Psalm 8: Majestic, 31 July 2022

Psalm 8: Majestic
Series—Restoring Your Soul: Psalms

Series Big Idea: The Psalms are filled with passionate expressions of the soul.
Big Idea: Our God is majestic and worthy of praise.
I often say the two most important questions might be
Who is God?
Who are you?
How you answer those questions will tell me a lot about you, your identity, your values, and your worldview. Today we’re going to look at the first question, and I hope it impacts the second for you.
Who is God? Who are you?
Although God created us in His image, many have unfortunately returned the favor! We tell God what is fair. We define what is right and wrong. We jump in the driver’s seat and put Him in the trunk. I’ve got a very offensive thing to say to you today:
You are not God!
It’s tempting for all of us to want to be in control, to do things our way, to turn to God only when we need something from Him, and to make an idol out of ourselves, our needs, our desires. We do this out of pride and arrogance, but I wonder if there isn’t another reason. Could it be that our God is too small?
We don’t see too many visual depictions of God, but He is often seen as weak, angry, stupid, or sleeping. After all, why is the world out of control if God is truly sovereign and in control?
The short answer is He has chosen, for whatever reason, to allow satan and demons to tempt us for a season, but it won’t be forever. It might end when every man, woman, and child has heard the good news that Jesus is LORD. That’s our mission!
Today we’re continuing our series on the book of
Psalms, the songbook of the Bible. It’s important to recognize the psalms are not a history book. They are not a science textbook. The psalms are poetry, art, lyric.
The first course I took in seminary was called hermeneutics. It simply means interpreting the Bible. Our textbook was
How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Fee & Stuart. Perhaps the most profound statement in the book is:
A text cannot mean what it never meant to its author or his or her readers.
It’s amazing how many people read the Bible as if it was written in English in 2022 and jump to application today.
We begin with what it originally meant. The technical term is exegesis. Then, we examine what it means for us today…hermeneutics. Then, we seek to apply it to our lives. Sometimes this process is quick and easy. For example, in the book of Exodus, Moses records this command of the LORD:
“You shall not murder.” (Exodus 10:13)
Looking at the context—the Ten Commandments—and the repetition of this message elsewhere in the time period, it’s safe to assume God meant to communicate to His people they should not murder.
What does this verse mean for us today? Was it written only for people thousands of years ago? Was the message found in the New Testament? Did Jesus support the teaching? Yes! Could it mean we should not murder in 2022? I’m confident in saying yes. The application, then, is we should not murder!
If only every verse in the Bible was so simple and clear!
As we look at Psalm 8, notice the context is not instructions or history or even narrative story. It’s a songwriter trying to describe and worship God. This video from The Bible Project will help us understand Psalm 8. Psalm 8 is the first praise psalm and the only one addressed entirely to the Lord.
LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:1a, NIV)
What comes to mind when you think of the word “majestic?” The original Hebrew word is “adder,” meaning majestic, glorious, magnificent, mighty, powerful, stately.
One dictionary describes the adjective “majestic” as
1. Impressive or beautiful in a dignified or inspiring way. synonym: grand.
2. Possessing or exhibiting majesty; of august dignity, stateliness, or imposing grandeur; lofty; noble; grand.
3. Having qualities of splendor or royalty.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
I don’t think there’s anything in USAmerican culture that compares to British
royalty. The wedding, birthday, and anniversary celebrations are spectacular. The crowns and palaces associated with the royal family are truly majestic.
Can you imagine the majesty of God? The psalmist begins by associating majesty with the name of the LORD. His name alone is majestic. In fact, it’s so sacred, Jewish people refuse to speak it aloud. I once asked my Messianic Jewish friend if the Hebrew name was pronounced
Yahweh. He said somewhat gingerly, “That’s very close!”
The name of the LORD is holy, sacred, majestic. You may be aware just a few verses before the prohibition of murder, it is stated in command number three:
“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. (Exodus 20:7)
If you never speak the name—the thinking goes—you cannot misuse it or use it in vain. Tragically, Hollywood has turned God’s name—and Jesus, in particular—as a curse word. It is holy! It is majestic!
LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:1a, NIV)
