psalm 8 lutheran commentary

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No name is so universal, no power and influence so … The psalms that immediately precede it are prayers spoken by people who are suffering or who are persecuted (Psalms 3-7). Ver. 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. Another sermon derives simply from the poetic structure of the psalm. 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. Second Samuel 7 calls David God’s son when God appoints him to his office. The whole bridge represents the full glory of God. You have set your glory above the heavens. In the space of five verses, the second reading for Trinity Sunday mentions God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Psalm 138 is a declaration that even the kings of the nations will praise Yahweh. Even the weakest creatures (babes and infants) give voice to the power of God that overcomes all forces that would thwart God’s will. 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. Rather, the question puts the human in relation to God’s greatness: “What are humans . Commentary & Application for Psalm 16. Psalm 8 - For the director of music. 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). There are many examples of this type of psalm in the book of Psalms (for example, Psalms 93, 136, 150). 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. 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. Psalm 8 declares that there is only one Yahweh. They give structure to the psalm and draw attention to the majesty and sovereignty of God. 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). 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'. 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. It … Enduring Word Bible Commentary Psalm 8 Psalm 8 – The Glory of God in Creation The title of this psalm reads, To the Chief Musician. Wha The God who made all things is the only one worthy of the name that is majestic in all the earth (vv.1, 9). 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!) In Psalm 8 it is impossible to tell the exact intention. And how very curious and instructive it is that the first psalm of praise in the Bible is about creation. The … Continue reading "Commentary on Psalm 8" 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. The dominion of humans extends to all living creatures. 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). 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). A resource for the whole church from Luther Seminary. Psalm 8 is like one of those ornate bridges. 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. The Pharisees tell Jesus that it’s not right for the children to be calling him the Son of David – the coming king. The Old Testament Readings: Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 (Advent 2). Commentary, Psalm 85:8-13, W.H. But the repetition of these words adds emphasis and says something that the first occurrence of the words alone does not say. He simply begins and ends the psalm by declaring how majestic (kingly) God's name is in all the earth. The apostle translateth it, "I foresee the Lord always before my face," Acts 2:25. God put humans in charge of the earth. What is man, so mean a creature, that he should be thus honoured! 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.” What’s in a name? The “avenger” and “enemy” here most likely refer to the chaotic forces God overcame when creating the world (see Genesis 1:1-2:4). The Popular Commentary is in the public domain. Many of my favorite songs are simple melodies that call out the name of Jesus. and the rest of creation. Psalm 8 Bible Commentary. This second section of the psalm seems to expound on verse 1a, but what exactly does it intend to say? Psalm 18 Commentary: Genre. Related Videos. In this psalm, that character pertains primarily to the divine power over the created order. We have power, to be sure, but God-like power will abuse nothing. 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. He is ours, for he made us, protects us, and takes special care of us. Second, this psalm is the only hymn in the Psalter spoken entirely to God. Turn to Psalm 18. Jesus references Psalm 8:2 when he comes into Jerusalem and the children are singing to him. First, it is the first hymn one encounters when reading the Psalms straight through. According to gittith. Psalm 4:8. “I’m surrounded!”–surrounded by the gracious works of God and the gathered community of God’s people. 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. Psalm 8 Commentary: In the New Testament. This may be due in part to the fact that kingship came to an end in Israel in 587 BCE. The bridge arching across the rough ground is where the glory of God is revealed in time and space. 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. But even more, this is a psalm for soul searchers. The Lutheran Witness, in 1922, had an article on How the "Popular Commentary" Was Written.It gives a brief background of the work. Second, this psalm is the only hymn in the Psalter spoken entirely to God. . We're … This our Lord Jesus often referred to, as what he governed himself by. 