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Psalm 8





If you have been around church and church music for any length of time, you will recognize at least a couple of sections of this Psalm have found their way into our recent music.  The line “How majestic is your name in all the earth” was part of one of the early choruses the church used to sing before choruses were cool.  And the first line of verse 4 actually found its way into another more modern song, I Am a Friend of God.  Now that I have those two songs swirling around in many of your heads, we should proceed with the Psalm.

The Psalm starts with this statement: “O LORD our Lord”.  If you will look carefully, the first LORD is in all capital letters which means it translates God’s covenant name, Yahweh.  This covenant name also speaks to God’s character.  “I am that I am” is how God defined Himself to Moses at the famous burning but not consumed bush episode.

The second Lord translates the Hebrew Adonay which means Sovereign or Master.  The use of the word Lord points to God being in control of all of the universe and being our Master.

David goes on to say that God’s name is majestic or “excellent” as the King James says.  The Message version says how “brilliant” is your name.  In other words, God’s name has no competitor in all of the universe.  His name stands above all other names.  But the other way to see this is the entire universe reflects the powerful, unique name of God.  God’s great glory is above all created things, even the highest heavens.

God’s majesty and power is so evident it is found in the words of babies and infants.  This points to the fact that God has ordained the weakest to confound the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27).  Even those who cannot defend themselves defend the majesty of the one, true God.

In verse 3, David is marveling at the created universe.  The fact that there is a creation demands that there must be a Creator.  And David is in awe of the work God did in the process of putting the moon and stars in place.  Psalm 147 goes so far as to say that God determined the number of stars there would be and knows each one by name.  It would take an infinite and infinitely intelligent God to know every star by name. 

At this point in the Psalm, David changes his subject.  He has extolled the virtues of God.  Now he is going to talk about man.  Part of what we read here is that individually we are small, insignificant creatures in a vast universe.  Yet God takes personal note of each one of us.  It is amazing that God not only takes notice of each one of us but He also cares for each one of us.

The rest of the Psalm can be read from a couple of different perspectives.  In many ways, it is a Messianic prophecy.  The writer of Hebrews, in chapter 2, makes this comparison very clearly.  The point is that Son of God who was above all and everything was “made” a little lower than the angels.  That happened at His incarnation, at the point of His coming as a man.  Since, as a man, He was made a little lower than the angels, that means we are a little lower than the angels as well.  That’s part of the glorious way this section of the Psalm works on two different levels.

As you continue through the verse 8 it is an obvious reminder that Jesus as LORD of all is over all creation.  But way back in Genesis 2, God gave man responsibility for and dominion over creation as well. 

And then David ends this Psalm exactly how he started it.  How majestic is Your Name!

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Psalm 7





David begins this Psalm with the statement that God is his refuge.  Some translations say that David has put his trust in God.  Regardless of which translation you are reading, God is our safe place.  He is our protection.  We do well when we hide in Him.

Whoever the bad guys are that David is writing about in this Psalm, they have his attention.  He has no doubt that they could ruin him, even destroy him.  He is helpless and hopeless unless someone intervenes to rescue him.

I don’t know how often we face the threat of physical harm these days but I do think we often face the threat of personal harm.  We deal with people who seem intent on destroying our reputations or ruining the relationships we have with others.  We even deal with people who desire to have us removed from positions that we hold.  Although I don’t want to minimize what David was experiencing, I think most of us have felt hopeless and helpless in the face of attacks from others.  I know I have. 

The question is what do we do about that.  How are we supposed to respond?  What should we do?  It is interesting that David does not attempt to counter attack.  Instead he pleads with God.  Interestingly, in verses 3-5, David basically says, “Lord, if I am guilty of what these folks say I have done, then let them take my life.”  “If I am as bad as these folks say I am, then let them destroy me.” 

In other words, David is placing his integrity against the evil of others.  He was certain of his innocence and he knew that God knew he was innocent.  In verse 8, David actually asks God to judge him according to his righteousness and integrity.  If you are going to do that, you will want to make sure you can pass the test…

David also calls on God to intercede.  He literally calls down the anger and fury or rage of God on these that were guilty of such evil.

We find an interesting statement in verse 11.  The verse starts with a familiar statement about the righteousness of God and His right to judge.  But then it ends with a statement that God feels indignation or anger or wrath every day.  Why would God do that?  Because humans sin every day.  Humans do evil things every day.  And God’s holy response to sin and evil is always righteous wrath.

David ends the Psalm with an assurance that the evil will not escape their evil.  It will come back to them.  And at some point, they will face God’s horrific wrath against that evil.  But in the meantime, David is going to continue to give thanks to and praise God.

This gives us a great lesson to end on.  Our thankfulness and our praise should never be contingent on our circumstances.  Regardless of what is happening God is still good.  He is still in control.  His plan is still being fulfilled.  And He deserves our worship.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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