"What is man, that You remember him? Or the son of man, that You are concerned about him? 7 "You have made him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And have appointed him over the works of Your hands; 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. Heb 2:6-8 (NASB)
The first thing we must note is that we were made by God. As David said, “It is he that hath made us and not we ourselves.” Psalms 100:3. To evolve is to make oneself; but we did not evolve; it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves. When God planned to make man, he planned for him to look like, to resemble, himself. Gen 1:26. We were created in God’s image after his likeness.
There is strong evidence that we were created in the likeness of the angels as well. Angels are so similar that they can be mistaken for human beings. “Some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Heb 13:2 (NASB) There is no reason to believe that angels have “wings” or that they are human beings who have died. Neither idea will find credence in the scriptures.
Let’s examine how Abraham came to be visited by angels. Three men/angels came to visit Abraham to make him aware of the birth of a son to him and Sarah in their old age and later to share with him what God intended to do in Sodom and Gomorrah. God determined not to hide from Abraham what he was about to do. Genesis 18:17-19 The events that happened on this visit will tell us some things about angels as well as some things about ourselves.
These were special men. At least one of them carried the name of the LORD. (The LORD appeared unto him). The men/angles represented God. They were empowered by the LORD. It does appear that they were angels; in appearance so like men as to be mistaken for ordinary men. “And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom.” Genesis 18:16.
- The LORD appeared unto him (Abraham)in the plains of Mamre (Genesis 18:1)
- Three men stood by him (Verse 2)
- Abraham stood by them under the tree, and they did eat (Verse 8)
- The men turned their faces..and went toward Sodom (Verse 22)
- As soon as he left communing with Abraham, the LORD went his way (Verse 33)
- There came two angels to Sodom at even (Genesis 19:1)
Two of the three men/angels arrived in Sodom and went to Lot’s home. There they were threatened by the some of the locals. Lot went outside to reason with them:
- But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.11 They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway. Genesis 19:10-11 (NASB)
LOWER THAN ANGELS
The passage in Hebrews 2:6-8 was quoted from Psalms 8:3-8. The writer in Psalms pointed out that man was “made a little lower than the angles”. Verse 5 It is important to note that man is at this time, today, “a little lower than the angels” but that will not always be the case.
Jesus adds to our understanding of this subject in his response to a group of Sadducees who asked him about a woman who had been married to 7 men. “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?” The NASB translates Jesus’ words in Luke 20:36 as “like angels”. However, the KJV translates the same phrase as “equal unto the angels”. Man will no longer be “a little lower than the angels” but will be “equal unto the angels”. Being “lower than the angels” means that men die. When man is equal to the angles, “they cannot die anymore”.
- But those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;36 for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. Luke 20:35-36 (NASB)
As a person takes note of the heavens, the moon, the stars, the earth and all the vastness of the universe which God created, why should mankind enjoy such favor of God’s attention? Just stop and think. Men and women are the only part of the creation which God made in his own image according to his likeness. Man is the only creature with the ability to make a decision out of reason to serve and glorify God and it needs our attention to not that Jesus is “the seed of the woman” promised in Genesis 3:15.
- When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Psalms 8:3-4 (NASB)
- But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus. Heb 2:9 (NASB)
GOD DEALS WITH MANKIND
Because the wickedness of man was so great and violence was so rampart, that it repented the LORD that he had made man and he determined to destroy him from the face of the earth. In a time when “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD”, (Verse 8) as did his wife, his three sons and their wives:
- And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. Gen 6:6-7 (KJV)
A careful analysis of the problem with the people in Noah’s time can be traced back to Cain; yes to Cain.
- He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth. Gen 7:23 (NASB)
- For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; 12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous. 1 John 3:11-12 (NASB)
|Cain violently murdered his brother Able. In Noah’s time “the earth was filled with violence.” Genesis 6:11. Cain did not love his brother as he should have. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9. Paul the Apostle would later reveal that the same lack of concern for our fellow man would afflict people in the “last Days”. “Men shall be lovers of their own selves.” 2 Timothy 3:1-2. God intervened in the days of Noah and will intervene in the “last days”; during the time of “great tribulation”.
- "For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.22 "Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Matt 24:21-22 (NASB)
God had come to the point that he had had it with his people. Moses interceded with God for the children of Israel: and persuaded the LORD to have mercy upon them. As a result:
- The Lord said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people.10 "Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation." Ex 32:9-10 (NASB)
- So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people. Ex 32:14 (NASB)
When the angel of the LORD went down to Sodom he paid a visit to Abraham to apprise him of just what he intended to do. He determined the full destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire from heaven. Abraham thought to prevail upon God’s mercy by questioning if God were going to destroy the righteous with the wicked.
- So the Lord said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account." Gen 18:26 (NASB)
- "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there." Gen 18:28 (NASB)
- "I will not do it on account of the forty." Gen 18:29 (NASB)
- "I will not do it if I find thirty there." Gen 18:30 (NASB)
- "I will not destroy it on account of the twenty." Gen 18:31 (NASB)
God’s revelation to Abraham being complete; intercession having been made for the inhabitants of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah; and Lot being delivered from the ensuing destruction; all this now accomplished, it was time for God to respond to the evil present:
- "I will not destroy it on account of the ten." Gen 18:32 (NASB)
- Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven,25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley , and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. Gen 19:24-25 (NASB)
Why is God so concerned with how humanity lived and conducted his life? When God created man he gave him dominion over every living creature that inhabits the face of the earth. Genesis 1:27 Man has been able to dominate all manner of creatures, as God so gave him the power to do. Man’s biggest failure has been with himself. God told Adam not to eat of the forbidden fruit in the garden; but he did not heed God’s command.
The dominion God promised to Adam has yet to be realized by mankind. The writer in Hebrews brings a “fine point” to consider.
“All things” would include those little creatures that cause disease as well as the big creatures, many of which mankind has tamed and put to good use. All things have not yet been put under man’s feet. He still does not have the dominion God intended for him to have. That dominion is yet to be realized. That dominion will be complete when:
- You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. Heb 2:6-8 (NASB)
- The wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them.7 Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox.8 The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:6-9 (NASB)
While we do not now realize the full benefits of that sovereignty given to mankind, we have been given a down payment in the person of one who was made “a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death.” Heb 2:9 (NASB) This one “made a little lower than the angels” was “crowned with glory and honor”. Jesus explained it with a parable which was paralleled in the book of Daniel:
- A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. Luke 19:12 (KJV)
The grand fulfillment, when the dominion will be fully realized by mankind will culminate at the return of the nobleman, having received for himself a kingdom and dominion. That is the same kingdom promised by God through Gabriel. Jesus was made a little lower than Gabriel by the suffering of death, but he will return with full right to the kingdom and dominion which he will share with the saved of all nations.
- "I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.14 "And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. Dan 7:13-14 (NASB)
Further fulfillment can be found in the words of Jesus to John:
- He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end. Luke 1:33 (NASB)
This begins to give us an idea of what man is.
- Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." Rev 11:15 (NASB)