“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.” (Psalm 8:3-5)
The psalmist gives us a little hint in the question brought up here, but the translation of his answer seems somewhat insufficient. So let’s take a look at the actual word here translated as “angels” in the KJV.
The best boosts in “self esteem” come right from the Scriptures. We’re informed that we’re made “a little lower than angels” in this text. However, it’s even better than that. The word is actually ‘ĕlôhîym (el-o-heem’) אלהים – “gods” in the ordinary sense, but specifically used in the plural as in supreme God, occasionally tied to the idea of magistrates! It’s the same word that is used in Genesis 1:1, as “God” creating all that is.
This is reaffirmed in Psalm 82:6 – “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” Jesus restates it in John 10:34 – “ Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” (It is well worth going to John 10 and prayerfully considering the context within which this is spoken and to whom it was said.) It is offered as food for thought.
Certainly this is no small matter. And it isn’t an appeal to spiritual pride. In fact it is quite humbling in a way – to realize the potential of the process of redemption, salvation, and sanctification set in motion to bring us from identity as sinners to identity as “sons of God”!
Romans 8:14-22 supplies some rather amazing insights regarding the need for this. Certainly personal redemption and transformation is a great part of the Divine Plan. Yet is also has “Cosmic ramifications” which supply the answers as to not only who we really are, but why we’re being restored from sinners to sons of God – our original estate. Creation itself eagerly awaits the revealing of the sons of God! Something is brewing which can only take place in the Cosmos that hinges on this revealing, and it is of enormous proportions – freedom from its slavery to corruption!
1 John 3:1,2 spurs us on. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
Our faith is something of a paradox, for we are indeed sons of God, having been created in the image and likeness of God. Yet it has been stated that the core and heart of this idea is that the image is intact, but it is the likeness which has become marred by sin. Consequently this is the part of the process whereby the likeness is restored. Hence when He appears, we shall be like Him and see Him as He is. When we experience this restoration, then we manifestly become what our faith tells us we already are.
This is the “vision” of faith, the restoration of “Godhood” – but in the form of godliness and humility (not god-like “powers” and pride). It is the reason to turn our eyes upon Jesus alone consistently, to love Him with our whole heart, soul, strength, and mind – in His humility. It is in awareness of this vision of who He is that we come to understand the vision of who we really are, and yet what we’re becoming, that our greater reality will materialize.
This in’t about “just us”, let’s remember; there’s the freedom of the entire Creation to consider, and a great unseen host of onlookers at the spectacle, while we are looking unto Jesus… “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1,2)