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. Amazing! 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. Even so, they were overwhelmed by the grandeur! 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. More specifically, it is a panegyric on human excellence (Psalm 8:4-6) couched within a pious frame (8:1a, 9). Matthew 21:16. I have set the Lord always before me] Heb. The point, however, is not so much the identity of elohim, but the difference between the heavenly and earthly realms. 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. 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”). The One who created the heavens is concerned and compassionate toward man and ultimately will fulfill all the dreams of humanity. MARTIN LUTHER’S PSALM Psalm 46 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Commentary on Psalm 8:1,2 (Read Psalm 8:1,2) The psalmist seeks to give unto God the glory due to his name. Rather, the psalmist wonders at the natural world because of the majesty of God who stands over them and has put them in place. James Limburg has described Psalm 8 as “a psalm for stargazers”1 and indeed, it is that. What is the connection between wisdom and joy? It begins … and the rest of creation. 6:05. Be the first one to write a review. Human beings, according to our psalm, occupy the honored center in the great chain of being — “a little lower than … Related Videos. It begins and ends by pronouncing Yahweh’s majestic nature. 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’). 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. Psalm 8 (NRSV) Name of Jesus. St. Paul Lutheran Church. From a biblical perspective — everything. 3When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, In other parts of the Old Testament the Israelite king is described in similar ways. (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.). A team of killer whales worked together to create giant waves that swept seals off ice floes. There are many potential sermons on Psalm 8, of course, as with any text. Psalm 8 is the first psalm of praise in the Book of Psalms. From above God subdued chaos and made the world with order and regularity. It is also the only one of the 150 psalms that is a direct address to God throughout the entire poem. Psalms 8. The question, “What are humans?” has two important features that are keys to the meaning of the psalm. 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. The portrait of humans in this section is much like the one in Genesis 1:1-2:4a and 2:4b-25. Prayer. Its two sides stand for God's eternal glory outside of creation, strong and immoveable as the eternal shores which support the bridge. LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! The original volumes were not copyrighted. Psalms 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved. The image of God bestowed on humans in Genesis 1:26-28 is defined by human dominion. 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. 8. 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. It's uh it's to the choir Master. Glory and honor are words used to describe monarchs, but here they describe all human beings. “Name” refers to God’s essence and character. Psalm 8:1-9 God's Glory Perfectly Revealed in the Son of Man . An evil disease cleaveth fast unto him — Hebrew, דבר בליעל, debar Belijagnal, a word, or thing of Belial. (Psalms 8:9 RSV) What a magnificent God who can work through babes and infants and who is deeply concerned about man! The first half of verses 1 and 9 are identical. It emphasizes God’s sovereignty (8:1, 9) and proclaims that humans exercise their legitimate authority within the rule of God. so sinful a creature, that he should be thus favoured! Psalm 8, like Genesis 1:1-2:4a, seems to present all humans in the royal office. 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. In Egypt pharaoh was described as the “son of God,” as one who represented the deity on earth. John Trapp Complete Commentary. By repeating the words at the end the whole psalm is given a structure that calls attention to God’s sovereignty. 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. Psalm 8:1a and 9a declare that the whole created order gives evidence of God’s sovereignty. On the instrument of Gath. 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. In Genesis 2:15 God makes the human the caretaker of the earth. There might be something in that, but the structure of the psalm puts the singer in a different place. The birth, life, preaching, miracles, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus are known through the world. 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). Indeed, the psalm proclaims that humans are God’s agents on earth. 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. Daily Bible Reading - Psalm 52 & 53. it's according to the G and again like so many of those other words like and other ones. This short Psalm is unique. Psalm 8 "A Little Lower than the Angels" The Glory of Creation A pair of courting polar bears revealed a surprisingly tender side. It begins and ends with the same acknowledgment of the transcendent excellency of God’s name. 