Song of Praise

KEY VERSE: “O LORD, our LORD, how excellent is thy name in all the earth.” —Psalm 8:9


AT THE TIME that David through inspiration wrote this psalm, the Lord’s name was not excellent in all the earth. Mankind in general was ignorant of God, and many who knew of him, did not hold his name in excellence.

The psalm is a description of the glory possessed by Adam in his original perfection, before his fall into sin. The Apostle Paul, in Hebrews 2, gave us a wonderful treatise on this prophecy, quoting from it:

Verse 6: “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?” David is the one who testified, and the certain place is Psalm 8:3-8. This question arose as the result of meditation upon the immensity of creation in comparison to the puny efforts and nothingness of man.

The Creator, who made the vast universe, has provided a balance of forces that enables man to live in happiness and abundance. Our gratitude should lead us to exercise supreme confidence and trust in such a Creator, and to consider it a great privilege to serve him.

The word visitest in this text means ‘to inspect’ and ‘select’; or ‘to go to see in order to relieve’. The chief visit referred to prophetically by the psalmist is the coming of God’s beloved Son to the earth, first to redeem the fallen race, and then to restore those who accept this provision of divine grace. Thus God visits the human race representatively in the person of his Son.

Verse 7: “Thou crowned him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands.” This refers to Adam in perfection, the progenitor of the human race created by God. His glory was that of perfect manhood, in the image of God. His was a “terrestrial glory.” (I Cor. 15:40) Man was created to be the king of earth and was given dominion over the lower animals. Thus he was given honor as well as glory. This was the “first dominion” referred to in Micah 4:8, and “the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world.”—Matt. 25:34

Verse 8: “Now we see not yet all things put under him.” Alas, man lost his dominion and his glory and honor. Now we behold him in misery and distress as a result of his own willfulness and disobedience. Despite man’s pride and boastfulness, he is not able to deliver himself from the result of his sin; and the human race is threatened now with complete destruction.

Verse 9: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Here the apostle clearly indicates the divine purpose to restore man’s original dominion of earth. We do not see this accomplished, but we see the outworking of the divine purpose in the coming of Jesus to redeem the fallen race—“we see Jesus.” We see that Jesus was made the exact counterpart of father Adam, that he, like Adam, was made “a little lower than the angels,” and that this was in order that he might suffer death, thus providing a corresponding price by laying down his perfect human life for the perfect man, Adam, who forfeited his life. It was for this purpose that Jesus poured out his soul unto death.—Isa. 53:6,12

When the restitution work is accomplished through Christ, all will then recognize the excellence of God, his love, his wisdom, his justice, his power, and they will sing this song throughout all the earth.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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