(This short devotional can be read here or listened to by clicking the link to the podcast below! Be encouraged!)
Plot twist: the last seven chapters of Psalms have focused a lot on the world of enemies, wicked people and distorted justice, but Psalm 8 takes a completely different turn. In case you didn’t know, the number 8 is significant throughout the scriptures and often represents a new beginning or regeneration. Psalm 8 beautifully celebrates the dignity of God’s original creation, giving hope for weary souls.
For most of us, self preservation has been encouraged. No one wants to be a doormat or feel as though they have been walked over, but the degree to which most of us go to make sure that doesn’t happen can become misaligned with the character of Jesus and quite frankly cause us to respond no differently than the world does.
Please don’t misunderstand me: God is NOT okay with any kind of abuse..mental, physical or emotional in personal relationships. That is not what I am referencing. However, it isn’t crystal clear who the Psalms are referring to when they talk about “enemies” or “oppressors”. This is something the Holy Spirit would need to define in your life.
You might call this something more along the lines of someone “done us wrong” and instead of being able to “make allowance for each other’s faults”(Colossians 3:13), we are immediately offended and our eyes are drawn away from the Lord and focused only on the offense to the point of it being all consuming or even just an ongoing festering wound.
My point is that God has so much more for us, but it requires us to take on an attitude of humility. Humility is not popular in our culture. It even seems to be a topic that is avoided even in the church and yet Christ was our perfect example and he was exactly that: humble.
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
So what does any of this have to do with Psalm 8? Let’s read it and see if you can spot the theme of humility that is very present here:
O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
You have taught children and infants
to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies
and all who oppose you.
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
Yet you made them only a little lower than God
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You gave them charge of everything you made,
putting all things under their authority—
the flocks and the herds
and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that swims the ocean currents.
O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
It isn’t hard to see, is it? Let’s start at the beginning: the introduction (v. 1,2) remind us of the greatness of God who also, strangely enough, shows his strength through helpless babies. What does that even mean?
In Matthew 21:15,16 Jesus had just cleared the temple of the money changers. Immediately following, the lame came to be healed and the children were in the temple shouting praises to Jesus. The church leaders were indignant and when they complained to Jesus about this(the children), He referred back to Psalm 8 asking them if they had ever even read it. He was implying that if they had truly read it, they would understand that God reveals himself through lowliness and meekness.
Jesus wasn’t born in a place fit for a king. Instead, he was born in a lowly manger. No fanfare, no publicity. Simple, humble circumstances.
He rules the world through weak man. We think we have to be STRONG in order to “rule and take dominion”(v.6), but this Psalm and the reference in Matthew paint a much different picture.
I’m going to digress just a bit here: I firmly believe that the war on children through abortion, sex trafficking, child pornography, gender fluidity and even the very real threats to parental rights and the family, is a clear indication that what we are pulling from this text is truth. The Enemy knows how God reveals Himself and he wants to silence this in any way he can. This is why it is absolutely crucial that we defend and protect human life, our children and our rights as parents to decide what is best for our children. The most helpless and vulnerable are the ones the Enemy attacks and this just makes me all kinds of mad! This is why I am so adamant about protecting our children and letting them have a childhood!
Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Read verses 3-8…WOW! When we look at the wonder of creation, realize that this is the work of HIS fingers, it would be reasonable to think that because of His awesomeness, He shouldn’t or wouldn’t even think about “mere mortals”(like us), much less care for them. Instead, He crowns us with glory and honor and gives us charge of everything He has made…all of nature, the entire earth. What an honor!
I want to take just a minute here to speak to stewardship. This earth, all of nature belong to Him. We are to be good responsible stewards of all of it. Mankind has done some wonderful things in that regard, but also some very horrible things.
Our family has been reading a book called, “The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs”. Catchy title, right? I would have never picked it up except it came highly recommended by someone I really respect. I don’t agree with every detail in the book, but it’s a game changer for sure as it addresses our responsibilities in respecting and caring for all of God’s creation.
When we hear the term “environmentalism”, it likely either holds a more positive or more negative connotation, but the author beautifully paints a picture of what it looks like to steward creation according to biblical principles. Believe it or not, they are there right in God’s Word!
The very last verse of Psalm 8 simply states, “O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!”
Everything in heaven and on earth is subject to God and HIS glory. One more reason to humble ourselves, but also to be grateful for the undeserved love that He continually and faithfully pours out on our lives and to steward His blessings well.
Dig Deeper: Do you find it difficult to humble yourself in general or in specific areas? Can you recognize the importance of humility from the passage that we have studied today? According to this passage, does God only use those who are strong and have it all together? Do you feel encouraged in your efforts to protect and disciple your children in the ways that God is leading you as opposed to outside voices?