Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Sunday 5th August 2012 - Psalm 8

Notes made on Sermon given by Paddy Beresford

Psalm 8

For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.

1 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them? 

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

The Sinai Peninsula at center and the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley above.
9 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

Psalm 8

King James Version (KJV)

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth

This is a good psalm for if one is feeling insignificant. Maybe that is your usual state of being; you feel small, and insignificant, and unimportant, and weak, and  - but it is not a godly state of being!  
Or maybe you are someone who IS significant in one area of your life, and take pleasure, comfort, pride in your status, but then, in another sphere you find this status is not transferable, and you feel cast down. Or maybe you become insignificant, or sidelined, or overlooked, simply by growing older, for instance.

We all need to feel needed. Psalm 8 is good for when we feel insignificant.

Gitteth is another name for Gath, the city that Goliath came from. Feeling insignificant is a personal giant we all need to be able to slay.

The hebrew word "oz" means "strength, but also sometimes "praise" - the usual hebrewq word for "praise" is "navah". The Praise (navahpriasing God that we are being threatened, but praising God as a weapon in the battle)

In Romans 1:20, Paul says that God's power is to be seen in creation.

God used his fingers to create the world - that was the easy stuff. When he gets to work in our lives, he "bares his arms", ie "rolls up his sleeves". Being involved in the affairs of man is "hard work"

"ish" is the usual word for "man" in hebrew, and "adam" is the word used for "mankind". In this psalm, the word "inosh" is used, with the sense of puny, weakling.

There are two Special Acts of God;
He thinks about you,
He cares about you.

the writer of the letter to the Hebrews states Jesus intercedes for you - he is there, praying for you. Even if no-one else is praying for you, you know that Jesus is. Peter's letter states that God cares for you.

God doesn't get your name muddled up with other people's names,, he doesn't get irritated with out constant iterruptions.

Homonymns - words with the same sounds, but different meanings, like bowl (cricket) and bowl (cereal). In hebrew, the word they use for "cares" also has the meaning of "visits" - hence verse 4 in the AV. God comes to us, to pay us a visit. He makes the effort.

Psalm ends with a commission: Man has been made a little lower than God, to rule over everything He made.

Remember, Cast your burdens upon the Lord, for he cares for you.


  1. Lovely post with beautiful pictures - one of my favourite psalms. So this is where you hang out when you're not writing Letters from Home :-) so glad you posted the link to this site - I'll be back! Thank you.

  2. Thank you - I'm also at www.themusicjungle.co.uk which is where I share music teaching resources and ideas, mainly for primary school teachers, and piano teachers. As you can imagine my posting rate frops dramatically in term-time!

    1. Yes, mine too! Anyway, I've added Episodes & Interludes to my blogroll.