Title: A song that Exalts God and Explains Man
The text: Psalm 8:1-9
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
2. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
3. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5. For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
8. The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
9. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
Title: A song that Exalts God and Explains Man
Introduction in the bulletin:
The heading of Psalm 8 attributes this Psalm to David and the heading goes on to say: “To the chief musician upon Gittith.” Upon Gittith means after the tune of the treaders upon the winepress, and this refers to the fact that during the intensity of treading grapes to produce wine, and it was a laborious task, the workers had a tune in their heart. The workers sang as they worked and in this we see that in times of intensity there was joy! Spurgeon called this Psalm an astronomers Psalm and it does seem to have this message that was perhaps in the heart of David as he contemplated the stars! So we can conclude that even though man is fragile and given to many cares the wonders of God can of a surety be a cause for singing and rejoicing and this is exactly what we have in Psalm 8.
Let’s look to the Lord of the Word, and then we will launch right into the Word of the Lord!
Psalm 8 is a song that comes from the heart of David, but reaches to the heights of holiness and dovetails to the head of man. In this Psalm we see the majesty of God and the mystery of man! Sandwiched between a doxology of praise is the dichotomy of man’s existence! God is worshipped in this Psalm and yet man is wondered! God rightfully so is the sole object of our wonder and adoration, and man respectfully so is the creature of mystery, but in God he finds his purpose and destiny. In this psalm we marvel at the majesty of God and we enter into the psalmist musings of the meaning of man.
In bible school we learned that there were three fundamental questions about the existence of man, and these three fundamental questions are very important questions about mans very existence, and they can only be rightly answered by God. Here are the questions, and I mention them here because Psalm 8 also approaches these questions and the psalmist not only asks the questions but gives us some answers! But here are the three questions from bible school:
Where did I come from?
Why am I here?
Where am I going when I leave here?
Everyone needs to answer these questions, and everyone needs to answer them correctly. Sadly few answer them correctly and many never even consider them. Where did I come from... and why…and where…
A few years ago, a Christian music groups, Casting Crowns, had a hit song titled Who Am I? In the opening verse the lead singer, Mark Hall, asks:
“Who am I that the Lord of all the Earth would care to know my name, would care to feel my hurt? Who am I that the Bright and Morning Star would choose to light the way for my ever-wondering heart? Not because of who I am, but because of what You’ve done. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who You are! I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind. Still You hear when I’m calling, You catch me when I’m falling and You tell me who I am—I am Yours. I am Yours!”
The message of that song—plainly and powerfully conveyed—is that no matter how small or insignificant you may feel, the Lord of all the Earth not only knows your name, but has made you special and calls you His own.
A long time ago, in land far, far away, another great song writer wrote a similar hymn with the same message. When David considered the majesty and greatness of God, he felt insignificant by comparison. In Psalm 8, David stands in awe of the majesty of the Lord. And when he realizes just how vast and magnificent God truly is, he’s even more amazed that God would take the time to notice him—a mere mortal man.
“I am one week returned from two weeks in El Salvador, and since my return there seems to have been one trial after another. We have had the passing of a close friend of the family; we have had to mechanical failures in our home and in our car, plumbing failure, computer failure and car brake problems.., just one trial after another. Yesterday when I was out walking and praying I thought about the beach I visited in San Salvador and I thought about the big waves. San Salvador is reported has the second best surfing next to California and the wave are humongous, and as I thought about these large tremendous waves they became for me a parable of the trials we are facing. And I said Lord help us to ride these waves and I pray that you will cause them to pass. So we are riding some very difficult waves at this time, but I am trusting God they will pass. But the question I want to pose is: What provision has God given us in the midst of the trials? Has God given us something to help us to endure? I have learned that in the midst of life’s struggles there is no better source of strength to delight and encourage ourselves in than the word of God, and particularly verses such as Psalm 8:1 which reminds us of the character of God.” In times of struggle we need to remind ourselves of who God is! Storms and trials will come. Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer I have overcome the world!”
In verse 1 of Psalm 8 we hear a hymn of praise and it is marvelous!
Oh Lord, our Lord…mans vocabulary is limited when it comes to truly giving God the praise which He is worthy of, but the psalmist attempts with the language of mortal man to give God the highest praise! He begins by saying Oh Lord…! Lord means master, sovereign, King, ruler! This praise is directed to the one who is in complete charge and on the throne! He is Lord and above Him there is none other! Jesus is our risen Lord! He is the Lord of glory! He is our savior, master, King, and yes he is Lord! Thomas said “my Lord and my God” in John 20:28. In John 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the risen the Lord. In John 21 when Jesus was on the shore and the disciples saw him John said “it is the Lord”. In Phil. 2 we are taught that one day every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! So what does this mean, simply this that Jesus Christ is God! You say why is that important? Because apart from that realization, apart from believing in that fact one cannot be saved. None other than Jesus Christ himself said except you believe that I am him, you will die in your sins, and that settles it for me!
