Psalm 8 is the first song of praise in the Book of Psalms. As God’s essential character is displayed, the place humans have in the world is illuminated.
The Psalm begins with the sacred Hebrew name for God. It is designated in modern language translations by printing “LORD” in small capital letters.
My YouTube Bible study partner, Rudy Ross, has convinced me that the special Hebrew name for
God is Yehovah.
The first lines of Psalm 8 exalt Yehovah’s majesty.
O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8.1)
The One who rules the universe as its Sovereign is represented by his majestic name.
God’s name, which refers to his character and reputation, is revealed by the magnificent universe he has created.
My wife, Toni, and I recently traveled through Arizona. We were treated to a vista of multi-colored mountains and valleys filled with yellow wildflowers.
I found myself telling God every few miles that he had created an amazing world. Words in a blog and phone pictures can’t capture the beauty and glory of God’s creation.
Babies and Bulwarks
The second expression of praise in Psalm 8 seems out of order. Scholars supply answers that expand our understanding and worship of God.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger. (Psalm 8.2)
Babies and infants remind us that no voice is too small to offer praise to God. Everyone who has witnessed the miracle of a child’s birth knows the abundant greatness of our Creator.
Psalm 8 recalls the creation story of Genesis 1 and explains why the “bulwark” fits the praise of God.
— Genesis 1.1-3 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God
was moving over the surface of the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
God spoke and light, planets, plants, animals, and so much more came into being.
In the ancient world, a fortress was built after the defeat of enemies. The mention of the bulwark of creation reveals that no enemies can stand before our mighty God.
Pause for a moment: Stop reading for a second and praise God for the way his character is displayed in the work of creation.
Humans and Creation
If babies and infants illustrate the helpless nature of humans, how infinitesimal do humans feel in comparison to the vast universe?
It seems as if the psalm writer looked into the eyes of a helpless infant and then turned to view the myriads of stars in the universe.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
What are humans that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them? (Psalm 8.3-4)
The universe is so large that the James Webb telescope is sending to earth pictures of God’s handiwork that the world has never seen.
In the face of the vast universe, what do we make of the fact that God sets his affection on humans?
What does it mean to you that God knows your name and is interested in your hopes and dreams?
According to Jesus, you are very valuable to God.
— Matthew 10.29-31 – “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
“And even the hairs of your head are all counted.
“So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Pause for a moment: Before you move on in the article, consider the fact that God thinks about you and cares for you. Give God your praise for this fact.
Officials in God’s Administration
The Psalm continues to put poetry to the story of Genesis.
— Genesis 1.26 – Then God said, “Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea
“And over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the wild animals of the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
God’s kingdom is the effective reach of his power. From the tiniest baby to the most distant galaxy, God reveals the extent of his power.
It is astounding to know that God gives humans the authority to partner with him.
Yet you have made them a little lower than God
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet. (Psalm 8.5-6)
We bear God’s image when we join him in ruling the planet. Psalm 8 places our dominion in the right light.
When our dominion is directed and controlled by a worshipful relationship with God, we best share his rule.
Once again, we return to praise God’s majestic name.
O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8.9)
Pause for a moment: There are many reasons to praise God contained in the nine verses of Psalm 8. Choose one of them and give God the glory he is due.
YouTube Videos Will Resume Soon
Toni and I are in California and the Internet access we have doesn’t have enough power to upload videos. When we return home, we will resume videos with Rudy Ross.
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