Scriptures

Psalm 8

Introduction

In this psalm we find David being in awe at God’s incredible handiwork of creation, Romans 1:20, whilst reflecting upon just how small and significant mankind really is compared to Him. Despite mankind being so small, God has honoured mankind above all His creation.

Heading

‘For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.’

Although the headings aren’t inspired by God, they are important because they give us some understanding about the Psalm and they help us to see why it was written. The headings usually tell us four things.

1. Who wrote them, probably wrote them or possibly wrote them.

2. Information about the historical background to the Psalm. Why it was written.

3. They tell us of the tune the Psalm was written to.

4. How it was used.

This psalm was for the director of music. Some commentators believe that ‘director or music’ is God Himself and others believe that it is a song leader who led choirs or musicians, 1 Chronicles 6:33 / 1 Chronicles 16:17 / 1 Chronicles 25:6.

It was to be sung ‘according to gittith’, which is a musical instrument. Some commentaries suggests that this instrument would have been used by the people of Gath or sung to the tune of Gath. Others suggest it was used at the festivities of the vintage, Psalm 81 / Psalm 84.

‘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.’ Psalm 8:1-2

Notice how David uses the covenant name of God, that is, ‘Yahweh’, and he uses the position of LORD to His people, that is, ‘Lord’.

David considers how awesome God is which can be clearly seen in creation, not only on the Earth but throughout the universe. Everything within creation point to a Designer and a Creator and anyone who takes a moment to look at the wonders of creation but still denies the existence of God is a fool, Psalm 14:1.

David says that God’s awesome power can been seen in small children and babies, 1 Corinthians 1:27. I’m sure you remember that Jesus Himself quoted these words to the chief priests and teachers of the law, when they were indignant to the children who were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ Matthew 21:15-16.

God displays His strength in the most unlikely places sometimes, He uses what the world would call small and weak, He uses children and babies because it actually silences the enemy, just like Jesus silenced the chief priests and teachers of the law who were His enemies.

‘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?’ Psalm 8:3-4

When David considers the universe, and considers mankind, he’s reminded of how small mankind really is by comparison. When we look up in the evening sky and we see the brilliance of the moon and the millions of stars, all of which He has set in place, we’re reminded of how much we need God.

The word ‘mankind’ used here speaks about the fragility of human beings, it speaks of our weaknesses and limitations. David wonders why God is mindful of mankind and why He cares for them.

The existence of mankind on earth alone exemplifies God’s consideration for man. Man’s very existence is evidence of the fact that he is the most important of all things that God created.

Some translations have the words, ‘the son of man that You visit him?’ The words ‘son of man’ simply tells us that a son of a person is a person, and what a wonderful thought to think that God has really visited us, Luke 1:78.

‘You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour. 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 8:5-9

We must note that the Septuagint translates the Hebrew word here ‘Elohim’, this can be translated as angels or even men, Exodus 21:6 / Exodus 22:8-9 / Psalm 82:1 / Psalm 97:7 / Psalm 138:1.

The word angels is the correct translations and is endorsed by the Holy Spirit when He quoted this verse in Hebrews 2:7. Since angels are spiritual beings, then the translation would be justified by the context, Colossians 1:16.

The writer of Hebrews quotes from Psalm 8 in Hebrews 2:5-9 and a difficult question arises with this quotation, is the author referring to people or is he referring exclusively to the Son?

First, the word ‘man’ in Hebrews 2:6 is a translation of the Greek word ‘anthropos’ which means ‘human beings’, it has no reference to gender. ‘Son of man’ is the same thing, the son of a person is a person.

This psalm praises the Lord for His glorious creation, now carefully look at Psalm 8:3-8 and notice that the psalmist is talking about humans. God has made humans a little lower than the heavenly beings. God has crowned humans with glory and honour, 1 Corinthians 6:3 / Revelation 20:5.

