HOW MAJESTIC IS YOUR NAME PSALM 8:1-9 Pastor Stephen Muncherian July 22, 2001
turn with me to Psalm 8 which is our text this
psalm written by King David.It's a prayer which comes from
David's heart as he considers God and God's
relationship with man.Listen as I read Psalm 8 and then we'll go back
and look at this prayer of David together.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the
earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the
the mouth of infants and nursing babes you have
established strength because of Your adversaries, to
make the enemy and the revengeful cease.When I
consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the
moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is
man that You take thought of him, and the son of man
that You care for him?Yet you have made hima little lower than God,
and You crown him with glory and majesty!You make
him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put
all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and
also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens
and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the
paths of the seas.O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in
all the earth!
If you've seen Fiddler on the Roof - one of best parts
of the movie is Tevye the milkman - especially Tevye’s
Tevye goes along - on the road or in the barnyard -
the town - he’s constantly talking with God -
complaining - arguing - discussing things - talking
about his cow - what’s happening with his daughters -
his wealth or lack of wealth.Everything
in his life is a part of that intimate ongoing
conversation with God.
That’s where David is coming from in Psalm 8.David
talking with God.Encouraging us - as we read this Psalm - to
understand the tremendous opportunity that God gives
to us to speak with Him all the time about everything
that’s going on in our lives.That’s what
we want to be encouraged in this morning:In the
struggles and opportunities - whatever we find going
on in us and around us - that we will more
automatically - more frequently - more deeply - speak
Psalm 8 begins focused on God.Verse 1:O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is
Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your
splendor above the heavens!
In Scripture, the "name" of God is the description of
who He is - God’s reputation - His character - His
often, when we read in our English or Armenian
translations "God" or "Lord"
we forget that these are translations of Hebrew words
that have great significance.The Bible
contains a number of names for God that God uses to
reveal different aspects of His character or how He
deals with mankind.
Here in verse 1, notice in your Bibles that the first
is in all capitals and the second "Lord" is in upper
and lower case letters.It’s written that way to show that two
different names for God are being used in the original
verse 1 reads:"Yahweh, our Adonai, how majestic
is Your name." There’s great
significance to the "names" of God that David uses
"Yahweh" describes God as the One who always has been
- always is - and always will be.God who is
- absolute - unchangeable - holy."Yahweh."is the most
frequently used name of God in the Bible and yet the
one name the Hebrews would never write or say.Its just
too holy - too sacred to profane by writing it or
"Adonai" - the second word used here for God's name -
speaks of God's relationship with us.Imagine
back in the Middle Ages a feudal lord ruling from his
castle - possessing and ruling over his household and
the serfs and lands around him.That’s the
image of what Adonai means.
Adonai is sovereign.He is the Lord and owner of man - our Lord and
alone has the right to demand unquestioned obedience
from every one of us.And, Adonai is also our protector - our support
- one who has affection and cares for His people.
David begins: Yahweh - God who exists - holy -
absolute, our Adonai - our Lord and loving sovereign
Master - who you are is majesty.In all the
earth - there is no one like you.No other
who is worthy of worship and unquestioned obedience.All of the
heavens, that you have created, they declare Your
Verse 2:From the mouth of infants and
nursing babes you have established strength because of
Your adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful
On Palm Sunday - the day that Jesus triumphantly
entered Jerusalem - Jesus went to the Temple.There He
began to teach.Blind and lame people came to Him and He healed
the midst of this powerful scene children were
to the Son of David!"
The chief priests and scribes - the self-proclaimed
theologians and righteous people of the day - the
people who knew they knew how God did things - the
chief priests and scribes were watching all this and
thought that Jesus should be offended by what the
children were saying."Jesus,"
they said. "We see the healing power of God
being demonstrated.But, do you hear what the children are saying?What these
children are saying is blasphemous.We know
you’re not the Messiah.Jesus, silence the children."
Jesus answered them - referring to Psalm 8:2, "Have you never read, 'Out of the
mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared
praise for Yourself'?" (Matthew
I recently read about a liberal Sunday School teacher
who was teaching his class the story of the feeding of
the five thousand.The teacher was saying something like, "This really wasn’t a miracle.Jesus
didn’t do miracles.This little boy brought his lunch to Jesus and
Jesus thanked him.And so, the rest of the crowd got the idea and
decided to share their lunches with the people around
them so everyone had enough.So, if there was a miracle it
was that everyone shared."
One little boy raised his hand. "Sir, can I ask you a question?"The
teacher said, "Yes."The
boy said, "What
did they fill the twelve baskets with afterwards?"
"Out of the mouth of infants and babies" !
Jesus said, "Let
the children come to Me.The Kingdom of God belongs to
those who come like children." (Mark
Its how God does things.Paul writes in 1 Corinthians
1:27 that, "God
has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame
the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the
world to shame the things which are strong."
