The Strength of God in Frailty (Psalm 8)


1  O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!

Personal Praise vs Imperative – Oh YHWH OUR Master

This Psalm of praise overwhelmingly focuses on the Covenant God.

It points us directly to Him using YHWH Adoni “Jehovah Lord” a combination of the most reverent name YHWH the Great I Am, the revealed God of Abraham.  The God whom we Know, because HE has entered into a relationship with us. From opening verse to the closing, YHWH’s presence is interwoven into the passages, as repeatedly the words YOU & YOUR (14x) speak to God’s knowable, observable blessings.  Most of all it is PERSONAL.

2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

See Isaiah 49 and Psalm 127

Having expressed the glory of the LORD the weakest of those reflecting His image, are revealed for the powerful presence they truly are.

Strength  עֹז ʿōz Masculine strength which has been (יִסַּ֪דְתָּ֫) a Foundation

There is no doubt of the wonder of children, or the demands they place upon the parents who shepherd them.  But most of us see not strength in our children but rather the helpless meek and poor in stature.  But this is because we do not focus on the covenant promise and blessings they are.  In the wilderness during the feast of tabernacles for seven days the camp was still, and in the midst of stillness the cries of children, both from distress and at play are often the loudest.  In the midst of all trials, all historical advents of plague, sickness, and death, the hope and promise of the future which the Lord has spoken is most circumspect in our covenant children.  Christ being the greatest child of this promise.

We should see Luke 2:46-50; Matt 21:16; Romans 1:18–21; 1 Cor 1:26-31

3 When I consider Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars,
which You have ordained,

The prospect of living in a tent, seeing the works of the Lord’s hands at night shaded by leafy branches during the day also reflects upon the blessings of the Lord.  Beginning at the glory of God and moving down to the heavens and then man, the details as we move from creation and the universe in general and see now the image of God within humanity reflect the order within creation with God at its head, and man as the head over the creation.

The Master craftsmanship of skilled fingers, is the Lord of all creation.  There is no work of art, no intricate detailed mechanism or man made thing greater than the work of God.

The ability to consider, ponder, or be witness to the heavens is a reference to the understanding which flows from God to man as a work within creation.  But man looks at the creation apart from himself and sees the incomprehensible, the psalmist here observes these wondrous works, and feels small.  He reconciles them as from God, ordered and sustained – thus ordained.  Genesis 1 is clearly reflected here.

4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

What is man?
Why is he worthy of your attention?
Why are his offspring of any benefit or worth?
How is it, God has entered into a relationship with us?

Because of the book of Hebrew’s relationship to this passage (Heb 2:6-8)) there is a desire to see Christ here in these passages, certainly the prophetic nature of the inspired words point to Him, but there is also a deep sense of humility here.  What am I?  Who am I? Perhaps simply the desire to question everything.

The tendency of the corrupt human spirit is to reject the demonstrable proof of God especially in our own wicked hearts.  So, let’s talk about what man is.  He is created to demonstrate all of the goodness, hope, truth, love and pleasant nature of the living God.  He is above the animals while he is below the heavens, they as part of creation are under his dominion.  Man is what God intended him to be despite sin, misery and death.

5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

The Blessing of the LORD toward His people are both general and specific.

Apart from the illumination from Hebrews chapters 1 and 2 we would not know today the true potential of the human condition.  If God had not chosen to show us how and what we can and will be, we would remain without hope.  But in these words the Spirit spoke to encourage us, and in Christ they are demonstrated in fullness of power, with a clarity which we, apart from the illumination of the Spirit of YHWH, could not begin to grasp.

6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,

The Blessing of the LORD toward His people are both general and specific.

“And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:25–28, NKJV)

7 All sheep and oxen— Even the beasts of the field,

All of Creation subject to God, but also to man whom God created.  Ultimately this is manifest in the person of Jesus Christ, who being fully man demonstrated the proper nature of human dominion over the creation, and continues to do so until His triumphant return.

8 The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas.

The Blessing of the LORD toward His people are both general and specific.

9 O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!”

So at the end of the Psalm we come to the beginning of our PRIASE.  To the one who was and is and is to come. To the master craftsman whose intricate design is more precise than any manipulation of the creation within the creation. Christ Jesus our Lord.  He has created us for relationship, maintained a deep personal connection to us, and through the reflection upon all these things, given us the template to properly worship Him.

The next time you are alone looking at creation, wondering at the stars and moon, thankful for the food you eat, impressed by the complexity of the world we inhabit.  When a child is born, or crying; when you see children being children.  Think on these Words and claim them as your prayer of PRAISE.  “O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!”

-Closing Scripture-

Romans 8:27–30

Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Elder Matthew Davis
Covenant Reformed Church at Grass Valley

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