“O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
2 From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
4 What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
7 All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:1-9
In Psalm 8, Verses 5 – 8 allow us to see that even with the fall of humanity that God still allows us to have dominion over aspects of the earth. He grants us that honor to care for and watch over His creation. Yet, we see in verse 5 the verbiage “son of man” which hints at a special focus on the Messiah as the truest representation of mankind. How even though man failed, through Christ, we are redeemed. Verses 6 – 8 really reflect the intention of man in Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’” We have dominion over the created order because; we are made in God’s likeness. As God has dominion over the whole creation, we have dominion over the created order on earth. We are at the top of the created order because we are made in His likeness. He cares and loves us more than any other aspect of the creation. We, as created beings, have God’s affection but also His wrath at the same time. Yet, it is only through His son that we can be redeemed. As humans we hunger and thirst for power, power over things and even each other. When in reality what we should hunger for is ultimate submission. Rather than power, we should crave submission to the One who created all things.
Verse 9 provides a great conclusion to this Psalm. It reiterates the majesty and power of God. We should stand in awe of Him and we submit to His ultimate authority. As Creator He has ultimate power and ultimate love for His creation. His love for us is beyond comprehension. This Psalm allows us to see the majesty of God and it should make us humble before an all mighty Creator. Submission to Him is not an act of weakness but an act of love toward the One that first loved us.
Oh God of all creation, You have granted us sovereignty over the earth as Your image bearers. May we find ultimate satisfaction of our soul in our submission to You and not in our dominion over our surroundings. Help me to find joy in my submission to Your sovereignty over my life, Amen.
From Sermon on Justification by Faith by John Wesley
"To him that does not work, but believes on him that justified the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness." Romans 4:5.
The plain scriptural notion of justification is pardon, the forgiveness of sins. It is that act of God the Father for the sake of the propitiation made by the blood of his Son, he "shows forth his righteousness (or mercy) by the remission of the sins that are past." This is the easy, natural account of it given by St. Paul, throughout this whole epistle. So he explains it himself, more particularly in this and in the following chapter. Thus, in the next verses but one to the text, "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." To him that is justified or forgiven, God "will not impute sin" to his condemnation. He will not condemn him on that account, either in this world or in that which is to come. His sins, all his past sins, in thought, word, and deed, are covered, are blotted out, shall not be remembered or mentioned against him, any more than if they had not been. God will not inflict on that sinner what he deserved to suffer, because the Son of his love hath suffered for him. And from the time we are "accepted through the Beloved," "reconciled to God through his blood," he loves, and blesses, and watches over us for good, even as if we had never sinned.