When I Consider Your Heavens
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. Psalm 8:3-4
What it is that leads him to admire the condescending favour of God to man it is his consideration of the lustre and influence of the heavenly bodies, which are within the view of sense: I consider thy heavens, and there, particularly, the moon and the stars. But why does he not take notice of the sun, which much excels them all? Probably because it was in a night-walk, but moon-light, that he entertained and instructed himself with this meditation, when the sun was not within view, but only the moon and the stars, which, though they are not altogether so serviceable to man as the sun is, yet are no less demonstrations of the wisdom, power, and goodness of the Creator. Observe, It is our duty to consider the heavens. We see them, we cannot but see them. By this, among other things, man is distinguished from the beasts, that, while they are so framed as to look downwards to the earth, man is made erect to look upwards towards heaven. Os homini sublime dedit, coelumque tueri jussit--To man he gave an erect countenance, and bade him gaze on the heavens, that thus he may be directed to set his affections on things above for what we see has not its due influence upon us unless we consider it.
We must always consider the heavens as God's heavens, not only as all the world is his, even the earth and the fullness thereof, but in a more peculiar manner. The heavens, even the heavens, are the Lord's (Psalm 115:16) they are the place of the residence of his glory and we are taught to call him Our Father in heaven.
They are therefore his, because they are the work of his fingers. He made them he made them easily. The stretching out of the heavens needed not any outstretched arm it was done with a word it was but the work of his fingers. He made them with very great curiosity and fineness, like a nice piece of work which the artist makes with his fingers.
Even the inferior lights, the moon and stars, show the glory and power of the Father of lights, and furnish us with matter for praise.
The heavenly bodies are not only the creatures of the divine power, but subject to the divine government. God not only made them, but ordained them, and the ordinances of heaven can never be altered. But how does this come in here to magnify God's favour to man? Then we consider how the glory of God shines in the upper world we may well wonder that he should take cognizance of such a mean creature as man, that he who resides in that bright and blessed part of the creation, and governs it, should humble himself to behold the things done upon this earth see Psalm 113:5,6.
When we consider of what great use the heavens are to men on earth, and how the lights of heavens are divided unto all nations (Deuteronomy 4:19; Genesis 1:15), we may well say, "Lord, what is man that thou shouldst settle the ordinances of heaven with an eye to him and to his benefit, and that his comfort and convenience should be so consulted in the making of the lights of heaven and directing their motions!"
How he expresses this admiration (Psalm 8:4): "Lord, what is man (enosh, sinful, weak, miserable man, a creature so forgetful of thee and his duty to thee) that thou art thus mindful of him, that thou takest cognizance of him and of his actions and affairs, that in the making of the world thou hadst a respect to him! What is the son of man, that thou visitest him, that thou not only feedest him and clothest him, protectest him and providest for him, in common with other creatures, but visited him as one friend visits another, art pleased to converse with him and concern thyself for him! What is man--(so mean a creature), that he should be thus honoured (so sinful a creature), that he should be thus countenanced and favoured!" Now this refers,
To mankind in general. Though man is a worm, and the son of man is a worm (Job 25:6), yet God puts a respect upon him, and shows him abundance of kindness man is, above all the creatures in this lower world, the favourite and darling of Providence. For, He is of a very honourable rank of beings. We may be sure he takes precedence of all the inhabitants of this lower world, for he is made but a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5). - Matthew Henry