Thoughts on Psalms… 8

Thoughts on Psalms… 8

Today’s psalm takes me back to another musical reference. This one doesn’t go quite as far back as G.F. Handel’s rendition of psalm 2, and has perhaps gotten less worldwide airtime, but it’s a definite reference for me.

In 1989, Sandi Patti released “How Majestic is Your Name” on her “The Finest Moments” album, under Word Records. I’m not sure that it was entirely based on this psalm, but the first line is the same… you can take a listen here & see what you think…

Interested in knowing Why? this series on Psalms…
check out the 1st post

Psalm 8

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.
    Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger

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,
and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings[b]
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

My 3 Thoughts

  1. How majestic is your name: The same phrase bookends this psalm; the first verse and the last are the same. That makes a statement. This psalm gets into a number of topics, but they all point to the greatness (the majesty) of God’s name.
  2. “you have established strength…”: Two things are interesting to me about this statement of strength…
    • The psalmist says that it is established out of the mouths of babies & infants (it reminds me of the old saying: “Out of the mouths of babes”, used when a child says something surprisingly prescient or wise). Some suggest that David considered the children of Israel to be so militarily inferior to the surrounding nations, that that explains his use of the term babies / infants. Yet… out of the praises of his children, God took their military inferiority and manifested, or established, his strength.
    • …and what was the purpose of establishing or manifesting that strength? it was to still or quiet his (God’s) enemies, and by extension… the enemies of the children of Israel. That tells me that many of the struggles we go through are not necessarily about us, but we are the ‘battle ground’ for a much older conflict.
      • Reminds me of the Charles Spurgeon quote:
        “Consider how precious a soul must be when both God and the devil are after it.”
  3. The value of mankind: David then considers the smallness of man when compared to the vastness of all things created, on earth and in the universe – yet, despite my smallness, when compared to the expanding universe, created by God, he is mindful (aware) of me, but not only that… he cares for me. THAT is huge (I’ve often has a similar thought when flying in an airplane and looking down).
    • I’ll end with this element of mankind’s value. No one will ever accuse me of being the most outspoken of environmentalists, however I think this psalm does give us a mandate to be caretakers of God’s creation. The psalm says that we have been given dominion, but what is dominion without responsibility?
      • The farmer who only owns & takes milk from the cow (dominion), but doesn’t feed it (responsibility), will soon see the milk supply disappear.
      • The lobster fisherman who only ever traps, taking whatever size enters his trap (dominion), but doesn’t properly manage the fishery (responsibility), will soon see that fishery collapse.
      • A king or government may rule a country (dominion), but if they do nothing to care for and protect the people of that country (responsibility), they will one day face an uprising, and the irresponsible dominion may prove to be their downfall.
      • God has given us dominion over creation, but that dominion implies responsible management.

Food for Thought…

All of these things have to do with the greatness and majesty of the Lord’s name: the fact that he establishes strength, in and through us, to overcome his enemies & our obstacles, the fact that despite his greatness and our relative smallness, he knows and cares for us. And finally, the Lord would be associated with a healthy sense of balance in all things, including the question of dominion and responsibility.

Thanks for spending a few minutes together today!
If you’re not someone who typically spends time reading the Bible…
would you care to join me over the next couple of weeks?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: