Scripture

Psalm 8

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Reflection

Psalm 8 is the first Psalm of praise. It begins and ends with a declaration of the majesty of God, and reminds us that God is the God of all creation. It is good to praise, to remind ourselves of the greatness of God. It helps us put all of life in perspective. When we lament the sorrows and difficulties in our own lives, offering praise reminds us that God is big enough to handle all of it. And that God is still God, even when we doubt.

 

Verse 2 uses the imagery of young children as a source of strength for God. The Hebrew translation reads, “Out of the mouths of children and infants you’ve established strength.” The idea here is that human power is not where God’s strength lies. The cries of the weak (infants and children) can silence enemies. God’s economy is full of paradox. The weak are strong. Peace is the path to victory. Grace is offered to the least deserving. God demonstrates power in ways different from the world. And it is the person who follows God’s ways of peace, humility, and mercy that is considered righteous.

 

The Psalmist is in awe of creation and wonders why on earth, literally, would God even concern Godself with broken human beings. Yet he acknowledges that God does care for us and has, in fact, given us a special place in the order of all creation. This reverence for God and the care God has for all of creation makes me want to shout, “Lord, Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

 

What do you think about the paradoxical way of God? How hard or easy is it for you to follow that path yourself? 

Prayer

Dear Lord, let me hear your word anew. Guide me to open my heart and my soul to your ways. Please hear my prayers, my cries, my celebrations, and my worries. Be with me as I navigate this world. Show me how to use my whole life to serve you and your purposes. Thank you, Lord, for this day. Amen.