Study Notes

Psalm 8:1-9

On The Gittith

Although we once again have no clue whether the ghit-TEETH is a type of music or the instrument of choice, it is called for in Psalms 8, 81, and 84.

8:1 How Majestic Is Thy Name

This psalm is a wonderful psalm of praise and worship. David's amazement at the majesty and splendor of God is hard to put into words, and even harder to elaborate on them.

God's name is majestic in all the earth. God, through Moses, told Pharaoh that He had not completely destroyed Egypt because of one purpose:

Exod. 9:16 "But, indeed, for this cause I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power, and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth.

God wanted His name to be proclaimed throughout the earth. God's name preceded the Israelites into the land of Canaan. They were afraid of the Israelites because they were called by the name of the Lord. The name of God is a fearsome and majestic name. Man has tried to reduce it by using it as a curse, but it still brings either awe or anger to all who hear it.

Ps. 102:15 ...The nations will fear the name of the LORD...

His name is majestic in all the earth.

Thy Splendor Above The Heavens

His splendor has been displayed above the heavens. Not in the heavens, but above the heavens, for...

2Chr. 2:6 ...the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him...

Now we know that Scripture declares,

Ps. 19:1 THE heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

Ps. 97:6 The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples have seen His glory.

People can see somewhat of the glory and righteousness of God as they look to the heavens, but that is not the limit of God's splendor. He is far above these things that we can see.

Ps. 108:5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, And Thy glory above all the earth.

Ps. 113:4 The LORD is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens.

Ps. 148:13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven.

Far above the most awesome power or beauty on earth, far above the incredible vastness or infinity of the heavens, God's splendor is.

8:2 From The Mouths Of Infants

We go from the hugeness and power of the earth and the heavens to the voice of babies and small children. Jesus once quoted this verse to His enemies and adversaries:

Matt. 21:15-16 ...When the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were crying out in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they became indignant, and said to Him, "Do You hear what these are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABES THOU HAST PREPARED PRAISE FOR THYSELF'?"

Though there are many adults with hardened hearts, who through sin have rejected the Lord, children have an innocence and faith that speaks of the wonder of God.

8:3-4 What Is Man?

David is saying, "When I look at the massive celestial bodies You have made so effortlessly, when I think about the vastness of the heavens that are nothing compared to Your greatness, I just have to wonder why in the world you even think of little, insignificant man?

I believe that is a mystery which we will never comprehend while we are on this earth. That God is mindful of us.

Jer. 29:11 (KJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil...

Jesus said,

Matt. 10:29-31 "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And {yet} not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows."

It is amazing, is it not, the attention that we have from God?

8:5-9 Ruling Over Thy Works

God has made man a little lower than "Elohim." This refers either to God as a Trinity, or to the sons of God, the angels. The New Testament bears out the meaning here to be the angels.

God has created us in His image and left us in charge of this earth.

Gen. 1:26-28 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

God put man on earth in his sinless state to rule over the creatures of the earth.

Paths Of The Seas

There are some interesting notes in these verses. In verse eight we read,

Ps. 8:8 ...Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

This verse was read and taken literally by a scientist named Matthew Fontaine Maury in the 1800's. A Christian man who strongly believed that the Bible and science were not contradictory, Maury discovered and mapped the world's major ocean and wind currents. Today he is known as the "father of oceanography," and the "pathfinder of the seas."

New Testament Reference

Another thing that makes these verses stand out is their quotation in the New Testament. The writer of Hebrews makes the point that man in his fallen state doesn't live up to this ideal of ruling, glory, and honor that we saw in Genesis 1. But Christ does.

Hebr. 2:6-10 But one has testified somewhere, saying, WHAT IS MAN, THAT THOU REMEMBEREST HIM? OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT THOU ART CONCERNED ABOUT HIM? THOU HAST MADE HIM FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; THOU HAST CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND HAST APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF THY HANDS; THOU HAST PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET." For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, {namely,} Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

Christ brings us glory that has been lost through sin.

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