When I Consider Your Heavens, The Work Of Your Fingers

The Feast of Tabernacles for 2017 in St. Lucia has as its theme the following verses, Psalm 8:3-5:  “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?  For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.”  While I have already discussed Psalm 8 in some detail [1] and do not wish to repeat myself too much here, I do find this to be an interesting and thought-provoking song, not least because its implications in David wondering about mankind are brought out to even more full contrast by the author of Hebrews in his own reflection about the workings of God and the place of mankind in them.

The author of Hebrews takes Psalm 8 as a launching point to his own reflection of the relationship between mankind and the angels in Hebrews 2:5-8:  “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.  But one testified in a certain place, saying:  “What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him?  You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands.  You have 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 do not yet see all things put under him.  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, might taste death for everyone.”

The author of Hebrews brings up here a rather important point, and that is the promises about the glory and power of human beings remain, as of yet, unfulfilled.  Despite the promises of science and technology, not all things are put under us.  That is for the best, as power without character and restraint is an intensely dangerous thing, as we see in those areas where we do have power as human beings.  A great deal of the misery of our world comes about because we as human beings are not noble, nor do we restrain ourselves often enough for the baser aspects of our natures, thus bringing suffering to ourselves and to others.  The works of the fingers of God are the stars in the heavens.  The works of our fingers are not nearly so elevated.  To expect that the problems we already cause through our lack of character will be solved by granting us more power is a vain one.  The restraint in our powers at present is a good thing, in that we are protected from doing more harm than we are capable at doing at present, which is a great amount of harm as it is.  When we develop the nature and character of God and Jesus Christ through the indwelling of His Spirit, we will see human beings with that glory that we wish for ourselves.

The author of Hebrews also discusses something of interest when he comments that the world to come will not be subjected to angels.  After all, the present world is subject to angels.  We know how this works out.  Ephesians 2:2 talks about the present ruler of this evil age, the prince of the power of the air who works within the sons of disobedience.  As someone who has quite a large library of books related to the subject of demonology [2], I consider myself a somewhat reluctant student of the darkness which is present in this world and the way that we war against it.  Be that as it may, we have been made lower than the angels for now, but that is not how it is to be for all time.  Human beings were created to be the sons and daughters of the Most High, a state that the angels, being immortal servants, cannot enjoy.  Our present state of immaturity and relative powerlessness will not endure.

In the meantime, though, as human beings we sit in an awkward and uncomfortable position.  Many human beings long for the power that is promised by God to mankind but do not long to acquire the character that is necessary to use that power well.  Other human beings seem terrified by the sort of power that they already possess through their God-given talents and gifts and abilities.  We remain aware of the wide gulf between where we stand in an immense universe and our own relative puniness, between the cosmic scope of our longings and the pitiful reach reach of our grasp, and that grasp brings us a great deal of unhappiness.  To be the objects of concern and care for a being of infinite power and of doubtful interests in our own present comfort and well-being is often the subject of horror and deep disquietude for some, and the way for some to boast about our supposed greatness without showing gratitude for it to our creator.  And yet we remain beings of potential and promise that is not yet fulfilled, at least for now.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2012/11/18/psalm-8-what-is-man-that-you-are-mindful-of-him/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/07/28/book-review-through-his-eyes/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/05/28/booklet-review-angels/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/03/31/book-review-practicing-the-power/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/08/22/book-review-the-spiritual-warfare-answer-book/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/08/08/book-review-the-power-of-presence/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/08/22/book-review-the-plane-above/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Christianity, Church of God, Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s