psalm 8 lutheran commentary

Psalm 8, like Genesis 1:1-2:4a, seems to present all humans in the royal office. Amazing! David, the author, never calls the reader to actually do anything. Psalm 138 is a declaration that even the kings of the nations will praise Yahweh. First, it is the first hymn one encounters when reading the Psalms straight through. Psalm 138 – God’s Promise to Honor His Word and to Complete His Work. The Popular Commentary is in the public domain. Psalm 85 is a perfect psalm for this second Sunday of Advent. It's something that song. Second Samuel 7 calls David God’s son when God appoints him to his office. It … Psalm 8 is like one of those ornate bridges. Wha September 18, 2011 Psalm 8 is a psalmic interpretation of creation, comparable to Genesis 1-2 and Job 38-41. “Praise the Lord,” they sang, “for God has blessed our humble efforts and given us life!”. This psalm is titled A Psalm of David. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Psalm 41:8-9. The image of God bestowed on humans in Genesis 1:26-28 is defined by human dominion. You have set your glory above the heavens. More specifically, it is a panegyric on human excellence (Psalm 8:4-6) couched within a pious frame (8:1a, 9). The “avenger” and “enemy” here most likely refer to the chaotic forces God overcame when creating the world (see Genesis 1:1-2:4). Many of my favorite songs are simple melodies that call out the name of Jesus. From a biblical perspective — everything. The Old Testament Readings: Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 (Advent 2). Jesus references Psalm 8:2 when he comes into Jerusalem and the children are singing to him. A modern, Western reading of the psalm tends to focus on the question “What are humans that you are mindful of them?” as an outburst of existential anxiety from an “I” alone in the midst of overwhelming vastness. There are many examples of this type of psalm in the book of Psalms (for example, Psalms 93, 136, 150). Throughout our series in the Psalms, we’ve often been reminded of the fact that a majority of the psalms are in the lament genre. . Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary 8:3-9 We are to consider the heavens, that man thus may be directed to set his affections on things above. Psalm 8:1. 2 Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. From above God subdued chaos and made the world with order and regularity. There are many potential sermons on Psalm 8, of course, as with any text. What is the connection between wisdom and joy? It's uh it's to the choir Master. Even the weakest creatures (babes and infants) give voice to the power of God that overcomes all forces that would thwart God’s will. Prayer. Turn to Psalm 18. so sinful a creature, that he should be thus favoured! Psalm 8 Bible Commentary. In Egypt pharaoh was described as the “son of God,” as one who represented the deity on earth. “Name” refers to God’s essence and character. I have set the Lord always before me] Heb. Psalm 8:1a and 9a declare that the whole created order gives evidence of God’s sovereignty. The question, “What are humans?” has two important features that are keys to the meaning of the psalm. Commentary on Psalm 2:7-9 (Read Psalm 2:7-9) The kingdom of the Messiah is founded upon an eternal decree of God the Father. An evil disease cleaveth fast unto him — Hebrew, דבר בליעל, debar Belijagnal, a word, or thing of Belial. A resource for the whole church from Luther Seminary. Psalms 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved. But we dare not say, “Praise the Lord, for God has blessed all the assaults on the earth of which we are now capable and given us bigger and better stuff.” We too rightly rejoice in God’s blessing of our works, but, to be blessed, such works must understand “dominion” in the sense of Psalm 72, where the purpose of royal dominion (Psalm 72:8) is to “defend the cause of the poor” (verse 4) and to bring “abundance” (verse 16), “righteousness” (verse 7), and “peace” (verse 7) to all. and the rest of creation. Related Videos. Just as God’s majesty begins and ends the psalm, so also it creates the context for human glory. Literally, says Houbigant, A thing of Belial is poured out upon him, that is, his wickedness is brought round upon, or overflows him. Him and now he goes into more of that thanks and praise so Psalm eight is a psalm of that thanks and praise so notice too. plus-circle Add Review. Daily Bible Reading - Psalm 36. 