Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on August 30, 2015
Open your Bibles to Psalm 8. Today we find ourselves stepping into a new light. Over the last several weeks we have been trudging through the Psalms of lament, and today, the cloud lifts and we find ourselves gazing into the brightness of God’s Glory and praising his name. So let us read our text today, pray, and dive into Psalm 8.
O Lord, Our Lord
In this Psalm you see that it has two identical bookends. Verse 1, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” and verse 9, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” These two statements appear to be ones of great excitement and praise of David. It is as if he is bursting at the seams to declare the majesty of God’s name.
As I have said for the last three Sunday’s these Psalms are windows into David’s heart. This heart of David is one which God declared to be a heart after His own. Today we see that David’s heart desired the name of God to be given its full recognition and honor. David desired the splendor and beauty and excellencies of God’s name to stretch across all four corners of this planet. This desire was not just a desire of David’s but it is also a desire of Gods. God's will is for his name to be great.
How do I know this? First of all, these words in Psalm 8 of David’s are also the words of the Holy Spirit, for all Scripture is God breathed. Therefore for David to declare it is to say that God declared it. This is supported by the author of Hebrews citing Psalm 8 in Chapter 2 of Hebrews, which we will talk about later. However, Psalm 8 is not the only place in the Bible where we see God concerned about His name. In fact, the Psalms are replete with concern for the name of God.
The next thing I want to draw your attention to is how David begins this Psalm, “O Lord, our Lord.” One would think this statement is somewhat redundant and therefore meaningless. However, that is not the case, for the comma represents a great chasm between two beautiful realities.
Let us begin by understanding the first part, O Lord. In Hebrew the first Lord is the word “Yahwey.” As we have discussed before, Yah-weh is the name of God that best summarizes his self-declaration of his name.
And when we continue reading Psalm 8 this is exactly what we find pouring out of David’s heart. Verse 1, “You have set your glory above the heavens.” Verse 3, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place.” David is overwhelmed by the work of God's hands and the weight of His glory.
When David peered into the sky he would have potentially seen several thousand stars. It is said that there are only approximately 9,000 stars that are visible to the naked eye from the planet Earth. However, this pales in comparison to the true reality of how many stars truly exist. With a pair of binoculars it is estimated that you could see 200,000 starts. With a small telescope you can see 15 million stars. Large observatories can see billions of stars. It is estimated that our Milky Way Galaxy consists of 400 billion stars. And because of the Hubble Space Telescope they estimate there are billions of galaxies. Therefore the estimate of stars is billions upon billions upon billions.
Why does God make the Universe so unimaginably big? Why does he put things in the sky that we can't even see, but we know are there? The reason is found in Psalm 19:1-2.
Oh but how seldom do we dwell upon the greatness of Yahweh? How little do we ponder the shear magnitude of a God who holds everything that exists by merely declaring it that it shall be. How often do Church's focus on the creature and not the Creator. Week after week preaching self-help sermons, and never once pointing to the Glory of God. Whether you recognize it or not, this is what your heart longs for, do dwell upon the fullness of your God. To worship him in all of his splendor and his glory.
And for those who long for authentic and powerful worship, the answer does not lie in old hymns or edgy contemporary music, nor does it rest in the hands of a polished worship leader. The catalyst to powerful worship lies in the revelation of a powerful God. This is why our worship will never compare to the worship that will take place in Heaven in the presence of God.
With majesty of God before our eyes, the second part whereby Daivd says “our Lord” found in verse 1 becomes all the more unfathomable. The second word Lord that is not all caps is ’ă-ḏō-nê-nū". It is the possessive of adonai, which means master, father, Lord.
To say that God is Adonai is to proclaim a posture of submission. It is to recognize God as Yayweh and to bend you knee and declare your allegiance to Him. It is to recognize His authority over all creation, the stars, the moon, the Sun, and you. It is to have your eyes open to your need to get into a right relationship with him.
But what is truly amazing is not our desire to get right with God, but his desire to allow us to get right with Him. And this is really what causes David to stand in awe. With such a high view of God, he cannot understand why a God of such glory has any interest in humanity, and not only humanity, but a sinful humanity. David is recognizing the infinite chasm that exists between who man is and who God is. The difference between us and God is truly unmeasurable. It is greater than our relationship with an ant. Yet our God cares for us. He not only cares, but his is intimately aware of who you are. He is totally invested in your life.
For David, however, he is amazed not just that God is involved with man, but that he uses man. This God who uses stars to speak of his glory, simultaneously uses man for the same purpose, to declare his glory. However, our declaration is unique in this universe. We have a special relationship with God, for it is only man who is created in the image of God. The sun, the moon, and the stars are not created in God's image, the angles are created in God's image. Man is the only thing that exists that is created in the image of God. We are the clay that best points to the Potter.
Having said that, because of our sin, this image bearing is marred, it is corrupted. Instead of using God's gift of dominion over creation for His glory, we use it for our glory. We exchange it. We trample the name of God, in order to exult our own.
One would think this would be the end of us. One would think that this awesome God who is unlimited in power would squash us like the cockroaches we are. There is no doubt that this is exactly what we deserve. God has given us the greatest gift in the universe, bearing his image, and we have trampled it under the feet of our sin. Justice demands our eternal punishment for rejecting an infinitely awesome God. So what did God do? He sent his Son, Jesus, into the World.
To deal with our refusal to live in accordance to God's design, God sent Jesus into the world. John 3:16. “For God so loved the World that he sent his only son...” Now what is amazing about this is how God sent His Son. God sent His Son into this world as a man. God took the two realities of Psalm 8, the greatness of God and the weakness of man and merged them together in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was both fully man and fully God.
Once again, I do not think we appreciate the magnitude of that reality, an infinite and Holy God humbling himself to put on skin. To be conceived, to be born, required to eat, sleep, and walk amongst a world that had rejected Him. Why would he do this? Turn with me to Hebrews 2.
And because of what Jesus has done in his life, death and resurrection as the God/man, God has raised him up and appointed him to be the heir of all things, so that at the sound of His name, every knee will bow on heaven on on earth. Verse 8, “putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
So where does that leave us? It leaves us right back to where David was, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”