HOW MAJESTIC IS YOUR NAME (PSALM 8)
We’ve picked out some of the most awe-inspiring and meaningful moments from the history of humanity’s journey to space.
1. Ed White, 3 June 1965, 1965, Gemini 4, pilot, he became the first American to “walk” in space: “I’m coming back in… and it’s the saddest moment of my life.”
2. Neil Armstrong on looking back at the Earth from the Moon in July 1969: “I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”
3. Frank Borman, Apollo 8: It makes us realize that we all do exist on one small globe. For from 230,000 miles away it really is a small planet.
4. Alan Shepard, Apollo 14: If somebody'd said before the flight, “Are you going to get carried away looking at the earth from the moon?” I would have say, “No, no way.” But yet when I first looked back at the earth, standing on the moon, I cried.
5. Roger B Chaffee, Apollo 1: The world itself looks cleaner and so much more beautiful. Maybe we can make it that way—the way God intended it to be—by giving everybody that new perspective from out in space.
6. James B. Irwin, Apollo 15: As we got further and further away, it [the Earth] diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful you can imagine. That beautiful, warm, living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart. Seeing this has to change a man.
7. Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14: My view of our planet was a glimpse of divinity.”
The creation of the world and man is one of the strongest arguments for the existence of God. Many believers are uncomfortable and prefer not to call creation a theory rather than a truth. Genesis begins emphatically, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). All life origins from God and is a gift from Him. Life is an intelligent design, a complex matter and a divine gift.
Why did God create the heavens and the earth? What is the chief purpose of man? How are we to govern the world He gave us?
Sing His Praise
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.
A visiting farmer stopped at a city restaurant to eat lunch. When he was served his food he bowed his head and gave thanks to the Lord. Some teenagers sitting at a nearby table noticed the farmer’s prayer and shouted, “Hey, pops, back where you come from does everybody pray before they eat?”
Their laughter was silenced when the unmoved farmer answered, “No, the hogs don’t.”
“O Lord our Lord” is not a word repetition because the titles are different in Hebrew. The first title (Yahweh) is the name of Israel’s God, but the second title (Adonai) is translated as “lord” 228 times and “master” 105 times in KJV, therefore it should be correctly translated as O Lord our Master.” Out of respect for the name that has no vowel, The Jews substitute Adonai for YHWH in reading, thus the English translation O Lord our Lord. The difference between the two is that the first is strictly the title, the respect, translated as Lord, O Lord or the Lord, whereas the second is the trust, a relationship. In the Psalms He is our Lord (Ps 8:1, 147:5), thy Lord (Ps 45:11), the Lord of the whole earth (Ps 97:5), my Lord (Ps 110:1), the Lord (Ps 114:7), the Lord of lords (Ps 136:3) in the Psalms. The first is His rule and the second the respect, the designation versus the devotion. The first speaks of his omnipotence, omniscience and ownership, but the second smacks of obedience, openness and obligation. It serves as an acknowledgement, an admiration and an assurance.
The three translations for majestic are excellent (KJV), majestic (NASB) and magnificent (Holman), which reminds me of a regular episode from “Justice Bao” when the court officials strike their rods on the ground at the same time shouting, “Majesty!” to the alarm suffered by the person brought to the court to bejudged and sentenced. To be majestic is not the same as to be glorious or great. To be glorious is to be bulky or heavy is Hebrew, to be great is to be many in Hebrew, but to be excellent is to be vastness, to be like the ocean far, wide and deep. The closest thing to the word “majestic” is like the heavens or sky, the sea or the ocean, as space itself, which is rolling and never resting, flowing and never finishing, hastening and never halting. In the Psalms “heavens” refer to the height of His sanctuary (Ps 102:19). It is high above the earth (Ps 103:11) and God stretches out the heavens like a curtain (Ps 104:2).
To be majestic means excellence, eminence and extravagance. It is equivalent to Your Majesty or Your Highness in England. Excellent (v 1) is explained by his glory (howd) in verse 2, which is unlike the more popular glory word (kabowd) in Hebrew. His name is more excellent than all that is in earth and heavens. Verse 1’s “set” is an imperative. To set one’s glory means to be exalted, esteemed and extended and encountered over all the earth.
The comparative phrase “all the earth” means all creation, country and citizen (Ps 33:8), chiefs (Ps 45:18). The purpose of the phrase “all the earth” and heavens is all-inclusive, all at stake, all in mind, all in all.
This “glory” (houd) word in verse 1 is not the regular or same word for heaviness (v 5), but highness, not bulky or big but beauty, not massive but majesty.
Children and infants are different because infant is a noun and infants in a verb in Hebrew. Children and infants know better. While children is a noun, infants (v 2) is a verb (participle), referring to actions of sucking (Gen 21:7), nurse (Gen 24:59) and needing milk (Gen 32:15). Establish (v 2) means lay the foundation (Josh 6:26), instruct (2 Chron 3:3), appoint (Est 1:8), take counsel (Ps 31:13). It is in the piel stem, should be translated as “surely establish,” making it more definitive. Stronghold is strength, not structure, in Hebrew. It is translated as power (Lev 26:19, might (2 Sam 6:14), loud (2 Chron 30:21), refuge (Ps 46:1) and boldness (Eccl 8:1). The purpose (infinitive) is to “silence” the foe. Silence is translated as rest (Gen 2:2), cease (Gen 8:22), put away (Ex 12:15), lacking (Lev 2:13), rid (Lev 26:6), left without (Ruth 4:14), took away (2 Kings 23:11), fail (Jer 48:33). You can see verse 2’s enemy, foe and avenger, all of which are verbs and not nouns in Hebrew. One is the afflicter, the next is the adversary and the last is the avenger. The first comes with meanness, the second (foe) is the man, and the third is the motivation. The middle word “foe” is the regular word for enemy in Hebrew.
