Psalm 8

DSC03443O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens.  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightiest still the enemy and the avenger.  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:  All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.  O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!   KJV

This was one of the first psalms I memorized as a child.  I focus on three characters: the Lord, man, and the avenger.  In the King James Version verse two reads: “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightiest still the enemy and the avenger.”  How can I apply these words to my daily living?  By living my life and making Christ the Lord of my life every moment of the day.  The words from the devotion My Utmost for His Highest for March 9, 2009 Oswald Chambers writes “All that is required is to live a natural life of absolute dependence on Jesus Christ.  Showing no concern for the uncertainties that lie ahead is the secret of walking with Jesus.”

As I was studying Hebrews chapter two I realized how much we separate your religious beliefs from our daily living.  Verse one starts out with a very bold statement “You have set your glory above the heavens”.  I believe that this glory is explained in Hebrews 2:9 “But we behold him who hath been made a little lower that the angels, even Jesus because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor that by the grace of God he should taste of death for every man”.  By looking at this psalm in relationship to Hebrews chapter two we realize that our Lord is Christ.  How then do we live our daily life apart from our Lord?  The answer for mankind is simple.  One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.

As you read this Psalm I reflect upon what Christ said about this Psalm found Matthew 21:15-17.  This reply came after Christ’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, his driving out the money changers from the temple area, and his healing of the blind and lame.  As the children were shouting in the temple area “Hosanna to the Son of David” the chief priest and the teachers of the law became indignant.   In his reply to them Christ stated “have you never read ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise'”  From Christ reply to the teachers of the Law from this simple Psalm we find answers to some of the great questions of philosophy.  In his book PSICANICA: A Spiritual Philosophy Thomas Michael Powell writes “Since the beginning of thought, man has sought to understand the universe and his own existence. He has sought to explain them through myths, superstitions, and religions on one hand; and through science and philosophy on the other.”  In his book he has put forth ten great questions of Philosophy:

  1. What is the nature of the universe?
  2. Is there a Supreme Being?
  3. What is the place of man in the universe?
  4. What is reality?
  5. What determines the fate of each individual?
  6. What is good and what is bad or evil?
  7. Why are things the way they are?
  8. What is the ideal relation between the individual and the state?
  9. What is education?
  10. What happens at death?

It is interesting that he places religion in the group of superstition and myth and not with science and philosophy.  He states that “Religion proffer answers to many of these questions, but based on alleged divine revelation as interpreted by ecclesiastical “authorities”, and expressed in dogmatic —and often irrational— belief systems. Science and Philosophy eschew dogmatic belief and seek to answer them by reason and logic or through experience.”  However, as I study the Psalms all the answers to these questions are made simple.  Yes Religion (manmade system for understanding the relationship between man and God “yes man seems to always want to be first”) does a poor job of answering these ten questions.  But then man strives to understand these questions in the light of God’s Word as the Spirit reveals truth to him then he learn to praise God.  Yes the more we learn about the nature of man, the nature of the enemy, and the nature of God the more we want to praise God.

This Psalm sets the foundation for our understanding.  It does not start out trying to establish God, instead it starts out with the establish fact that God is and it is His glory that fills the heavens and the earth.  So as I look at the ten questions above question one and two are answered in verse one of this Psalm.  Yes there is a supreme being and the nature of the universe is his creation.  Question three and seven are also answer in this Psalm.  Man is a little lower than the angels made by God and cared by Him.  He has made mankind the ruler over the works of His hands and to praise Him.  Question nine can be answered in the phrase “when I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place” as the reference point for learning.  Everything beings with God.  Take God out of education and then your education becomes godless and the results of your studies flawed.  So as babes and children trust in the parents that care for them so must we return to this simple truth that it is God who watches over us and cares for us and our faith should always be in him.

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