It’s not just a Jewish thing. It’s not just an American thing. His name is majestic in all the earth! For all people. He is
our LORD! While we’re examining these words, the all-cap LORD is that sacred name, YHWH (Yahweh). The second Lord is Adonai, the more generic term for God or lord, literally “master.”
Did I mention you are not God?! You are special, loved, created in God’s image, but we are but dust, broken sinners in need of restoration, weak lumps of clay desperate for God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
Family, if we could get the focus off of ourselves and onto our majestic Lord, I believe our fear, worry, and anxiety would diminish. As pastor Donald said last Sunday, God is good…all the time. All the time…God is good! Taste and see that the LORD is good. King David continues,
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 8:1b-2, NIV)
The bottom line of our church’s mission statement is God’s glory. It can be seen in the heavens or the sky. Children and infants praise the LORD. Maybe that’s what they’re trying to say when they cry!!! Jesus referenced this verse in Matthew 21:16 while welcoming the praise of children and silencing Jesus’ enemies as predicted here. God’s power and glory are greater than we can imagine. As I mentioned, He is allowing sin on the earth now, but someday soon, Jesus will return to rule and reign forever. Death will be defeated. Satan and his friends will be destroyed. Even now, demons tremble at the sound of the name of Jesus.
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, NIV)
Have you ever admired a sunrise or sunset? Have you ever paused to stare at the stars in the sky? It’s hard in the city, but rural areas provide an amazing experience. The writer of Romans said,
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
It really takes effort to believe the universe was one big accident.
You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:5, NIV)
This is referring to mankind, to humans. Although it says angels, the original word, elohimˆ means God. Instead of being a little higher than animals, David is saying we’re a little lower than God. It’s truly incredible that God would be mindful of us, that He would care for us, that He would create us for a purpose, for a relationship with Him. It’s truly awesome that He would love you and me…warts and all!
Our value is determined by God, not social media, family, or our neighbors. He has created you to serve Him and share in His glory.
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. (Psalm 8:6-8, NIV)
There’s a prevailing message in our culture that we’re just animals. In fact, many seem to value animals over human life. I was recently selected to serve as a juror in a case that involved a murdered man and an injured dog. Some seemed more concerned about the cruelty to the animal than the death of the human! I love animals, but they were not created in the image of God. They were placed under the authority and stewardship of humans. The first book of the Bible—the first chapter of the Bible—makes this clear.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26, NIV)
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27, NIV)
I know it’s not politically correct, but it is biblically correct to say
God created humans male and female in His image. I never thought such a statement would be controversial, but people have drifted so far from God’s design, it’s no wonder we live in a land of confusion. We are to love all humans and offer compassion to those who are suffering and struggling, but our source of truth must always be God and His Word, not what we might “feel” at a particular moment. I’m deeply saddened by the despair and desperation expressed by those who live without the LORD. Taste and see that the LORD is good…all the time!
OK, back to the main point, we are greater than other animals, according to God.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28, NIV)
We are to care for creation, not destroy it.
The psalm ends the way it begins.
LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:9, NIV)
This is the theme of this song, this psalm. The LORD is majestic…in all the earth. The name of the LORD is majestic…in all the earth!
In summarizing Psalm 8, Warren Wiersbe notes,
God the Father created us to be kings, but the disobedience of our first parents robbed us of our crowns. God the Son came to earth and redeemed us to be kings (Rev. 1:5–6), and today the Holy Spirit of God can empower us to “reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17). When you crown Jesus Christ Lord of all, you are a sovereign and not a slave, a victor and not a victim. “O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” (Ps. 8:9).
Let’s proclaim his majesty to every living creature and declare the goodness of the LORD!
You can listen to this message and others at the First Alliance Church podcast here.

You can watch this video and others at the First Alliance Church Video Library