Psalm 8


Our God Is Awesome!


For the Chief Musician; on an instrument of Gath. A Psalm by David.


1 YHWH, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth,
who has set your glory above the heavens!
2 From the lips of babes and infants you have established strength,
because of your adversaries, that you might silence the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have ordained;
4 what is man, that you think of him?
What is the son of man, that you care for him?
5 For you have made him a little lower than God,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You make him ruler over the works of your hands.
You have put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and cattle,
yes, and the animals of the field,
8 The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea,
and whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
9 YHWH, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!


World English Bible


When did you have an overwhelming experience? What was that experience?


In the late 1980's and early 1990's, the word “awesome” overused and abused. Everything was “awesome.” Events and people were awesome. God was awesome. For a while, I wanted to purge the word from dictionaries, but my cynicism has cooled. Not everything is awesome, but certainly God is awesome.


Psalm 8 declared God was awesome. 8:2 and 8:10 proclaim the awesome nature of God’s name (which invoked his presence); his power stood over and above nature itself (8:2b). Even in the mouths of the weakest, the name of God could silence opponents (8:3).


No only was God’s name and power awesome, the order of his creation gave one pause. Despite the small stature of humanity in the cosmos (8:4-5), God gave them a place of honor in the hierarchy of creation and dominion over other creatures (8:7-9). Humanity should be in awe of their creator not only for his power, but because of his blessings.


We should note 8:4-5:


4 What is man, that you think of him?
What is the son of man, that you care for him?
5 For you have made him a little lower than God,
and crowned him with glory and honor.


Because of the phrase “son of man,” the early Church used this psalm as an apologia for their faith in Jesus as the Christ (see Hebrews 2:6-10, 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 and Matthew 21:15-16). Jesus was the Son of Man who was given a place in glory.


Many scholars have seen the flow of the psalm as a chant that was shared between Temple choirs. Notice the narration, the question in 8:5 and the answer. Along with the bookends of 8:2 and 8:10, this psalm seemed to be a perfect fit for public worship.


Our God is an awesome God. Psalm 8 is a testament to that attribute and a song we should shout with gusto.


How do proclaim the awesome nature of God? How enthusiastic are you about God’s power and your place in his creation?