PSALM 8 - Messiah, Son of Man
After reading through this Psalm, ask yourself: 'Is this an accurate picture of man on earth today?'
This Psalm speaks of man, in joyful submission to God, enjoying full dominion over the earth. But ever since the fall of Adam, this picture has not matched the experience of mankind. The Psalm looks prophetically toward the day when the redeemed sons of man are restored to dominion over a redeemed creation, and meanwhile, toward the Son of Man who would accomplish that redemption. cp. Rom 8:17-21
8:1 To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.
Gittith- probably a type of musical instrument.
O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth!
who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
LORD our Lord- Jehovah our Adonai. The everliving One, our King and Master.
how excellent...! - His praise is expressed as an open ended exclamation.
Words would fail to describe His glory. Only God truly knows Himself.
thy name- refers primarily to His character and nature, rather than to His title.
Everything about Him is excellent.
above the heavens- The heavens declare His glory and reveal His handiwork (Psa 19:1).
But the heavens cannot contain Him (1Kin 8:27).
Creation is an expression of ''His eternal power and Godhead'' (Rom 1:20), yet He transcends His creation. A potter expresses himself in his art, but there is much more to his life than revealed in his handiwork. Even so, the creation cannot begin to compare to its Creator.
8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength
because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
the mouth of babes- The Lord, though higher than the Heavens,
chooses to express Himself in humanity's weakness.
  • Often He uses a child's words to expose the foolishness of a parent's worldly wisdom.
  • He reveals Himself to spiritual "babes." Mat 11:25; Mat 18:3
    cp. 1Cor 1:25-29; 2:7-10
  • He has spoken to us through His Son. Heb 1:1,2; Isa 49:2
    Jesus accepted the praise of children in fulfillment of this verse. "Mat 21:8-16"
    By doing so, the Son of Man identified Himself as God the Son, the One worthy of praise (cp. v.1; Joh 1:14).
    He was indeed the One who could answer their cries of ''Hosanna'' (lit., ''save now'', see notes on Psa 118:25).
    Our Creator is also our great Savior and High Priest (cp. v.1 with Heb 7:26).
    Jesus accepted this praise in the presence of both human & demonic enemies.
    Their cries for blood would be fully silenced by the Truth that the children attested.
    By the mouth of the Babe of Bethlehem, Satan's doom has been sealed (Joh 19:30) and will be executed (Rev 19:15).
Thou hast ordained {ie., established} strength...
... because of thine enemies {ie., those who cause distress, cp. Psa 23:5}... -
... that Thou mightest still {HB= shabath, cause to cease, cause to rest, cp. word in Gen 2:2}...
8:3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
Creation is the ''finger work'' of God. It did not tax His mind or resources.
In fact, He did not actually lift a finger, but rather spoke the worlds into being.
8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
What is man- in view of God's vast creation, we are insignificant.
We have value only because He values us.
mindful- We are continually on His mind: Psa 115:12; Psa 139:17,18
visit- ie., to give attention to, to attend to...
The Lord ''visits'' when He intervenes in the affairs of men (eg., to fulfill His promises, to provide their needs, to render judgment, to bring deliverance, etc.) (cp. word use in Gen 21:1; 50:24; Ex 3:16,17; Psa 65:9; see also Luk 1:68,78; 7:16)
8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels,
and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
a little lower- the sense is: "a little while inferior to".
glory- With what glory did God crown man?
God made man in His own image and likeness: Gen 1:26-28
honor- With what honor did God entrust man?
He gave man dominion over His creation (vs. 6-8).
But man fell from this position through disobedience to his Creator.
He came under the dominion of sin and death (Rom 5:12),
and of the powers of darkness (2Cor 4:4; Eph 4:18).
8:6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands;
thou hast put all [things] under his feet:
Because of sin, the first man (Adam) lost much of the authority which God had delegated to him.
The sinless Son of Man (Christ), being in right relationship with the Father, possessed full authority while He walked upon the earth (cp. Mat 8:27; Mark 1:22,27,34; 2:10-12).
As the Son of Man, Christ is the unique instrument by whom God has chosen to restore the lost estate of His people. (cp. Psa 80:14-19; Joh 5:26,27; 8:28,29; Dan 7:13,14)
What man (in Adam) lost, God (in Christ) has restored.
Salvation is His ''strong work'' (cp. v.3), revealing His arm mighty to save (Isa 53:1).
Study vs. 4-6 as quoted in the context of "Heb 2:6-18" --
God gave man dominion over the earth. ("Heb 2:6-8")
- - Man's condition does ''not yet'', but must eventually, conform with God's stated purpose.
Jesus was made lower than the angels. Why? (Heb 2:9,10)
- - for the suffering of death.
- - that He might taste death for every man.
- - that He might be the captain (chief, pioneer) among perfect (completed, finished) men.
God "visited"(v.4) us in the person of His Son. He became one of us (Heb 2:14-18) -
- - taking flesh & blood upon Himself.
- - that through death He might destroy Satan who had dominion over us. Col 1:13
Now, we who believe in Christ are identified with Him, as His brethren and children (Heb 2:11-13) -
- - learning from Him what it means to know the Father, and to walk by faith in Him.
- - living in anticipation of being with Him in His glory. (cp. Joh 17:22-24)
When Christ returns, He, the Son of Man, will have complete dominion over the earth (Heb 2:8).
See also: Psa 2:8,9; 1Cor 15:21-25; Eph 1:21,22
8:7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
8:8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea,
{cp. Mat 17:27}
[and whatsoever] passeth through the paths of the seas.
whatsoever- Christ's dominion will be absolute.
Satan (the enemy, v.2) will be vanquished. cp. Isa 27:1
8:9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth!
LORD our Lord - Jehovah our Adonai: The everliving One, our King and Master--
- - our Creator, Savior, and Lord.
- - the Glory of God.
- - the Glory of our race, and of each one who owns Him.
How excellent... thy name -"there is none other name... whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12
-"His name, through faith in His name" makes us whole. Acts 3:16; Rom 10:9-13
How excellent is His Name in the earth today?
  • He is still despised and rejected by most men. Isa 53:3,4
  • But to His servants, who "occupy until He comes", His name is precious.
    cp. Luk 19:12-14; Acts 4:18-20; Acts 5:41; 1Pet 2:7
    For they recognize that through Him, the LORD has established His purposes in the earth.
    This theme continues in Psalm 9, where the future glories of the Messiah's kingdom are described... a kingdom of righteousness... a kingdom purged of all evil.
    The foundation of His kingdom is embodied in the title of Psalm 9: ''Muthlabben'' (lit. ''death of the son''). The death of the Son, which the wicked one engineered, became his own defeat (Psa 9:15,16).


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