“Jake’s not feeling well today, so he won’t be with us.”
Without missing a beat, my three-year-old daughter said, “We should pray for him.” She grabbed our hands and bowed her head and prayed.
Even as a preschooler many years ago, her heart was full of faith and determination to take it all to the Lord. There is something so striking about a small child’s faith on display, and how it moves the heart of God.
Psalm 8 is a glorious hymn of praise.
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, Psalm 8:1-3 ESV
The first verse of Psalm 8 establishes God’s identity. He is the king and has authority over all so what he says and does matters to everyone. His authority and power are so evident that even babies know God.
The New International Version (NIV) writes verse 2 this way,
“Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2 NIV
God uses our world’s most fragile and dependent souls to still His enemies. Only God might choose to defy the world’s expectations with His own successful but unexpected battle strategies. God uses the moon and the stars to kindly remind us daily of His presence with consistent messaging. The stars watch over us day and night even though they are only revealed when the sun goes down. God watches over each of us even when we don’t see Him. The moon rises each night without a break. We look up and see God’s power and might displayed with jewels glowing in a dark sky.
Everything in God’s creation makes provision for God’s people. Ancient peoples used these same stars and the moon cycles to:
• Know when to plant crops
• Know where to go
• Know what time it is
• Know when the tides would come and go
This information should fill us with awe. The sky’s regular cycles of stars and moon movement provide predictability in an ever-changing world.
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. Psalm 8:4-8 ESV
God knew men and women would wonder who they are and what place they have in this world. He generously reveals this critical information. Man is given dominion and authority over all else on earth. All the works of God’s hands, all the birds, all the fish, all the beasts, are under man. Do I take such stewardship seriously? How might this view change how I use natural resources or treat animals?
Man is crowned with glory and honor by God. If I could choose to see each human on earth as someone who is made in the image of God, and “crowned with glory and honor by God,” how might I treat each one differently? Could I cultivate more love and less criticism in my heart based on what God has chosen to do?
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:9 ESV
Psalm 8 finishes as it began by re-stating the facts: God’s name is majestic in all the earth. The verse serves as a matching bookend of praise. God’s reputation has been established and He has all authority. God knew that people, like me who might tend to see the glass half empty, would need such reminders. Today, I praise God for His majestic name, and I lay all I have before His throne.