Summary: What does it mean "the crown of creation"? In short, God created mankind above all animals.
We now come to the third and final installment in this series in Psalm 8. We have studied verses 1 and 2, and this week we will finish the chapter. So far, we have learned:
LORD is the Hebrew YHWH, pronounced Yahweh by the Jews with vowels inserted and today the transliteration would be Jehovah. Yahweh is best translated as I AM (Exodus 3:14, compare John 8:58) or I exist. Concisely, God has always, is and always will exist (from everlasting to everlasting, Ps 41:13, 90:2, 103:17, 106:48). This is the Hebrew name for the One True God.
Lord translates the Hebrew Adonay, and means "Master". It's not enough to know the eternally existing God exists, as everyone is "hard wired" with that knowledge; each person must instead call upon Jesus, God the Son, as Master in trust.
God's very name is larger and more impressive than anything on this world. His works are displayed in the wonders of the stars, moons, nebulae and more in space, which is 'above the heavens".
Last week, we saw the different facets of verse 2:
Children more easily believe God than adults because they do not have a lifetime of negative experience to cloud their judgment. Children, for the most part, are very honest and open with what they believe. We as adults need to approach God with the same wonder and trust as a child both when we come to Jesus at conversion and daily.
Let's now look at the rest of the chapter!
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; Psalm 8:3(NASB)
We saw two weeks ago how God created the heavens--that is, outer space--from molecule to moon, from proton to planet, from electron to the expanse of space. What is amazing is that he made everything ex nihlo; out of nothing. God started with absolutely nothing--not the dust or even the vacuum of outer space--and made everything. Not only did nothing exist, but physical laws did not exist; God even created the physical laws of the universe to govern what he was going to make!
Today we learn that not only did God create it out of nothing, but God used His fingers. God does not have literal fingers any more than He is "the man upstairs" (a description that really irks me, but not more than it does God!). Fingers here is an anthropomorphism; concisely it means that it is an attribute of man given to God so that we may more easily understand (prefix anthropos meaning man). A zoopomorphism (zoa meaning animal) is when an animal or part is used by the writer (i.e., under his wings).
There are two specific thoughts regarding the fingers of God. First is that the use of fingers implies fine work, dexterity. If you are going to assemble a model car like I did years ago, it requires dexterity of the fingers, fine work. If you type, you use your fingers. Jewelers use their fingers, rocket scientists use their fingers, accountants use their fingers and so on. In other words, God's fingers means that the work is fine, meticulous.
Secondly, fingers represent a part of the body that does fine work but is also one of the weaker parts of the body. These great heavenly objects such as the moon and the stars are the work of God's fingers. "Notwithstanding the amazing magnitude of the sun, we have abundant reason to believe that some of the fixed stars are much larger: and yet we are told they are the work of GOD'S FINGERS! What a hand, to move, form, and launch these globes!" (Adam Clarke quoted by David Guzik). One writer that I studied made a remarkable comment: it was easier for God to create the universe and all that is in it than it was for Him to save people from sin. Why? He used his fingers to make the universe, His finger to write the Law but he used his strong arm to save:
Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. Isaiah 53:1-7 (NASB)