Monday, March 16, 2020

a study of the book of Psalms: day 8


Psalm 8: a joyful song
Psalm 8
For the director of music.
According to gittith. A psalm of David.

(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.
(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?

(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 the 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!

In the early 1980’s, Michael W. Smith wrote a song with some of these words. Have you heard it?
“Oh, Lord, our Lord
How majestic is Your Name in all the earth.
O, Lord, our Lord
How majestic is Your Name in all the earth.
O, Lord, we praise Your Name.
O, Lord, we magnify Your Name
Prince of peace, mighty God
O, Lord God Almighty.”

Remember it? It will be stuck in your head all day now. You're welcome!

No, seriously, it’s a wonderful song. When others have performed it or we sing it in church, it’s loud and the piano bangs this same chorus over and over again. And it’s literally JUST those words repeated.

But…

you know where I’m going, don’t you?

It’s so simple and loud and stuck in my head, and an absolutely wonderful example of what this psalm is.

David is singing for JOY.

Michael W. Smith knew this and wrote a song that is so filled with joy that the piano seems like it might explode and the choir has no more voice left!!!

The heading of this psalm says “for the director of music, according to gittith.” Of course, smart Bible people aren’t SURE what that means. But it could mean “an instrument of Gath,” the ancient Philistine city. 

It could also mean that Obed-Edom, the Gittite (from Gath), had some special solo with this piece, or maybe David wrote it for him.

Do you remember Obed-Edom? Read 2 Samuel 6: 9-12

The Ark of the Covenant that had been carried by the Israelite's for centuries, the place the Lord would come down and meet with His people (cuz guys, there were NO churches yet!), the Holiest of Holy places, resided in Obed-Edom’s HOUSE!
 The Ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the LORD blessed him and his entire household.
2 Samuel 6:11

Obed-Edom had reason to be filled with joy. Was David singing this psalm in celebration of the blessings rained down upon this man’s family? Was David celebrating with a friend? Was David so filled with joy because the Lord was pleased?

Okay, well, whatever the meaning it is also in two other headings: Psalms 81 & 84. Also psalms full of joy! Check them out.

Whatever you are going through today--and regular life has been impacted around here--know that the Lord in Heaven wants YOU to hear JOY in this psalm.

I am 100% sure of this!

How does David express joy in this psalm? Well, it’s simple, he sings of God’s awesomeness. God is not only the God of Israel yesterday, today, and tomorrow, but He is God of all the earth.

AND…He is not only God of all the earth. Even the earth cannot contain His glory!
…You have set your glory in the heavens. (1)

Let me just remind all you smarty pants just how big the universe is!
NASA’s website says:
“Our sun, the nearest star, is 93 million miles away. That’s why the sun, which is a million times the size of the Earth, looks so small. It would take the Space Shuttle seven months to fly there.” (nasa.gov)

I cannot EVEN wrap my head around that! And that’s just within our galaxy.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place (V3)

Wait… let me repeat that. Our SUN (which is a million times bigger than the Earth) is the work of God’s FINGERS???!!!

David says God is bigger than the universe, but His GLORY comes from the mouths of babies, too! Did you catch that?

Guys, I am reminded of a story. I know it’s long, but I’m going to write it here. I feel like we look to God in the universe, in storms, and trials, in suffering and triumphs. But we miss His voice coming from the mouths of babes… or a whisper in the breeze…

(9)Then [Elijah] came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, 
“What are you doing here, Elijah?”
(10)He said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
(11)So [God] said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by!
And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. 
And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
(12)After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; 
and after the fire
a sound of a gentle blowing.
(13)When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said,
“What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Elijah feared for his life. In fact, he was running for his life. The part of the story just before this says that he laid down to die! The man was freaking out; he was giving up. I think he was panicking. Sound familiar at all? 

God could have roared His commands. He could have rained His expectations down with thunder and lightning upon this man having a panic attack.

But…my friends, this is such a good reminder for us…HE didn’t! 

God, who is bigger than the universe, spoke to Elijah in the calmness of a breeze.

Today, in our world, we’re scared. We’re so unsure. We’re afraid to go out. Friends, listen to God’s whisper of love in a breeze today.

Maybe in the sunshine…

Maybe in dog or cat snuggles…

Maybe in the blossoms on the cherry trees or the daffodils that are peeking through the dirt already…

Maybe in the reminder that right here and now, you are okay...

Be reminded that you are loved and you are in His hands, however uncertain the Earth seems. The Lord is bigger.

God is so big that He makes the universe with His fingers; man is so small that he is dwarfed by the universe. Yet David did not doubt that God was MINDFUL of man; he simply said “You are mindful of him” and only wondered WHY. Before we share David’s question, we should first share his assured confidence that God IS MINDFUL OF US; He thinks of us and considers what we do. 
(David Guzik, Enduringword.com)

Let’s leave this psalm right there, and find joy in the knowledge that our Lord, the maker of heaven and earth, is MINDFUL OF US.

Listen for His voice today.

Not in the screaming news or, as in my case, the screaming anxiousness in my own head, but listen for the Lord in the calmness of a breeze.

Father in heaven, we are worried today. We are trying not to be. We are trying to do what you expect us to do; to listen to those in charge and to love our families and neighbors. We are trying. God, we know You created everything, that You have been the same yesterday, today, and will be tomorrow, but sometimes we are afraid. Help us to release that burden into Your arms today. Help us to breathe out our worries as we allow the sun to shine on us. Help us to find joy. Please. Almighty God, in Jesus Name, heal the Earth of this virus. But even more so, let us lean on You. Amen.

HExoxo


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