Proper Place

O Eternal, our Lord,
    Your majestic name is heard throughout the earth;
Your magnificent glory shines far above the skies.

Psalm 8:1

It’s inevitable that we think about ourselves. It’s impossible for us to forget who we are, what we want, what we can do and our potential. In Psalm 8 David follows that same pattern. He begins wondering about why God, who he has just declared as majestic, would care about mortals who are not.

It’s a reasonable question. If God is so fabulous, so high above creation – why would He care for man who is a speck of dust compared to Him? Then David moves on from considering man as a speck of dust to recognising all that God has given to mankind.

But You placed the son of man just beneath God
    and honored him like royalty, crowning him with glory and honor.
You ordained him to govern the works of Your hands,
    to nurture the offspring of Your divine imagination;
    You placed everything on earth beneath his feet

Psalm 8:5-6

Everything on earth is at our feet David says repeating God’s declaration in Genesis 1:28. Is it any wonder we start to think of ourselves as lords of all we survey?  That’s where we go, in our pride and arrogance we forget that we are not sovereign but servants. Our rule of the earth is given to us by God and we have to answer to Him for it.

David doesn’t forget. He ends the Psalm where he started it with praise given to God.

O Eternal, our Lord,
    Your majestic name is heard throughout the earth.

Psalm 8:9

It’s not wrong to acknowledge the gifts, skills, abilities we, and others, have. It’s not wrong to take pride in them and want to use them, improve them, hone them. What becomes wrong is when we become proud of them and forget they are God-given. Just like everything else on this planet, in this Universe, we are God’s creations and the honour and glory are due to His name.

David’s heart is exactly right in this Psalm. It’s a declaration of God’s power and majesty from start to finish; even when he is lauding man’s place in Creation he ultimately points to God as the prime mover. It is astonishing that this sublime God should care about people and it’s easy to get a puffed up idea of our importance – God Himself found us important enough to die for after all!

But in the scale of things the honour goes to Him for loving us that much. The glory goes to Him for creating us initially. The praise goes to Him for His unfathomable yet manifest plan of Salvation.

Next time you’re feeling good about something you’ve done or that happens take pleasure in it for sure while remembering that all good things come from Him. That includes you and all you do.

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