· The Lordship of Christ is an essential doctrine, but it is a doctrine under attack
· Some believe you can receive Jesus as Savior and later receive him as Lord
· Jesus Christ is not received in pieces
How excellent is thy name-His name is excellent!
Names in the bible define ones character. Abram means father of many. Abraham means father of multitudes! Cimon means pebble or little stone. Peter means rock! Jesus means savior! The name of God or the character of God is excellent! So how excellent is God’s character? It is exalted in all the earth! The character of God is seen in that His glory is set above the heavens! In all the earth the character of God is on display and it is incomparable, none can compare and none can reach the depths of its beauty! This is Gods glory! The glory of God is the intrinsic nature of God! God is glorious in his holiness! God is glorious in his love, righteousness, wisdom, power, goodness, and justice! God’s glory speaks of his perfection! His glory speaks of that which is unique to the character of God, because no creature has glory, only God has glory and he is all together gloriousness!
We get a glimpse of the glory of God when god spoke to Moses in Mt Sinai
We get a glimpse of the glory of God in the Gods dealing with Israel when God opened the red sea
We get a glimpse of the glory of God on the mount of transfiguration in Matthew 17
We get a glimpse of the glory of God when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead
We get a major glimpse of the glory of God at Calvary, when Jesus was crucified for the sins of the entire world
Calvary is God masterpiece and it is that God’s Glory was revealed!
In verse 2 even the infants give praise to God!
The worship of babe and suckling’s is used by God to silence his enemies! God will be praised, and God will receive praise from babies, and if humanity will not praise God than God will have the rocks to cry out!
Look at verse 3; when I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon…
When was the last time you considered Gods work in creation? When was the last time you looked and considered the vastness of Gods universe?
It was said of President Calvin Coolidge that on one occasion he was talking to his advisors and they had reached an impasse and there seemed to be no clear conclusion. Coolidge invited his entire staff out to Whitehouse lawn and he began to look up at the stars. He looked and he looked and never said a word, finally he came back inside. When he came in he said ok now that we have been brought to our rightful size we can tackle this problem. I am told that after that the solution to the problem begin to come together. I believe this is a good practice. There are times when we need to go out and look up at the stars and get a glimpse of the vastness and remind ourselves of who we are and who God is!
So what is man…verse 4?
What is man?
Man is a sinner, created in the image of God, and created with the potential to glorify God and enjoy him forever. However this same man can choose to rebel against God, curse God and die an horrible premature death and go straight to hell!
What is man?
In contrast to the universe man does not appear to be much
In comparison to the vastness of Gods marvelous creation man does not appear to be much
It is said that we can see less than 5 percent of the universe. Imagine that and yet God would choose to dwell among man. God would single out man as the object of his love and blessings! And beyond that is the fact that God would visit man in the person of His son the Lord Jesus Christ!
Why man because God created man.
God made man in His own image.
God made man a little lower than the Angels and has crowned him with glory and honor and this pictures the humiliation of the Lord Jesus Christ, because as man he was made a little lower than the angel and was crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:6-9)
God made man to reign, verses 6-8
God made man to have dominion over his creation and the first man initially did have dominion, but sin ruined man and now man no longer dominates. Man does not rule Gods creation and in fact sometimes man is ruled by Gods creation.
Verse 9 .
In response to Gods dealing with man, man exalts God for his excellent name which is on display throughout the whole earth. Man was created to worship God and God delights in the worship of his children. Yet not all men worship God. All men ought to worship God, but some men worship themselves, and some worship things, and some worship creation, and some worship the creature, and refuse to worship the creator! Why do many refuse to worship God? It is because men are separated from God because of mans sin and man desperately needs the savior!
In summary, let’s ask some questions and answer them in context:
1) What are the main points of this psalm?
- God's majesty in creation (1-2)
- Man's purpose in creation (3-9)
2) What causes the Psalmist praise God? (1)
- The excellence of His name (character) in all the earth
- His glory set above the heavens
3) By whom has God ordained praised, and used this praise to silence the enemy and the avenger? (2)
- From the lips of infants and working His strength (power) through them."
5) What prompted the Psalmist's amazement over God's concern for man?
- His contemplation of the skies and the vastness of the universe
6) How was man exalted when God created him? (5-6)
- God made him a little lower than the angels
- God crowned him with glory and honor
- God gave him dominion over the works of His hands
- God put all things under his feet
7) What things were placed under man's feet? (7-8)
- All sheep and oxen
- The beasts of the field
- The birds of the air
- The fish that pass through the paths of the sea
8) Has man maintained his dominion over the earth? (cf. He 2:5-8)
- No, Man sold out to Satan in the garden
9) Who now has all authority over heaven and earth? (cf. He 2:9; Mt
28:19; Ep 1:20-22; 1Pe 3:22)
Satan is the prince of this world however
Jesus Christ, who became man and for the suffering of death has
been crowned with glory and honor; He is now head over all things, and Satan is Gods devil on a limited time span1
10) How does David end his psalm? (9)
- With praise for the excellence of God's name (character) in all