Further, God has given humans dominion over the works of God’s hands and all things are under the feet of humans, 1 Corinthians 15:27. This praise reflects the teaching back in Genesis 1:28-30 / Genesis 9:2, where God gave dominion to humans over every created thing.

Now some think that this psalm about humanity is being altered by the writer of Hebrews and is now applied to Jesus as the son of man. But I don’t think that’s right and let me show you why.

Back to Hebrews 2:5-9, the writer is borrowing from Genesis 1 and Psalm 8 to remind the audience that God has placed humans on the earth to rule over the creation, all things are subject to humans.

Hebrews 2:8 wraps up by pointing out that we cannot even begin to comprehend all that this point entails. We do not fully see all that God has placed under our feet.

We are so short-sighted and so unable to comprehend the great dominion that God has given us on this earth. Everything under our feet reflects that the whole created world in subjection to humans. But there is something that we do see, according to Hebrews 2:9, in fact, it is ‘a someone’, but ‘we do see Jesus’.

He also became a human for a little while. This is the thrust of the argument, the Son is superior because He became human. If the quotation in Psalm 8 is referring to Jesus, then Hebrews 2:9 does not make sense.

What makes sense is to use the psalmist argument about the dominion of humans over the created world and then point out that the Son became human. Therefore, the Son also has dominion, we see Jesus and we can see His dominion because He was crowned with glory and honour after tasting death for everyone. We have victory, deliverance, and dominion because of Jesus.

Now, this ties back to Hebrews 2:5, because the author is speaking about the ‘world to come’, that is, the Messianic kingdom. We cannot begin to fully see the dominion and rule we have. In fact, the writer has already pointed out that angels were created, at least for one purpose, to serve those of us who are inheriting salvation, Hebrews 1:14.

We cannot see that and we cannot see the inner workings of the spiritual realm and our place in that, but we do see Jesus. Jesus was made human and He was crowned with glory and honour, we do see that.

Notice the David says that God created the ‘paths of the seas’. In 1853 a man named Maury discovered the waters, the whales, and even the winds have paths over or through the seas and by tracing these, Maury also found the best paths for ships. Although he discovered them back in 1853, God through David tells us that these paths were created by God.

David closes his psalm with that magnificent exclamation with which it began, Psalm 8:1, ‘LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!’

Conclusion

A man named A. W. Dicus invented the indicator for our cars, he was also a scientist and a hymn writer, one of his most famous hymns is called, ‘Beyond the azure blue’. In the first and third stanzas he writes the following.

There is, beyond the azure blue
A God, concealed from human sight
He tinted skies with heav’nly hue
And framed the worlds with His great might

Secure is life from mortal mind
God holds the germ within His hand
Though men may search they cannot find
For God alone does understand

The evolutionists go out of their way to deny the existence of God but can’t give a reasonable explanation of where mankind came from or where mankind is heading, Genesis 1:1 / Genesis 1:26-27 / 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 / John 17:3 / 1 John 5:13.

Many other simply deny His existence despite His existence being plainly shown to them, Romans 1:18-32.

When we reflect upon the words of A. W. Dicus and this psalm of David, we are just left in awe, as the questions to where we came from and why are we here are truly answered, 1 Corinthians 2:8 / Hebrews 11:3.

God made us because He loves us, Psalm 136:5-9 / 1 John 4:8. God made us for life within loving relationships, Genesis 2:18-23 / Genesis 5:1-21 / John 3:14.

God made us to give us honour and dignity, Chesterton, looking at modern Man, says the following, ‘Whatever else is true about Man, he isn’t what he was intended to be.’

God made us to give us life, joy and peace with him and with one another, Deuteronomy 30:15 / Deuteronomy 30:20 / Lamentations 3:33 / John 3:17 / John 17:3.

We were created to enjoy love-filled lives with God and one another. We are not just complex scum and we aren’t simply sophisticated animals. We’ve been made in the image of God to enjoy fellowship with Him.

Go To Psalm 9

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God."

Acts 18:11

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