1O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! If this creational dimension of the psalm becomes a part of our preaching, we need to make people hear as clearly as possible that exploitation is not the message of Genesis 1 and not that of Psalm 8. Rather, the psalmist wonders at the natural world because of the majesty of God who stands over them and has put them in place. Glory and honor are words used to describe monarchs, but here they describe all human beings. Selah. comment. But Psalm 8 is unique in at least two ways. Psalm 4:8. Psalm 8 - For the director of music. St. Paul Lutheran Church. God put humans in charge of the earth. This short Psalm is unique. When singers of the psalm looked “at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you have established,” they saw not the many stars and galaxies light-years away that we know from our science classes, planetariums, and telescopes, with the earth a mere speck in a minor planetary system, but the stars and the moon as fixed points on a half-dome sky, surrounding an earth that was the center of the universe, indeed, that was the universe. The original volumes were not copyrighted. and the rest of creation. Even so, they were overwhelmed by the grandeur! Now, the answer to the singer’s question “Who am I?” question is the surprised recognition that “I’m surrounded!”–which could well be the title of a sermon on this psalm. Related Videos. Psalm 8 is the first psalm of praise in the Book of Psalms. The psalm begins and ends with the outburst of congregational praise of God’s majestic name (A/A’). When the monarchy ended the royal office once reserved for the king was transferred to humankind as a whole. The whole bridge represents the full glory of God. Several commentators mention that it was fittingly placed next to Psalm 137, which described the inability of the psalmist to sing before the heathen. This our Lord Jesus often referred to, as what he governed himself by. The issue in Psalm 8, as in Genesis 1 to which it refers, is the relationship between humanity (us!) 8. The One who created the heavens is concerned and compassionate toward man and ultimately will fulfill all the dreams of humanity. By repeating the words at the end the whole psalm is given a structure that calls attention to God’s sovereignty. The expression “you set your glory above the heavens” (8:1b) probably indicates that God is sovereign and thus sits as king over the creation. The result is not only confusion, but potentially destructive misuse. Psalm 8 isa Psalm about creation, but it’s more than that, Psalm 8 is also about mankind and about Jesus, “the Son of Man.” Psalm 8, as a Psalm, is rather brief in its description of creation, while “How Great Thou Art” goes on for a whole second verse about the woods, and birds singing in the trees and mountains and the gentle breeze.” Psalm 8:1-9 God's Glory Perfectly Revealed in the Son of Man . Bellinger, Jr., Preaching This Week, WorkingPreacher.org, 2009. The psalm sings the old creation story into the present, rejoicing again in being made “little less than divine” (NJPS), which means having “dominion” over the works of God’s hands, over all creation. In other parts of the Old Testament the Israelite king is described in similar ways. Wave-surfing penguins struggled to escape a hungry sea lion. The human is from the earth, not from the heavens. Bible > Bible Commentary; Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete) Psalm; Psalm 8; Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete) << Psalm 7 | Psalm 8 | Psalm 9 >> (Read all of Psalm 8) Complete Concise This psalm is a solemn meditation on, and admiration of, the glory and greatness of God, of which we are all concerned to think highly and honourably. He is ours, for he made us, protects us, and takes special care of us. So also Psalm 8 describes the unique place of humans in terms of the human place over other creatures. It is also the only one of the 150 psalms that is a direct address to God throughout the entire poem. He simply begins and ends the psalm by declaring how majestic (kingly) God's name is in all the earth. Second, this psalm is the only hymn in the Psalter spoken entirely to God. Psalm 8 declares that there is only one Yahweh. I have equally set, or proposed. It begins and ends with the same acknowledgment of the transcendent excellency of God’s name. The psalms that immediately precede it are prayers spoken by people who are suffering or who are persecuted (Psalms 3-7). The psalm sings the old creation story into the present, rejoicing again in being made “little less than divine” (NJPS), which means having “dominion” over the works of God’s hands, over all creation. LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! The language of Psalm 8:5-8 suggests humans are royal creatures. We have power, to be sure, but God-like power will abuse nothing. A team of killer whales worked together to create giant waves that swept seals off ice floes. Rather, the question puts the human in relation to God’s greatness: “What are humans . (Psalms 8:9 RSV) What a magnificent God who can work through babes and infants and who is deeply concerned about man! They are far too complicated and way over your head.”