What is the most amazing thing you have seen lately? Could it possibly be the Lotus Emira 4 cyl AMG, with a twin-clutch paddleshift gearbox? What about the 2023 Aston Martin Valkyrie with 1,000bhp+ V12 hybrid? Perhaps cars aren’t your thing. Miracle sheets look pretty amazing. These things are self-cleaning and cooling. You’ll never have to worry about nasty bacteria growing in your sheets again, and you’ll never have to wake up soaked with sweat anymore. What an amazing invention! Here’s something to blow your mind – the MUAMA Translator is a must-have for any and all travelers. This device translates 36 languages in real time, at the touch of a button.
Any one of these so-called, “amazing” inventions could be something for us to marvel at. They could also provoke us to envy or covetousness if we see someone else in possession of them. We could even move into the realm of idolatry, by placing undo attention onto such items – believing that they will bring satisfaction, fulfilment or contentment into our lives. The interesting thing is, these things will all be forgotten sooner than we might imagine. Items labeled, “amazing,” have been presented all throughout human history. Just as soon as they are revealed, their glory and allure fades. Many times, the attainment or possession of said items will disappoint and leave us feeling emptier than before.
Are our words and descriptions of man-made items a little inflated at times? Probably. Is there anything worthy of such grandeur? The psalmist writes in Psalm 8:1, “LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth [emphasis added]” (NIV). No inflation has taken place in this context. Here we have an accurate description of something fully worthy of our attention and praise. The Name of the LORD is worthy of recognition and praise. He is the Creator of all things. He is the instigator of life. He is the heart and soul of all things beautiful and creative. His artistry can be seen on the earth and in the skies. Verse 2 says, “You have set your glory in the heavens.” As our eyes look up towards the heavens, we will see His handiwork: various patterns of color and light, majestic palates of forms and design in galaxies and constellations to the expanse of the universe. That is His glory on display for us to marvel and in-turn, give worship and praise to Him.
The psalmist continues, “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and avenger.” In youth and innocence, joy is much more accessible. As we age, we have a tendency to stifle our own joy. Life and hardships help to build callouses around our tender hearts. But before all of that, we are young. We are filled with awe and wonder. We have open hearts to receive His love as well as the hope He gives for the future. Have you ever listened to a small child play? They sing freely. Why? Because they want to be the next American Idol? No. They sing because they are filled with joy.
In that childlike condition of joyfulness, praises are an established stronghold to stand against the enemies of God. Enemies of God seek to kill joy. The father of lies seeks to kill and destroy. See the contrast? The enemy takes life. The Father of creation gives life. As His children, we are free to celebrate and worship Him with our praise.
The psalmist then compares the expanse of creation, “the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars” (v. 3) to humanity. He asks, “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (v. 4). It would seem that a God who created such a vast universe, would pay no attention to something as small as a human. To the contrary, we are His beloved. We are the thing He seeks after and pursues, giving everything (Jesus) in order for us to have a relationship with Him.
The psalmist then recognizes the position of stewardship God has given to humanity. He writes, “You made them rulers over the works of your hands” (v. 6). Everything God created has been shared with humanity. We have been trusted to care for and to steward His creation. What an incredible gift of love! He says, ‘Here is what I have made. It’s yours to care for.’ After that, the psalmist closes this hymn of praise and worship using the same words he opened with, “LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.” (v. 9).
This psalm is only 9 verses in length. Within those 9 verses, the psalmist bridges the expanse of the universe to the soul and purpose of human beings. In our sinful nature, we have a tendency to seek to make our names great. As it has been said, ‘make a name for yourself.’ That stands in direct conflict with our true purpose. Our purpose is to acknowledge and to worship the great name of the LORD. His name alone is majestic in all the earth.