Psalm 8 and 9
Psalm 8:1 (ESV) 1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
The ancients wondered at the order and beauty of created things. We seem so dull to it all because we live in manmade environs and think we understand what is behind nature in chemistry. Consider Romans 1:20. We should be even more in awe for we see more than people of history about the foundations God has laid in chemical laws and organic mechanisms. The micro to the macro are filled with order and wonder.
Psalm 8:2 (ESV) 2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
Some of the most profound expressions come from children. God can use a young leader like David to slay a Goliath which shows the power is from God.
Psalm 8:3-4 (ESV) 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?
And now the Hubble has taken us to realms so wondrously vast and beautiful. Our minds cannot grasp the enormity of it all. We are but a teeny dot in space, and yet, God is intimately involved in each and every life. Consider Job 7:17.
Psalm 8:5-8 (ESV) 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.
A little lower than angels or gods? Lower than angels in strength and spiritual vision, but a little lower than gods in that we are made in the image of Elohim. The glory and honor are that God loves us and has given us dominion over His creation. We saw in the Hebrews 2 passage that the author applied this to Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels and demonstrated the dominion that we abandoned in Eden.
Psalm 8:9 (ESV) 9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Considering it all - we must say again - how awesome is the Lord our God in all that He has made and in all that He does.
Psalm 9:1-2 (ESV) 1 I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. 2 I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
The ESV translates many words as “exult.” This one means to jump for joy. Praise God for who He is with some enthusiasm.
Psalm 9:3-6 (ESV) 3 When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before your presence. 4 For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment. 5 You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever. 6 The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins; their cities you rooted out;the very memory of them has perished.
The psalmist sees the defeat of the nations that rise up against Israel as the righteous judgments of God. Blotted out their names implies they are not in the book of the righteous, or in New Testament language, they aren’t saved. Since we aren’t a theocracy our situation is different, but there are forces we can clearly see as evil. Can we expect the same answers to our prayers?
Psalm 9:7-8 (ESV) 7 But the LORD sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, 8 and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness.
Righteousness reigns forever. Evil has been allowed to raise its head for a season, but only to teach us and give us a choice. It will serve to bring glory to God in the end.
Psalm 9:9-10 (ESV) 9 The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
The oppressed have one place to turn. The weak have one great resource. Those who seek Him won’t be forsaken.
Psalm 9:11-12 (ESV) 11 Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! 12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
The reason for a song of praise to the LORD who reigns, the reason to tell testimonies is not only because of the good He has done for you, but also because God cares for the afflicted and gives their oppressors what they deserve.
Psalm 9:13-14 (ESV) 13 Be gracious to me, O LORD! See my affliction from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gates of death, 14 that I may recount all your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in your salvation.
The previous two verses address the situation I am in, so bring it to pass for me. Be gracious to me, see how those who hate me afflict me, and rescue me before I die. Then I will publicly testify of Your goodness, rejoicing in how You saved me.
Psalm 9:15-17 (ESV) 15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught. 16 The LORD has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah 17 The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.
They reap what they have sown. The LORD reveals His character in His judgments. This justice is what all individuals and nations that forget God can expect.
Psalm 9:18-20 (ESV) 18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. 19 Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! 20 Put them in fear, O LORD! Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah
God will not let evil prevail forever. Arise! A plea for God to act now! Put the fear of God in them.
How do the heavens put us in our place?
Who is the psalmist referring to when he writes “son of man”?
Can we pray for certain political outcomes?
Why should we sing songs of praise and share testimonies?