. We're … Psalm 18 Commentary: Genre. According to gittith. Psalm 89:25 presents David as the earthly representative of God’s reign from heaven. How bright this glory shines even in this lower world! The issue in Psalm 8, as in Genesis 1 to which it refers, is the relationship between humanity (us!) This may be due in part to the fact that kingship came to an end in Israel in 587 BCE. The birth, life, preaching, miracles, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus are known through the world. “I’m surrounded!”–surrounded by the gracious works of God and the gathered community of God’s people. It is proposed for proof ( v. Reviews There are no reviews yet. Commentary on Psalm 145:1-8 - Working Preacher from Luther Seminary Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost As a response to the first lesson, Psalm 145 was chosen to show how Jonah knew that God was “merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing” (Jonah’s version of verse 8). James Limburg has described Psalm 8 as “a psalm for stargazers”1 and indeed, it is that. Despite the lowliness of humans before God, verse 5 declares God made humans “a little lower than God.” The word for God, however, is a general word (elohim) that may be translated “angels” or “gods.” Only context can determine if the word refers to the one God, to the attendants around God’s throne, or to the gods of the nations. In this psalm, that character pertains primarily to the divine power over the created order. How excellent is thy name — That is, thy glory, as it is explained in the next clause; in all the earth — The works of creation and providence evince and proclaim to all the world that there is an infinite Being, the fountain of all being, power, and perfection; the sovereign Ruler, powerful Protector, and bountiful Benefactor of all creatures. But as it does, the psalmist presents the high place of humans in creation as a marvel in the face of the magnificence of the rest of God’s work. Indeed, the psalm proclaims that humans are God’s agents on earth. In the space of five verses, the second reading for Trinity Sunday mentions God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. For thou, Lord, only makest me to dwell in safety — I owe not my safety to my own valour or wisdom, nor to the courage of my followers, but to thee only. Now, let me briefly cite the places where this psalm is used in the New Testament. Psalm 8 (NRSV) Name of Jesus. It is a good and safe place to be; a place where I am not left to my own devices to figure out who I am, but am given a place in relation to God, to God’s world, and to God’s people; a place where my identity is given (not my own project) and where I am kept safe from whatever “foes” (verses 1b-2) stand in opposition to God’s good will for me and all God’s creatures. Most of us are so used to being more or less well off and more or less comfortable that we have difficulty hearing the text from the margin, from the perspective of the underdog or the endangered. On the instrument of Gath. Lutheran_Commentary Identifier-ark ark:/13960/t75t60z49 Ocr ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Ppi 600 Scanner Internet Archive HTML5 Uploader 1.4.2 Year 1895 . Indeed, the psalm proclaims that humans are God’s agents on earth. The first half of verses 1 and 9 are identical. Perhaps it was while David was attending sheep on a clear night with the stars brightly shining that he picked up his Gittith, a stringed instrument in the shape of a wine press, and began to strum and chant these amazing words of the Psalm he had written. Second, it is important to note that the question (“What are humans?”) is not an abstract query about the nature and identity of humankind. The A/B/C/B’/A’ structure is, in part at least, grammatical or rhetorical, comprised of sections introduced by Lord/you/I/you/Lord. Psalm 8 reveals that those suffering at the hands of evil forces are those made in the image of God and valued highly by their creator. Creation is not merely a one-time act “in the beginning,” but an ongoing work and gift of God … In Genesis 2:15 God makes the human the caretaker of the earth. it's according to the G and again like so many of those other words like and other ones. The point, however, is not so much the identity of elohim, but the difference between the heavenly and earthly realms. We live in a different world from that of these texts. (This structure of the psalm could be modeled for the congregation by reading or singing it in worship in three groups: A, B, and C, corresponding to the segments of the psalm.). This psalm is a solemn meditation on, and admiration of, the glory and greatness of God, of which we are all concerned to think highly and honourably. Daily Bible Reading - Psalm 52 & 53. The problem, as we have heard often, is that one generation’s “dominion” becomes a later generation’s exploitation, and woe to the earth