Scripture reading – Psalms 8-9

Today’s Scripture readings, Psalms 8-9, are authored by David. Both psalms have captured the imaginations of saints for centuries and inspired musicians and poets to put the words of the psalms to music. Except for my amplification of word meanings, I invite you to meditate on the words of the Psalms.

Psalm 8

God’s Revelation of Himself in His Creation (Psalm 8:1)

Psalm 8:1 – 1 O LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-existent God] our Lord [Master; Sovereign of Creation], how excellent [noble; mighty; majestic; glorious] is thy name [character; person; reputation] in all the earth! who hast set thy glory [splendor; majesty; authority] above the heavens [i.e., the stars and planets].  

The Propriety of Children and the Weak Praising the LORD (Psalm 8:2)


Psalm 8:2 – 2  Out of the mouth of babes [young children] and sucklings [nursing infants] hast thou ordained [appointed; established] strength [might; power; boldness] because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still [silence] the enemy and the avenger.  


The Wonder and Majesty of the LORD Revealed in Creation (Psalm 8:3-4)


Psalm 8:3-4 – 3  When I consider [look; behold; perceive] thy heavens [i.e., stars and planets], the work [acts; labor; i.e., accomplishments] of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained [established; fashioned; fixed];  

4  What is man [mortal man], that thou art mindful [remember; think of] of him? and the son [children] of man, that thou visitest [care for; concerned with] him?”

David beheld with wonder the splendor and glory of the LORD displayed in His handiwork, the sun, moon, and stars (Psalm 8:3). He marveled at God’s power to hold the stars and planets in their courses. Overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of creation, David exclaimed, “What is man?”  (Psalm 8:4)

Why would the Creator of the heavens give even a thought to sinful, weak, foolish men?  Why would the Infinite take a single moment of time to visit, care or concern Himself with such an ignoble race? Indeed, only a fool would gaze into the heavens and state, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

Man’s Divinely Ordained Dominion Over Nature (Psalm 8:5-9)

Psalm 8:5-9 – 5  For thou [Lord] hast made him [man] a little [smaller; less than] lower [wanting; lacking]than the angels [heavenly beings], and hast crowned [encircled; compassed; surrounded] him [man] with glory [splendor] and honour [beauty; majesty].
6  Thou madest him [man] to have dominion [rule; reign; power] over the works [acts; deeds; i.e., creation; Genesis 1:26-30] of thy hands; thou hast put [placed; set; fixed] all things under his feet:
7  All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts [domesticated animals..i.e., horse; mule] of the field [land; country];
8  The fowl [birds] of the air [sky; heavens], and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas [roads; ways; i.e., the currents of the sea].

9  O LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-existent God] our Lord [Sovereign; Master], how excellent [great; mighty; glorious; majestic] is thy name [character; position; renown] in all the earth [land; country]!

Psalm 9 – A Call for Thanksgiving

Psalm 9 is a psalm of praise and thanksgiving to the LORD for His judgment upon the wicked and His deliverance of the righteous. Psalm 9:1-6 stated David’s praise in anticipation that the LORD would give him victory over his foes.

Psalm 9:7-12 registered David’s reflections on the character of the eternal LORD (Psalm 9:7), who is righteous in His judgment (Psalm 9:8). Having fled from his enemies, David found the LORD was a refuge and safe place for the hurting (Psalm 9:9). He declared he had discovered the LORD was trustworthy (Psalm 9:10), worthy of all praise (Psalm 9:11), and just (Psalm 9:12).

Understanding that the LORD is merciful, David called upon Him to look upon his troubles and enemies. He was confident God would deliver him in the future as He had in the past (Psalm 9:13-14). Though his adversaries threatened him, David was sure the heathen would be overtaken in their plots against him (Psalm 9:15).

Therefore, understanding that the LORD is just and righteous in His judgments, David asserted, “The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion [think, meditate]. Selah [pause]. 17The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17-18).

Psalm 9 closed with a benediction, as David called on the LORD to remind the heathen and the nations that they are but men! (Psalm 9:19-20).


Closing thoughts:

Take a few minutes and ponder the majesty of the LORD reflected in not only His creation but also His “marvelous works” in your life. The LORD is indeed great, trustworthy, and worthy of all praise!

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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