken. It all began when he realized his true self-image as an eagle. 

In the same way, if people realize that they are created in the image of an all-powerful and all-wise Creator-God, they will no longer disparage themselves and think lowly of themselves. Instead they will “soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isa 40:31). Like the psalmist David, they will marvel at God’s grace for He crowns every human with his glory and honor because every human reflects His divine image: 
  • When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. (Ps 8:3-5)
Sadly, when we choose to reject the biblical revelation that we are created in the image of God we will suffer from a loss of self-worth. If we believe in evolution, that we are an accident of some primeval chemical soup in the mud, or that we have descended from apes or monkeys, we will behave like apes and monkeys--and we are unlikely to value another human as the crown of God’s creation. We are more likely to use and abuse people and then discard them when they are no longer useful to us—instead of loving them and treating every individual as precious because of God's image embedded in him or her. 

Father, thank You that though You have made us lower than the angels, You have nevertheless exalted us as rulers over the earth and all life-forms in it. Thank You that You created us in Your image as the crown of Your glory. Amen.

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