Last week we talked about how great our God is, that He loves us. Today we’re going to look at our position as mankind, as well as some of the jobs God has for us here on this earth.
Let’s begin by reading verse 5:
“For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5).
The Bible’s teaching about angels is scattered all throughout its pages. Sometimes I’ve thought it would be nice if we could just open up to one passage of Scripture to learn about angels, instead of having to hunt all over and piece things together.
However, the existence of angels is mentioned in at least 34 books of the Bible and from Genesis to Revelation. Angels, like us, are very personable beings. They are intelligent (1 Peter 1:12), they have feelings (Luke 2:13), and they have will power (Jude 6). Hebrews 1:14 says that they are spirit beings. They have limitations to their power, but they have more power than mankind has, which is probably why Psalm 8:5 says that God created man a little lower than the angels.
Angels have important duties. Some are guardian angels (Hebrews 1:14 and Matthew 18:10), sent to protect us. Some worship God (see Isaiah 6:1-3) and guard God’s holiness (Genesis 3:22-24). When Yeshua was on earth, angels announced His birth (Luke 1:26-33 and Luke 2:13), protected Him as a baby (Matthew 2:13), ministered to Him after His temptation by Satan (Matthew 4:11), and much, more more. Today, they minister to us as believers (see Hebrews 1:14, Acts 12:7, Acts 27:23-24, Luke 16:22, Jude 1:9). Some angels are guardians over specific nations (for instance, Daniel 12:1 and Daniel 10:21). I’m sure this is incomplete list of only some of their jobs.
We have been created “lower” than the angels, with fewer powers, although like them we have also been made in the image of God, with personalities and spirits.
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Messiah Yeshua, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).
It simply amazes me that when Yeshua left heaven to become a man, He willingly went down so far in rank.
The Bible predicts that someday we’ll be higher in rank than the angels. In fact, Paul told the Corinthians that in Messiah they were wise enough to judge each other and sort out their problems because someday, believers would even judge the angels (1 Corinthians 6:3).
We often feel that we have no responsibilities, that our main purpose in life is to pursue happiness. Let someone else fix the problems in this world, we think. Yet the Bible is clear that this life is just a short prelude to the everlasting life to come. God wants us to be faithful in the small things now, and in return, He will reward us with larger responsibilities then.
What are some of the responsibilities of mankind? Psalm 8 continues:
“You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen—
Even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas” (Psalm 8:6-8).
God first ordained that we should have dominion over the earth in Genesis 1:
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth'” (Genesis 1:26-28).
God brought all the animals to Adam in Genesis 2. Adam’s first responsibility was to name the animals and to tend the garden. After the fall, Adam had to work especially hard to till the ground because of the thorns and thistles that now grew. Yet our responsibility as a member of humanity is still to have “dominion” over the earth and to rule over all the living creatures God has made.
Thoughts to Ponder?
- Obviously, ruling over the “works of God’s hands” means that we need to take good care of them. How is this agenda similar to that of environmentalists? How is it different?
- Has our responsibility changed because of Adam’s fall? Has anything changed because of Messiah’s work for us on the cross? When Messiah rules on earth in the kingdom to come, will anything be different?
- What additional responsibilities has God given to mankind since Adam? Which ones apply directly to us today?
Today’s Bible study has been a little different, and I’m hoping to inspire you to take your Bible and dig deeply for answers. As we conclude our study of Psalm 8, I want to encourage you to meditate on the words of verse 9:
“O YHVH, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth!”
Revelation 4:11 says,
“You are worthy, O YHVH,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”
One of our greatest purposes in life is to bring glory and honor to God in all that we do. We are to constantly look at His creation and extol Him for the amazing wonders He has done.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4).
Truthfully, when we look at Yeshua, we should say as Pontius Pilate:
“…for the elements were no more in his hands than the clay in the hands of the potter. He could convert water into wine; he could change death into life, disease into health; he could calm the seas, still the storms, call up fish with a silver coin in its mouth. Now, I say, if he could do all these things, which he did, and many more, as the Jews all testify, and it was doing these things that created this enmity against him… I am almost ready to say, as did Manulas at the cross, ‘Truly this was the Son of God.'” (Source)
Even if we refuse to believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, God will still ultimately receive glory from our lives.
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Yeshua Messiah is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
Is your knee bowed to His name? What things need to change?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.