The beauty of this Psalm is the exaltation of God on high. The Psalmist worships the almighty transcendent and divine God. This is the God who is above the heavens and hence above all other gods. The Israelites had continually struggled with being a monotheistic people of faith and had allowed other gods to dot the mountaintops surrounding them but the LORD – Yahweh was not to be viewed nor worshipped in the same way. This was The LORD whose name was above all others and to be praised because of God’s very nature.
David, the mighty warrior had come to know the strength of God’s hand. While David, himself was physically powerful and cunning, he knew how to give praise and honor to God. He worshiped the God of all creation and yet, recognized his own short-comings or failings. His own faith paled in comparison to that found in the lives of innocent children, those who reflected complete dependence upon God. Through the praise of these children enemies are put down, and God is victorious.
The purity of praise found in the lives of children is powerful enough to subdue the enemy. The Psalm becomes a challenge to the faith of those who may have become accustomed to life and have lost their awe of God. At once the readers are admonished to simply open their eyes and see God’s power revealed in creation. These are the works of God’s mighty and powerful hand and yet, it also becomes a foreshadowing of a future which God is already preparing. The deity of the coming Messiah is expressed in the acts of creation. The Triune God has created humanity “just a little lower than God,” but in the very image of God. Humanity was to have a special and unique role, “crowned with glory and honor.” The glory of God was to be reflected in this crown jewel of all creation -- the human. This human was to have dominion over all the other works of God’s hand.
David had already experienced the failure of humanity and unfortunately the spiritual infidelity of the Israelites would continue for generations to come. Infidelity to God would result in enmity between God and God’s people, neighbor to neighbor and humanity’s relationship to creation. The chasm would continue to grow as abuses escalated within broken relationships. All of creation groans under the wait of this pain.
However, foreshadowing in this Psalm leads us to a future in which Christ, the Messiah willingly gives up his highly exalted position and becomes incarnate. The reality of the divine becoming a “little lower than God” signals the moment of reconciliation for all of creation. The majesty of God is to be revealed in the healing of humanity.
When the glory of God is revealed in healed humanity then our sovereign and majestic LORD is reflected. Because of the incarnation of Christ, the division between God and man has been destroyed. Christ’s incarnation brings together God and man in such a way that humanity may be united with God. That which was lost in sin can be set right through the holiness of God. The God-man relationship is restored and there is no longer any need to hide from God, nor to cover ourselves for fear of our nakedness. We are able to stand face to face before our holy God and as a pure and smoothed mirror reflect his beauty to the world.
Once the God-man relationship is in proper alignment everything else begins to fall into place. Just as the Psalmist David was overwhelmed by a profound love for the LORD, so we are overcome. Praise for the majestic name of the LORD becomes consuming. His desires become our desires and his mission becomes our mission. Overwhelming love for God overflows into love of neighbor. Suddenly we see Christ in the poor and marginalized and out of love for our LORD, we do all we can to minister to their needs.
The creative heart of Christ in us rekindles a heightened awareness of our role as caretaker over the works of his hands. The “sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas,” they are our responsibility. The glory of God shines down in glory upon all of creation and creation reflects back the glory of God. The majesty of God already revealed in the Old Testament, foreshadowing the incarnation of Christ and drawing us proleptically into God’s future in which all will be restored and will result in a magnified reflection of God’s glory. No wonder the Psalmist again proclaims, “O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”