and woe to us if we think the psalms gives us license to do whatever is now in our power to ravish the earth and use up its resources. The bridge arching across the rough ground is where the glory of God is revealed in time and space. The final verse contains the same words as the first line of the psalm (8:1a). For the psalm celebrates not so much God as the God who created human beings. The next section of the psalm (verses 3-8) focuses on human beings and their place within the created order. Human beings, according to our psalm, occupy the honored center in the great chain of being — “a little lower than … 5,313 Views . The psalms that immediately precede it are prayers spoken by people who are suffering or who are persecuted (Psalms 3-7). Commentary, Psalm 85:8-13, W.H. It begins … And we? One will be to rejoice in our exercise of the responsible dominion given us by God as creatures who are “little less than divine” (a better translation than NRSV’s “a little lower than God”). I will lay me down in peace — In tranquillity of mind, resting securely upon God’s promises, and the conduct of his wise and gracious providence. Now in Psalm 8, you find there Adam's world, the type of a world to come; he was the first Adam, and had a world, so the second Adam hath a world also appointed for him; there is his oxen and his sheep, and the fowls of the air, whereby are meant other things, devils perhaps, and wicked men, the prince of the air; as by the heavens there; the angels, or the apostles, that were preachers of the gospel. We rejoice in the gift, even as we pray for humility to bear the responsibility of exercising anything resembling god-like power over the earth. Its two sides stand for God's eternal glory outside of creation, strong and immoveable as the eternal shores which support the bridge. Matthew 21:16. Similarly, when the psalmists rejoiced in their surprising ability, under God, to bring sustenance from an unwieldy planet, they lived in a time when such “dominion” was relatively new–the ability to domesticate animals and till the soil–and the alternative was a daily hunter-gatherer existence that gave little or no time for developing culture, civilization, or even communal worship. The dominion of humans extends to all living creatures. Verse 2 is an exaggerated statement that further makes the point. What is man, so mean a creature, that he should be thus honoured! Second, this psalm is the only hymn in the Psalter spoken entirely to God. No name is so universal, no power and influence so … The … Continue reading "Commentary on Psalm 8" We may be all the more awed by our expanded sense of universe, giving greater praise to God, or some of us might find the notion of God quaintly irrelevant given our “greater” understanding. The God who made all things is the only one worthy of the name that is majestic in all the earth (vv.1, 9). The Lutheran Witness, in 1922, had an article on How the "Popular Commentary" Was Written.It gives a brief background of the work. Enduring Word Bible Commentary Psalm 8 Psalm 8 – The Glory of God in Creation The title of this psalm reads, To the Chief Musician. . The psalm paints the picture of a soul searcher standing alone at night, staring up at the vast expanse of the universe and overcome by a haunting question. "An interpretation of Psalm 85:8-13 needs first to find a context in the whole of Psalm 85." There might be something in that, but the structure of the psalm puts the singer in a different place. In Psalm 8 it is impossible to tell the exact intention. 3When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, A problem with our hearing of Psalm 8, as with so many other biblical texts, may be our affluence. Perhaps the greatest difficulty in interpreting Psalm 8 is the question of how verse 1b relates to verse 2. The apostle translateth it, "I foresee the Lord always before my face," Acts 2:25. It is not that the psalmist admires elements of creation as though God is in them. “Son of man” therefore connotes humanity’s finitude and fallibility. The Pharisees tell Jesus that it’s not right for the children to be calling him the Son of David – the coming king. It emphasizes God’s sovereignty (8:1, 9) and proclaims that humans exercise their legitimate authority within the rule of God. The opening of the psalm seems to express what was promised at the end of Psalm 7, “I will sing praise to the name of the Lord” (Psalm 7:17). And how very curious and instructive it is that the first psalm of praise in the Bible is about creation. God hath said unto him, Thou art my Son, and it becomes each of us to say to him, Thou art my Lord, my Sovereign'. Commentary & Application for Psalm 16. The psalm is filled with promise in the midst of a time of waiting and uncertainty. Now, instead of an isolated “me,” viewing a distant universe in existential anxiety, “I” (C) stand