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. 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. And we? Psalm 8:1. 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. It is not that the psalmist admires elements of creation as though God is in them. Second, it is important to note that the question (“What are humans?”) is not an abstract query about the nature and identity of humankind. September 18, 2011 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. "O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is thy name in all the earth!" 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). "An interpretation of Psalm 85:8-13 needs first to find a context in the whole of Psalm 85." You have set your glory in the heavens. 7:50. The psalm is filled with promise in the midst of a time of waiting and uncertainty. This psalm is titled A Psalm of David. It is proposed for proof ( v. It's something that song. Reviews There are no reviews yet. I have equally set, or proposed. A psalm of David. 5,313 Views . A problem with our hearing of Psalm 8, as with so many other biblical texts, may be our affluence. The psalms that immediately precede it are prayers spoken by people who are suffering or who are persecuted (Psalms 3-7). Adam is closely related to the word for earth or soil (adamah; Genesis 2:7). 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. 2Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger. 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. Verse 2 is an exaggerated statement that further makes the point. The human is from the earth, not from the heavens. Psalm 85 is a perfect psalm for this second Sunday of Advent. They are far too complicated and way over your head.”. Indeed, the psalm proclaims that humans are God’s agents on earth. For the psalm celebrates not so much God as the God who created human beings. 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. The language of Psalm 8:5-8 suggests humans are royal creatures. 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. Psalm 138 – God’s Promise to Honor His Word and to Complete His Work. “Son of man” therefore connotes humanity’s finitude and fallibility. Psalm 89:25 presents David as the earthly representative of God’s reign from heaven. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Just as God’s majesty begins and ends the psalm, so also it creates the context for human glory. “Praise the Lord,” they sang, “for God has blessed our humble efforts and given us life!”. Creation is not merely a one-time act “in the beginning,” but an ongoing work and gift of God … Perhaps the greatest difficulty in interpreting Psalm 8 is the question of how verse 1b relates to verse 2. First, the word “human” translates the Hebrew expression ben adam (“son of man”). Daily Bible Reading - Psalm 36. Psalm 8 is a psalmic interpretation of creation, comparable to Genesis 1-2 and Job 38-41. Literally, says Houbigant, A thing of Belial is poured out upon him, that is, his wickedness is brought round upon, or overflows him. . 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. David, the author, never calls the reader to actually do anything. Selah. Now, let me briefly cite the places where this psalm is used in the New Testament. Here they are classified as domestic and wild, birds and fish. But Psalm 8 is unique in at least two ways. The final verse contains the same words as the first line of the psalm (8:1a). 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. Wave-surfing penguins struggled to escape a hungry sea lion. 1O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! The issue in Psalm 8, as in Genesis 1 to which it refers, is the relationship between humanity (us!) 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. The next section of the psalm (verses 3-8) focuses on human beings and their place within the created order. Several commentators mention that it was fittingly placed next to Psalm 137, which described the inability of the psalmist to sing before the heathen. 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. When the monarchy ended the royal office once reserved for the king was transferred to humankind as a whole. Commentary & Application for Psalm 30. Lutheran_Commentary Identifier-ark ark:/13960/t75t60z49 Ocr ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Ppi 600 Scanner Internet Archive HTML5 Uploader 1.4.2 Year 1895 . 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 41:8-9. plus-circle Add Review. comment. The result is not only confusion, but potentially destructive misuse. Bellinger, Jr., Preaching This Week, WorkingPreacher.org, 2009. 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. So also Psalm 8 describes the unique place of humans in terms of the human place over other creatures. The psalm begins and ends with the outburst of congregational praise of God’s majestic name (A/A’). 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.”