I’m no expert on the book of Psalms. Poetry is not generally what I’m grabbing off the bookshelf, but there is great beauty when I find the patience to sit and read slowly.
Today I was reading through Psalm 8 and I appreciated the thought that I am by no means the first person to read this. Rather I fall in a very long line of God’s people who have sat and read, or heard, this Psalm.
O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
I confess this is not a very deep insight. What really struck me though is how much the coming of Jesus casts a new light on the whole world, including this book and this psalm. There were people who unrolled the Psalms and reread these words about God’s creation.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
As David continues on, it calls to mind the account in Genesis where God creates this wondrous place and places humans as the crowning piece of his creation. He made man and woman in his image and set them apart to have dominion and to rule. But now, in rereading, it calls to mind Jesus.
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
What was true in one way for the humans that God placed in this creation is even more true for Jesus. This perfect human who can rightfully take the place over creation, who deserves to wear the crown and receive all glory and honor! I can just imagine the author of Hebrews, who quotes this in chapter 2, sitting there with Psalm 8 and having such joy in rereading it; in seeing it almost brand new in light of Jesus.
Like I said, it isn’t a unique insight to remember that other people have read Scripture. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t helpful. I’m encouraged when I picture the saints that have gone before me, being blessed by the Psalms, just like we are today. And I’m encouraged to know that the history goes back even further, even before history, to when God already had a plan for his son to come and fulfill this and so many other passages.