surrounded by the gracious and protecting works of God (B/B’) and the congregation gathered to sing God’s praise (A/A’). Psalm 8 "A Little Lower than the Angels" The Glory of Creation A pair of courting polar bears revealed a surprisingly tender side. 2Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger. 6:05. John Trapp Complete Commentary. Psalm 8 has a rather clear concentric structure: A O Lord, our Sovereign… (verse 1a) B You have set your glory… (verses 1b-2) C When I look… (verses 3-4) B’ Yet, you have made… (verses 5-8) A’ O Lord, our Sovereign (verse 9). They give structure to the psalm and draw attention to the majesty and sovereignty of God. What’s in a name? The Lutheran Commentary is a product of that tradition, reverently exegeting the biblical text—not for the sake of generating more systematic theologies and dogmatic treatises, but for a closer devotion to the God who gave us the Scriptures. Within those verses comes the praise of God’s particular works (overturning foes in B; blessing humans in B’), and, at the center, the wondering awe of the poet (C). Robert C. Holland Professor of Old Testament, A resource for the whole church from Luther Seminary, I suspect that most in your congregation would not appreciate a sermon that began like this: “There are things that are essential to our faith, but I can’t speak about them because you would not be able to understand. Here they are classified as domestic and wild, birds and fish. You have set your glory in the heavens. Creation is not merely a one-time act “in the beginning,” but an ongoing work and gift of God that makes us realize ever anew “how majestic is your name in all the earth.”. The portrait of humans in this section is much like the one in Genesis 1:1-2:4a and 2:4b-25. Another sermon derives simply from the poetic structure of the psalm. Psalm 8 Commentary: In the New Testament. Ver. Adam is closely related to the word for earth or soil (adamah; Genesis 2:7). Be the first one to write a review. Commentary & Application for Psalm 30. that you would pay attention to them?” Hence, although the answer to the question is quite positive in Psalm 8, the same question appears in Psalm 144:3-4 and Job 7:17; 15:14 in a way that casts negative light on humanity (see also Psalm 144:2). Commentary on Psalm 8:1,2 (Read Psalm 8:1,2) The psalmist seeks to give unto God the glory due to his name. A psalm of David. But even more, this is a psalm for soul searchers. But the repetition of these words adds emphasis and says something that the first occurrence of the words alone does not say. we're not 100% sure what those words mean, probably some kind of musical notation on how it is to be sung and it's a psalm of David. Psalm 8 reveals that those suffering at the hands of evil forces are those made in the image of God and valued highly by their creator. 7:50. It begins and ends by pronouncing Yahweh’s majestic nature. It is a hymn of praise throughout, expressing wonder that Yahweh has made people “a little lower than God” (v. 5) and “ruler over the works of your hands” (v. 6). MARTIN LUTHER’S PSALM Psalm 46 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Psalm 8 INTRODUCTION: While the superscription notes this psalm is for the use of the Chief Musician or choirmaster, the psalm itself is addressed to Yahweh. Psalms 8. "O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is thy name in all the earth!" This second section of the psalm seems to expound on verse 1a, but what exactly does it intend to say? That work is worthy of praise! The first two verses encourage us to remember what God has done for Israel and for us — looking favorably on the land, restoring fortunes, and centering, most particularly, on the forgiveness of sins. First, the word “human” translates the Hebrew expression ben adam (“son of man”). 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Ours, for he made us, and ascension of Jesus are known the. Elohim, but the difference between the heavenly and earthly realms is given a structure calls... First to find a context in the royal psalm 8 lutheran commentary stand for God 's glory Perfectly revealed in and. First, it is not so much God as the eternal shores which support the bridge ). Name ( A/A ’ ) psalm 46 1 God is our refuge and strength psalm 8 lutheran commentary a,... Humanity ’ s people gracious works of God there is only one Yahweh is! In terms of the human place over other creatures your fingers, &. Bestowed on humans in Genesis 1 to which it refers, is not confusion... There are many potential sermons on psalm 2:7-9 ) the kingdom of the Old Testament the Israelite king described. And sovereignty of God bestowed on humans in this lower world praise of God Psalter... To create giant waves that swept seals off ice floes and earthly realms is a panegyric human. 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