Psalm 8: What is Man?

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

You have set your glory above the heavens.

Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Psalm 8:1-4

David insists on this unassailable truth: YHWH’s name is majestic, esteemed throughout the earth. His royal status is conferred by the glory with which he has crowned creation. This heavenly host boasts of the royal name: YHWH, the LORD!

This prompts praise from David, but also humility. “When I behold your glory in creation,” David essentially says, “I wonder why you would so greatly honor humanity.” This is the moment of looking up to a star-filled sky only to feel simultaneously overwhelmed at the enormity of the cosmos while also feeling incredibly small within it. What is man that you are mindful of him? Indeed.

One of the elders at our church is Dr. Nobie Stone. Nobie earned a doctorate in astrophysics and he worked at NASA’s Space Sciences Laboratory at Marshall Space Flight Center, serving as mission scientist for two Space Shuttle missions. More importantly, Nobie loves the Lord and His church. I’ve had the opportunity to hear Nobie pray many times over the years. Many times, he has lifted me up in prayer and I count him as an important influence in my life. Nobie has a particular phrase that he works in to almost every prayer and although I’ve never asked him about it, I have a feeling that his language has been influenced by both his NASA training but also texts like Psalm 8. In his prayers, Nobie always says something like:

We thank you, Lord, that you would even look down on this infinitesimal speck we call Earth. We thank you that even though we are so small and insignificant, you still love us anyway.

This is David’s confession as well. We are not lost amid the immensity of creation, forgotten by our Creator who has moved on to “bigger and better” projects. No, in spite of our frailties and our weaknesses, the Lord continues to look down upon us with benevolence. He has made us to bear His image, to exercise dominion (v6) because all things have been put under our feet.

Here we find the gospel truth: yes, on the cosmic scale, we are incredibly small; yet we are also treasured greatly. The Creator of the universe is mindful of YOU.

His name is majestic in all the earth.

This entry was posted in Blessings, Church, Devotional, Faith, Friends, God, Psalms, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

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