Psalm 8

Psalm 8

Divine Majesty and Human Dignity

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David.
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is thy name in all the earth!

The Psalmist begins by giving God all the glory in words that resound throughout eternity.

Thou whose glory above the heavens is chanted
by the mouth of babes and infants,
thou hast founded a bulwark because of thy foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

It is the human purpose to give God the glory from the moment of our birth.

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.

When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars which thou hast established;
what is man that thou art mindful of him,
and the son of man that thou dost care for him?

This question has become far more relevant as our place in the cosmos has successively shrunk.  While we once imagined that the earth was the center of creation we now know that it is on the periphery of one galaxy among billions.  The universe is immense beyond all human conception.

For some this knowledge leads to atheism, as we appear to be utterly irrelevant to the universe’s operation.  For believing Christians this knowledge expands our conception of God’s power and grace as we contemplate with deeper humility the Psalmists question.

Yet thou hast made him little less than God,
and dost crown him with glory and honor.

Yes, God has placed us on this tiny speck of a planet.  Yet He has given us souls whose value utterly transcends our time and place.  God has given us consciousness and consciences.  We somehow by His decree live within the laws of nature yet can stand apart from them to wonder and dimly understand.  Though we are tiny in place we are by God’s providential purposes of enormous value.

Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands;
thou hast put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the sea.

Our dominion now extends outward towards other planets in our solar system and perhaps someday to neighboring stars.  The tragedy is that as we exercise our God given powers we successively grow in arrogance and unbelief.  We deny God the glory and rather give it to ourselves.

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

But ultimately the glory will be given to God as we through the tragedy that follows hubris again face the truth about ourselves and our one true God.

One thought on “Psalm 8

  1. Thank you for this meditation on Psalm 8. I try to always direct my thoughts during prayer to the awesomeness of our God. The word “awesome” and “Holy” are not heard often enough these days. I feel so many in today’s culture and society are intentionally losing out on the wonderful knowledge and understanding of what these themes of Psalm 8 evoke in one’s soul.


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