God put humans in charge of the earth. It is a hymn of praise throughout, expressing wonder that Yahweh has made people “a little lower than God” (v. 5) and “ruler over the works of your hands” (v. 6). In Egypt pharaoh was described as the “son of God,” as one who represented the deity on earth. Psalm 85 is a perfect psalm for this second Sunday of Advent. When the monarchy ended the royal office once reserved for the king was transferred to humankind as a whole. What’s in a name? The Lutheran Witness, in 1922, had an article on How the "Popular Commentary" Was Written.It gives a brief background of the work. Matthew 21:16. Human beings, according to our psalm, occupy the honored center in the great chain of being — “a little lower than … Psalm 8 reveals that those suffering at the hands of evil forces are those made in the image of God and valued highly by their creator. How excellent is thy name — That is, thy glory, as it is explained in the next clause; in all the earth — The works of creation and providence evince and proclaim to all the world that there is an infinite Being, the fountain of all being, power, and perfection; the sovereign Ruler, powerful Protector, and bountiful Benefactor of all creatures. The God who made all things is the only one worthy of the name that is majestic in all the earth (vv.1, 9). Similarly, when the psalmists rejoiced in their surprising ability, under God, to bring sustenance from an unwieldy planet, they lived in a time when such “dominion” was relatively new–the ability to domesticate animals and till the soil–and the alternative was a daily hunter-gatherer existence that gave little or no time for developing culture, civilization, or even communal worship. You have set your glory in the heavens. Daily Bible Reading - Psalm 36. 7:50. Just as God’s majesty begins and ends the psalm, so also it creates the context for human glory. He is ours, for he made us, protects us, and takes special care of us. Within those verses comes the praise of God’s particular works (overturning foes in B; blessing humans in B’), and, at the center, the wondering awe of the poet (C). Throughout our series in the Psalms, we’ve often been reminded of the fact that a majority of the psalms are in the lament genre. More specifically, it is a panegyric on human excellence (Psalm 8:4-6) couched within a pious frame (8:1a, 9). They are far too complicated and way over your head.”. It begins and ends by pronouncing Yahweh’s majestic nature. The dominion of humans extends to all living creatures. It begins … Daily Bible Reading - Psalm 52 & 53. "O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is thy name in all the earth!" A resource for the whole church from Luther Seminary. Perhaps it was while David was attending sheep on a clear night with the stars brightly shining that he picked up his Gittith, a stringed instrument in the shape of a wine press, and began to strum and chant these amazing words of the Psalm he had written. The question, “What are humans?” has two important features that are keys to the meaning of the psalm. Turn to Psalm 18. Many of my favorite songs are simple melodies that call out the name of Jesus. There might be something in that, but the structure of the psalm puts the singer in a different place. The One who created the heavens is concerned and compassionate toward man and ultimately will fulfill all the dreams of humanity. “I’m surrounded!”–surrounded by the gracious works of God and the gathered community of God’s people. Psalms 8. The image of God bestowed on humans in Genesis 1:26-28 is defined by human dominion. The psalms that immediately precede it are prayers spoken by people who are suffering or who are persecuted (Psalms 3-7). Psalm 8 has a rather clear concentric structure: A O Lord, our Sovereign… (verse 1a) B You have set your glory… (verses 1b-2) C When I look… (verses 3-4) B’ Yet, you have made… (verses 5-8) A’ O Lord, our Sovereign (verse 9). Adam is closely related to the word for earth or soil (adamah; Genesis 2:7). What is man, so mean a creature, that he should be thus honoured! St. Paul Lutheran Church. Psalm 8 is like one of those ornate bridges. Related Videos. Second Samuel 7 calls David God’s son when God appoints him to his office. This psalm is a solemn meditation on, and admiration of, the glory and greatness of God, of which we are all concerned to think highly and honourably. The bridge arching across the rough ground is where the glory of God is revealed in time and space. The final verse contains the same words as the first line of the psalm (8:1a). Psalm 8 is the first psalm of praise in the Book of Psalms. This short Psalm is unique. The whole bridge represents the full glory of God. Psalm 8:1a and 9a declare that the whole created order gives evidence of God’s sovereignty. The Popular Commentary is in the public domain. Robert C. Holland Professor of Old Testament, A resource for the whole church from Luther Seminary, I suspect that most in your congregation would not appreciate a sermon that began like this: “There are things that are essential to our faith, but I can’t speak about them because you would not be able to understand. The point, however, is not so much the identity of elohim, but the difference between the heavenly and earthly realms. There are many examples of this type of psalm in the book of Psalms (for example, Psalms 93, 136, 150). The psalm paints the picture of a soul searcher standing alone at night, staring up at the vast expanse of the universe and overcome by a haunting question. It's uh it's to the choir Master. In the space of five verses, the second reading for Trinity Sunday mentions God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. It's something that song. A team of killer whales worked together to create giant waves that swept seals off ice floes. 1O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Now, instead of an isolated “me,” viewing a distant universe in existential anxiety, “I” (C) stand surrounded by the gracious and protecting works of God (B/B’) and the congregation gathered to sing God’s praise (A/A’). Another sermon derives simply from the poetic structure of the psalm. In this psalm, that character pertains primarily to the divine power over the created order. Psalm 8 isa Psalm about creation, but it’s more than that, Psalm 8 is also about mankind and about Jesus, “the Son of Man.” Psalm 8, as a Psalm, is rather brief in its description of creation, while “How Great Thou Art” goes on for a whole second verse about the woods, and birds singing in the trees and mountains and the gentle breeze.” September 18, 2011 Reviews There are no reviews yet. 2Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger. Bellinger, Jr., Preaching This Week, WorkingPreacher.org, 2009. You have set your glory above the heavens. Psalm 138 is a declaration that even the kings of the nations will praise Yahweh. The original volumes were not copyrighted. 3When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, “Name” refers to God’s essence and character. Second, it is important to note that the question (“What are humans?”) is not an abstract query about the nature and identity of humankind. First, it is the first hymn one encounters when reading the Psalms straight through. What is the connection between wisdom and joy? We rejoice in the gift, even as we pray for humility to bear the responsibility of exercising anything resembling god-like power over the earth. It emphasizes God’s sovereignty (8:1, 9) and proclaims that humans exercise their legitimate authority within the rule of God. In Psalm 8 it is impossible to tell the exact intention. It is a good and safe place to be; a place where I am not left to my own devices to figure out who I am, but am given a place in relation to God, to God’s world, and to God’s people; a place where my identity is given (not my own project) and where I am kept safe from whatever “foes” (verses 1b-2) stand in opposition to God’s good will for me and all God’s creatures. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Psalm 8 INTRODUCTION: While the superscription notes this psalm is for the use of the Chief Musician or choirmaster, the psalm itself is addressed to Yahweh. First, the word “human” translates the Hebrew expression ben adam (“son of man”). Psalms 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Selah. Psalm 18 Commentary: Genre. Psalm 8 reveals that those suffering at the hands of evil forces are those made in the image of God and valued highly by their creator. 5,313 Views . Its two sides stand for God's eternal glory outside of creation, strong and immoveable as the eternal shores which support the bridge. Psalm 8:1-9 God's Glory Perfectly Revealed in the Son of Man . The Pharisees tell Jesus that it’s not right for the children to be calling him the Son of David – the coming king. By repeating the words at the end the whole psalm is given a structure that calls attention to God’s sovereignty. 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