God takes a shepherd - David - and defeats the giant
- Yahweh Adonai - is born in the humility of a stable
- an infant child - born to save mankind - to bring us
back to God - to bring the ultimate defeat of all of
the great - majestic - God would do such a thing.
In Psalm 8, David begins with God.Then in
verses 3 to 8 David focuses on
God's relationship with mankind.
Verse 3:When I consider Your heavens, the
work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which
You have ordained - all that you
Yahweh Adonai have done to declare Your awesomeness - what is man that You take thought
of him, and the son of man that You care for him?
Years ago - when I was working with Mount Hermon -
once a week we used to take the campers on an camp out
- out under the Redwood trees along the banks of
of my tricks was to always be last person to go to
way I figured I had reasonable chance that all the
campers would still be there in the morning.
So I'd wait - listening to the campers drop off to
sleep one by one.As they fell asleep there was a stillness that
became alone with God - feeling the cool of the forest
floor - hearing the sound of the creek.Above me
these tall - majestic Redwood trees - arching like
columns in a great cathedral - forming a canopy way
overhead - vaults in a cathedral - and above there was
black sky and the stars.I used love that time.To just
spend time prayerfully alone with God - in awe of God
and His creation.
I imagine David, as a shepherd, had similar times with
in the fields with his sheep.Nothing
above but the stars and the moon - the work of God’s
David sat there in the stillness of the field - night
after night - he would have had the opportunity to
contemplate the majesty of God and God's relationship
"What is man?" is one of many questions
we ask."What is our origin?""What
purpose is there - what reason - for our existence?"
Some people look up at the cosmos - stretching beyond
our ability to see - and believe that man is nothing.We are an
insignificant life form that has evolved out of the
primordial ooze and learned to live on this speck of
dust we call earth.The universe is like a large impersonal machine
that grinds on and on and there’s nothing beyond the
movement of stars and the emptiness between.Ultimately
our existence means very little if anything at all.
Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth, "Life...is a tale told by an
idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (1)That futile
emptiness leads many to suicide - to despair -
depression - leaving us with no foundation to face the
growing problems of our lives.
Have any of you ever been to a Sadie Hawkins dance?Sadie
Hawkins dances are where the girls are suppose to ask
the boys to the dance - the reverse of the boys asking
remember Sadie Hawkins dances from when I was in
- along with a number of other not-so-popular boys - I
never got asked.It is a terrible thing to not be asked.I don’t
know how girls put up with this the other 364 days of
being asked is rejection - being uncared for - having
a sense that we’re not approved - insignificance.
Who is God?Who
should God ever take thought of us?To care for
declares in Psalm 8 that God has created this world -
created us - approved of us - chosen us - cares for
Beginning in verse 5 - David describes
that unique and significant relationship:Yet you have made him -
man - a
little lower than God, and You crown him with glory
make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You
have put all things under his feet, all sheep and
oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of
the heavens and the fish of the sea, whatever passes
through the paths of the seas.
Ray Stedman, teaching on Psalm 8, said this, "According to the Bible, God made
man to be the expression of God’s life, the human
vehicle of the divine life, the means by which the
invisible God would be made visible to His creatures.Man was to
be the instrument by which God would do His work in
the world and the expression of the character and
being of God.He
is the creature nearest to God.There is
none other nearer, for God Himself was to live in man.Man is such
a unique being, such a remarkable being, that God
Himself intends to live in him to be the glory of
is the bearer of God." (2)
God gives to us significance - purpose - rulership
over the creatures of this world and dominion over the
earth on which we live.God gives to us the uniqueness of an intimate
relationship with Him - established by the God who
knows us and cares for us.
In verse 9 - David - having contemplated God and God’s
relationship with man - David’s joyful expresses:O Lord, our Lord, -
O Yahweh - our Adonai - how majestic is Your name in all
Thinking through Psalm 8 - practically for us today -
perhaps the greatest beauty of this psalm is that it
is a prayer - an intimate conversation between David
and His God - and an example to us.The Apostle
Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians5:17:"Pray without ceasing."Pray
is how David talks with God.
One of the great truths of Psalm 8 is the
encouragement it gives to us to be constantly in
conversation with God.The awesome majestic God of creation has
created our relationship with Him for intimacy so that
in the struggles and opportunities - whatever we find
going on in us and around us - it becomes the constant
pattern of our lives to talk with Him.When we see
the created world - when we look at the stars - the
moon - when we wonder as to our worth and significance
- when we feel overwhelmed - talk with God.Our
Almighty God invites us - has created us - to converse
What a magnificent God who has created all this and
yet is so deeply concerned for us - is compassionate
towards us.O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
1. Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V, Scene V
2. Ray Stedman, "Man And God"