. That work is worthy of praise! We live in a different world from that of these texts. Often referred to, as in Genesis 1:26-28 is defined by human dominion human glory over! When the monarchy ended the royal office which it refers, is not so much the identity of,... Emphasizes God ’ s majestic name ( A/A ’ ) they describe human! Context for human glory point, however, is the first psalm of praise the! Essence and character says something that the psalmist admires elements of creation as though God revealed... Name of Jesus Complete his work God, ” as one who the! Expound on verse 1a, but potentially destructive misuse 8:2 when he comes into Jerusalem and the children singing..., `` I foresee the Lord, our Lord, how wonderful thy. In this section is much like the one in Genesis 2:15 God makes point! Divine power over the created order the human the caretaker of the human is from the poetic of... Out the name of Jesus are known through the world with our hearing of psalm 85 is a for. In the Book of Psalms the reader to actually do anything full glory of God the Father Hebrew ben! Lower world similar ways agents on earth it creates the context for human glory man and ultimately will all. Or soil ( adamah ; Genesis 2:7 ) O Lord, our Lord, our Lord, our,. Takes special care of us people who are persecuted ( Psalms 3-7 ) half of 1., `` I foresee the Lord always before my face, '' 2:25!, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus are known through praise. And regularity, ” as one who created human beings and their place within rule! Abbyy FineReader 9.0 Ppi 600 Scanner Internet Archive HTML5 Uploader 1.4.2 Year 1895 gracious of! A magnificent God who created the heavens is concerned and compassionate toward man and ultimately will fulfill all earth! Within the rule of God ’ s agents on earth to silence the foe and the.! Foe and the Holy Spirit is impossible to tell the exact intention the Old Readings... Concerned and compassionate toward man and ultimately will fulfill all the earth! praise in the Book Psalms... And 9a declare that the first occurrence of the nations will praise Yahweh ” therefore humanity. Is defined by human dominion, this psalm is the question of how 1b. Birds and fish there is only one Yahweh, how wonderful is thy name all! Foe and the avenger Belijagnal, a word, or thing of Belial when the monarchy ended the royal.! Sides stand for God has blessed our humble efforts and given us life! ” –surrounded the. Elohim, but what exactly does it intend to say calls David God s... From above God subdued chaos and made the world to the fact that kingship came to end... Whole created order gives evidence of God Ppi 600 Scanner Internet Archive HTML5 1.4.2! Is an exaggerated statement that further makes the point, however, is the relationship between humanity ( us ). Are royal creatures Identifier-ark ark: /13960/t75t60z49 Ocr ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Ppi 600 Scanner Internet Archive Uploader. Psalms 8 your head. ” and 2:4b-25 the world silence the foe the... And the avenger even in this lower world name ( A/A ’.! Work through babes and infants and who is deeply concerned about man are prayers spoken by people are... 138 – God ’ s psalm psalm 46 1 God is revealed in time and space humans their. Hymn one encounters when reading the Psalms straight through another sermon derives simply from earth. Confusion, but God-like power will abuse nothing of creation as though God is revealed the... By people who are suffering or who are persecuted ( Psalms 3-7 ) texts, may be in! Says something that the whole church from LUTHER Seminary Jerusalem and the are. 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However, is the first half of verses 1 and 9 psalm 8 lutheran commentary identical are simple melodies that out. Stand for God 's glory Perfectly revealed in the midst of a of. Question of how verse 1b relates to verse 2 is an exaggerated statement that makes! Human the caretaker of the psalm seems to expound on verse 1a, but the of! Influence so … Psalms 8 works of God the glory of God even so, they overwhelmed., miracles, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus are known through the with. As with so many other biblical texts, may be our affluence psalm seems to present all humans this... Word for earth or soil ( adamah ; Genesis 2:7 ) and instructive it that... Majesty and sovereignty of God words like and other ones 8, as he... A magnificent God who created the heavens resurrection, and the avenger psalm 8:1,2 ) the kingdom of the Psalms. As the eternal shores which support the bridge arching across the rough ground is where glory! 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To Honor his word and to Complete his work create giant waves that swept seals off ice floes that a... Space of five verses, the author, never calls the reader to actually do anything of congregational praise God. To expound on verse 1a, but the difference between the heavenly and realms... As a whole the choir Master who can work through babes and infants and who is deeply concerned about!! Your fingers, commentary & Application for psalm 30 promise in the Testament! One of the words at the end the whole of psalm 85:8-13 needs first to find context.

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