A Psalm of David
1 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Majestic Chooses to use Weakness
Easter Sunday is the day Christians celebrate Jesus’ victory over death in resurrection. In Him our lives are reborn into God’s kingdom. David’s words in Psalm 8 are a powerful meditation for this special day, moving our minds from the beginning of time to the end of time, from the highest heavens to the lowest animals. In a few masterful phrases, this ancient king created a study in contrast that transcends all the years between us. Here we see themes that resound throughout the whole Bible, showing us how God chooses to do His work in our world.
The Psalm begins and ends with a repeating phrase, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” He is our God, and nothing compares to His majesty! He is high above the heavens and far, far beyond our understanding. Mere human words cannot express who God is.
“Out the mouths of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.” The picture is of the foundation of a fortress being built up to withstand attack. How can a baby, not yet able to talk, raise a foundation for the Lord? Children are God’s plan to raise up many generations who love and serve Him. The babbling of babies and noisy play of children are sounds of life, unique in all creation, each small person a soul that God created and loves. Their very existence is solid proof that God is still at work in our world, that He blesses with new life. As a result, children and the people who care for them are on the front-lines of spiritual warfare.
There is an Enemy, hostile to God. There is an Avenger, seeking revenge against the people of God. But there is also a Child, humble and weak, who will stand in our place and bring down the Enemy with the very words of His mouth. A foundation will be raised from His life, death and resurrection that shuts the mouths of God’s foes, once and for all! Majesty chooses to use weakness.
Majesty Chooses to Care for Smallness
Now the writer lifts his eyes to the moon, stars and all the distant wonders of heaven. How small we feel in the universe. Just gazing into the night sky is enough to make most of us question our existence, “Why am I here? What is my purpose?” David is wondering at God’s care and love for people. We look into the eyes of a baby and up into the vast array of stars and feel the wonder swelling in our hearts. “What is man, that you are mindful of him? The son of man that you care for him?” Majesty cares for smallness.
God created man to have a special role in His creation, a place of royalty, derived from His own place as King over all. But that was lost. The crown of honor fell, as the glory of man was tarnished by sin. Our dominion and rule over creation was meant to be one of harmony and peaceful stewardship, reflecting God’s good rule over us. Instead it became one of striving and bloodshed, wasted resources and abused power. David highlights the creative order in reverse, starting with man, then listing land animals, creatures of the air and water. This structure points us back to the One who created it all.
Hebrews 2:5–9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Majesty Becomes one of Us
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” (1 Corinthians 15:20–27)
Babies and stars and the questions in our hearts… these all point back to God and His care for us. On this Easter morning, don’t let the resurrection of Jesus be an abstract idea in your mind. Marvel at the new life of a baby and raise up a foundation of praise in your own heart! Meditate on the vast universe and your place in it as an object of God’s care. God’s chooses, not the stars or the angels or the animals, but you. He has redeemed your life from the pit. In humility, like Jesus, we find our hope.
Majesty chooses to use weakness.
Majesty cares for smallness.
Majesty became one of us.
Only in His life do we find the meaning for ours. In weakness, in meekness, in smallness, in death and resurrection God makes His name majestic in all the earth!
1 Corinthians 1:18,27 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…. God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;