The purpose is to show how finite, feeble, fragile and foolhardy people are for their scientific, scholarly and sophisticated arguments against the existence of God. The contrast is with the simplicity , sincerity and sagacity of infants.
See the Provisions
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?
“You teach,” said the Roman Emperor Trajan to Rabbi Joshua, “that your God is everywhere, and boast that He resides among your nation; I should like to see Him.” “God's presence is indeed everywhere,” replied Joshua, “but He cannot be seen. No mortal eye can behold His glory.” The Emperor insisted. “Well,” said Joshua “suppose we try to look first at one of His ambassadors.” The Emperor consented. The Rabbi took him into the open air at noonday and bade him look at the sun in its blazing splendor. “I cannot,” said Trajan. “The light dazzles me.” “You are unable,” said Joshua, “to endure the light of one of His creatures, and can you expect to behold the resplendent glory of the Creator? Would not the brightness of His glory annihilate you?” (from Illustrations of Bible Truths # 305)
Verse 3’s “work” describes more specifically and skillfully the handiwork, art and technique in designing cherubims (Ex 26:1), linen (Ex 26:36), brass (Ex 27:4), engraver in stone (Ex 28:11), breastplate (Ex 28:15), ointment (Ex 30:25), tables (Ex 32:16), robe (Ex 39:22). It is plural in Hebrew. The work of your fingers refers to its intricacy, mystery, meticulous, minute. Critics of the Bible are all worked up over the inclusion of moon and stars but not the sun. The work is plural in Hebrew. Verse 3’s ordain and verse 2’s ordain (give) are different. Do you know how many stars are in the sky? Google search on stars will come up with a whole slew of answers from as few as 100 billion to over 1 trillion stars. The sun is power but it is not the point of the Psalmist. The work of your fingers refers to how mystery, meticulous and minute creation is.
Some critics questioned why the psalmist refers to the moon and stars and not the sun? Many scientists see the sun as the largest star in the solar system. Sure, the sun is powerful, without question, but it is the moon and the stars you get to enjoy. Further, without the moon there is no tides, no sleep or rest with the sun in your eyes. Without the moon, Earth would spin faster. Our day would be shorter. (Earthsky.org) The moon is the great stabilizer, neutralizer and harmonizer to the sun’s strength, balancing act to the sun, the momma to the papa sun. The gravitational pull of the moon stabilizes the tilt of the earth, and that produces more moderate climates and seasons. Earth’s equatorial plane is tilted at about 23.5 degrees in respect to the sun. It’s this tilt that gives Earth its seasons. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865556238/Without-the-moon-life-on-Earth-would-be-much-different.html?pg=all
Verse 4’s “mindful” is translated as remember (172x), mention (21x), mindful (6x) and think (3x). The first case of the word “remember” (Gen 8:1) testify to God’s steadfastness to Noah despite man’s sin, selfishness and stubbornness. God did not forsake or forget man, but forbore and forgave them. Visit is more practical, providential and personal. One (remember) is cognitive and compassionate, the other (care) is caring and company.
Serve Your Purpose
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.
9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
An Irishman who had acquired a comfortable living by bowing his head and bending his knee to the King of England looked down upon his less prosperous countrymen with no small degree of contempt. It so happened that he found it necessary to cross the border into the Republic. There, he came upon a Nationalist digging potatoes at the side of the road.
His voice, dripping with disdain, the Orangeman jeered, “If you had only learned to flatter the king, you would not have to dig potatoes.”
“Sir,” replied the Nationalist evenly, “If you had only learned to dig potatoes, you wouldn’t have to be faltering the king!”
Lower… Crowned…. Made rulers… Put everything
Design Dignity Duty Development
Created Crowned Commissioned Certified
Relationship Resemblance Rule Responsibility
Authority Attributes Appointment Accountability
Child Cohort Creature Caretaker
Source Subordinate Superior Shared
Sons Saints Statesmen Stewards
Man is multifaceted, multisided, multitalented and multifunctional. The first box tells of his design, his dignity, his duty and development. He is created and crowned (glory and hope), commissioned by Him and certified by Him. We have a relationship to God, a resemblance to Him (glory and honor), we have a rule over others and responsibility for them. God gave us authority, attributes, appointment and accountability. We are His children, cohorts, creatures and caretakers - sons of God, saints and statesmen in the world and stewards of the Almighty. Our source is from Him and our subordination is to Him, but we are superior to others at the same time we share with others.
We are chosen by Him, claimed by Him and called by Him. Our task is to be conformed to Him, connected to Him and close to Him. Instead of being hateful, he is to be helpful. He is to heal rather than to hurt. He is to be holy, human, humble, handy and honorable, not haughty, heartless, harsh, hollow or helpless. We are thankful for the Source, His supply and steadfastness as we learn to submit to His will, share in His resources and serve Him with pleasure.
Conclusion: Are you grounded in Him, given to Him and guided by Him? Do people see God’s beauty, blessing and benevolence in you? Are God’s power, peace, pardon and patience present or absent in your life? Do you speak of His glory, grace, goodwill and generosity? Do you do justice to His might, meekness and mercy at work in you?