Psalm 8

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 21, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
(Psalm 8)

This psalm is one of praise. While it focuses on creation, it does not represent praise to the creation itself, but rather praise of the creation because of who the Creator is.

This psalm starts out addressing God first and foremost. In English, we see the word “Lord” twice; but that’s not how it is in the Hebrew. The first word is what’s known as the tetragrammaton, or Yahweh as it’s often poorly translated into English. This name of God is unpronounceable in the Hebrew, and out of respect and awe for God, Jews wouldn’t try to pronounce it anyway. We often say “Adonai” (which means “Lord”) or “Hashem” (which means “the name”) instead. The second word of this verse is actually pronounced as Adonai in Hebrew, and again it means Lord or Master, and it has what’s called a pronominal suffix attached to it that means “our.” So even though the two words are different, they could come out sounding similar, even in the Hebrew. At any rate, these two words clearly show us that we’re addressing the God of the universe.

Right off the bat in verse 1, the psalmist is proclaiming praise to God, by saying how majestic His name is in all the earth. This shows that all creation reveals God’s power and might, because He created it. Only the part of the creation that is humanity knows how to properly praise God, though, because we’re the only ones to whom He has truly revealed His majestic name. We then see not only earth reveals God’s glory, but heaven too!

In verse 2, it’s clear that regardless of what our enemies or anyone wicked may do, even the praise of children silences them. God is that majestic, because of who He is and all He has done in creating both the heavens and the earth.

Verse 3 calls our mind back to the creation account in Genesis 1 and how God created all the celestial bodies and set them in place (Genesis 1:14-18). It’s interesting to note that this is the work of God’s “fingers.” It didn’t even take God’s whole hand to create the heavens, just His fingers were sufficient. In all of mankind’s exploration of the universe, we still haven’t gotten even anywhere close to the edge of it, millions of light years away; and that only took God’s fingers to create! How much larger and more awesome is our God than even the universe that we know of! The psalmist is truly amazed at what God has created.

In the midst of that great expanse of the sky and all the celestial bodies that are in it, how small and miniscule we are as humans (verse 4)! This should cause us to question our worth and what we are doing in our tiny part of this vast universe that the almighty God has created. But yet, we are reminded that God is mindful of us and does care for us. In Hebrew, the word translated here as “mindful” means that God remembers us. The word translated here as God caring for us can also be translated as to visit or spend time with us. In all the vastness of the universe and the amazingness of God’s creation, He still wants to spend time with us!

This psalm reminds us that although mankind was created on the sixth day of creation, God saved the best for last and we were not an afterthought. Mankind was the epitome of God’s creation, that He wants to truly be in relationship with us. While that got more difficult for us after mankind sinned and separated ourselves from God (Genesis 3), He still desires to spend time with us.

Verses 5-8 of this psalm show us this idea that mankind is the most significant part of all God’s creation. Man is nowhere near equal to God of course, but we were created to rule over the creation that God has given us, just like was explained in Genesis 1:28: “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’”

The final verse of this psalm echoes the beginning of it, as a way to emphasize the main point of this psalm: God’s name is truly majestic and worthy of our praise!

How are you living out this psalm in your life? While we should worship the Creator and not His creation, are you honoring that creation that God has given us by taking care of it? Do you praise God on a regular basis for this world He has created for us? Sure, it’s no longer perfect like it was before mankind sinned, but it still has amazing beauty, awesome magnificence, and depth beyond what we can know.

Praise God today for who He is and that He still desires to have relationship with us, the most special part of the entire universe that He created!

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