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How special are we to God? 

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, the son of man that you care for him?  (Psalm 8:3-4, ESV)

Have you ever looked up at the night sky, and wondered how we could be special to the God who made all this?  We are so tiny, so insignificant, in comparison to both the heavens and their Maker.  The famous “Pale Blue Dot” retrospective of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft illustrates this powerfully.  And yet this is not just a modern thought: David expressed this same sense of wonder three millennia ago in Psalm 8.

David’s question is more an exclamation of amazement than an open query.  For he gives the answer: humanity really is special enough in God’s sight for Him to have given us glory and honour, and rule over the world.  Read Genesis 1, and you’ll see the whole account of creation is shaped to emphasise the special place humanity has in the Creator’s plans.

That in itself is wonderful: we really are important to God.  But come now to Hebrews 2, where we find the writer picking up Psalm 8.  In its fulfilment in Jesus, we find that God’s people are far more special to God than we could have imagined.  

The writer tells us that we don’t yet occupy the position of honour, glory and rule which is God’s plan for us according to the Psalm.  Yes, we do have a dominant position in the world, but we’ve made a mess of the world and our Creator has something much better in mind (verses 6-8).  For we really are special to Him!

But he goes on to show how Jesus has come into our world and taken flesh and blood, so that He might bring us with Him to the glory and honour envisaged in this psalm.  The one through whom all the universe was made came into our world as a real, earthly human being (verses 9-17).  Yes, we really must be special to Him!

And it doesn’t stop there.  He did this, the writer continues, in order to die for us, as a sacrifice for our sins.  “Hands that flung stars into space, to cruel nails surrendered”, as the song puts it (verses 10, 14, 17).  How special to Him must we be, for Him to have done that?

Moreover, He calls us - amazingly - His brothers (and sisters) (verse 11). We are as special to Him as brothers and sisters are!

He is our great high priest, who died for our sins, but who also walks with us and is able to help us (present tense, v18).  He goes on regarding His people as special!

Look up at the vastness of the night sky, and wonder that God should treat us so specially when we are apparently so insignificant.  But look, too, to the cross, and wonder not just that He should treat us specially enough to die for us, but that He should treat sinners specially enough to do this.

Never be in any doubt, if you belong to Jesus, just how special you are to Him.

We’ll look at this passage in Hebrews together this Sunday morning.

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Alasdair Paine, 11/12/2020