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Psalm 8 is a Psalm of David. The Psalm has respect to our LORD and the time of the Gospel. The first and second Adam are both referred to, and too the first and second creation; and the glory which GOD has received, and is to receive, through both. It tells simply of CHRIST and redemption through Him.
MESSIANIC Psalms are called so because they are quoted in the New Testament in direct reference to the Lord JESUS CHRIST. Psalm 8 is quoted three times in the New Testament. The Lord JESUS Himself quoted from this Psalm. In Matthew Chapter 21, we have what is called the triumphal entry of CHRIST into Jerusalem. The multitudes were saying: Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest (Mat.21:9).
The chief priests and the scribes were very upset. Matthew 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? (KJV) . . . It was here that Jesus quoted this Psalm.
The second time it is quoted is in: 1 Cor.15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (KJV) . . . Quoting Psalm 8:6.
Dear one, in today’s world, we do not see all things put under Him. The most complete quotation is found in: Hebrews 2:5-8For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. (KJV) . . . This makes it very clear that Psalm 8 refers to our Lord JESUS CHRIST.
This great MESSIANIC Psalm begins with the statement: O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! And the Psalm closes with O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
This is NOT a reference to the present day in which we live. GOD'S Name is NOT excellent in the world today. The fact is that people today are not saying very much about GOD. Newscasts simply do NOT mention GOD. He makes the news, too, but He is NEVER brought into the picture. GOD is recognized in insurance policies that insure houses that are destroyed by fire or by an act of GOD! They must think the LORD is running around destroying houses! That is the only publicity GOD gets today. He is purposely being left out! He nor His Word is wanted in schools or sports events! Prayer in public places is getting less all the time. Nonjudgmental liberals believe that everybody should be heard, and think immoral sexual views and pornography should be permitted because the liberties of people should not be cut short.
There is no mention of GOD in floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. People never think that maybe GOD is behind these things because He may be upset with them, and He is passing judgment on them. Dear one, it is GOD who is in charge of this Universe! WHY don’t people wake up? People just do NOT realize just how great GOD is! GOD’S Name is NOT excellent in the world today. BEWARE!!!
Theme: A MESSIANIC Psalm that emphasizes the Humanity of CHRIST JESUS and His ultimate victory as Man.
God Is to Be Glorified, for Making Himself Known to Us (8:1-2)
The psalmist seeks to give GOD the glory due to His Holy Name. How brightly this glory shines even in this lower world, if people would just open their eyes! He is ours, for He made us, protects us and takes special care of us. The birth, life, preaching, miracles, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of JESUS are known throughout the world. No other Name is so universal, no other power and influence so commonly felt, as those of the Saviour of mankind. But how much brighter it shines in the upper world! We, on this Earth, only hear GOD'S excellent Name, and praise it if we are wise, but the angels and blessed spirits above, see His glory and praise it, for He is exalted far above even their continual dedication and praise. Sometimes the grace of GOD appears best in young children. Sometimes the power of GOD brings to pass great things in His church, by very weak and unlikely instruments that the excellence of His power might be more obvious, that it is of GOD, and not of man. This He does, because of His enemies, that He may silence them.
Psalm 8:1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. (KJV)
O LORD our Lord . . . the Lord GOD, the one GOD, who is LORD of all angels and men, and in a very special way LORD and King of saints (Rev.15:3).
How excellent is thy name in all the earth! . . . by the Name of GOD, is not meant any specific Name of His, by which He is called; but means either Himself, His nature and perfections; or instead that by which He is made known, and above all His Gospel (Jn.17:6), for it is exceptional in its nature, it being Good News and glad tidings of good things (Rom.10:15) which display the love, grace, mercy and kindness of GOD to men, as well as His wisdom, power, truth and faithfulness to us. The subject of the Gospel is CHRIST and His righteousness (1 Cor.1:30), and eternal life and salvation by Him alone (Jn.3:15-18; 14:6; Acts 4:12), the spiritual blessings of grace it states (Eph.1:7; 2:5-8), and the exceeding great and precious Promises it contains (2 Pet.1:4). This verse shows that this is said by David prophetically of Gospel times; not in his time, nor in any period under the Old Testament, was the name of the LORD glorious and excellent in all the Earth. His Name was great in Israel, but not in all the world. He showed His Word, and gave His statutes and ordinances to Jacob; but as for the Gentiles, they were without them, and were strangers to the covenants of Promise (Ps.76:1); but this was true of the first times of the Gospel; and will be still more fully accomplished when the prophecies in Malachi 1:11; shall be fulfilled in the latter days.
Who hast set thy glory above the heavens . . . meaning His SON, the Lord JESUS CHRIST, the brightness of His glory; in whom is all the fullness of the Godhead, the glory of all the divine perfections (Ps.63:2), and the setting of Him above the heavens shows the exaltation of Him at the right Hand of GOD; where angels, principalities, and powers, became subject to Him, and He was made higher than the heavens (Heb.7:26). It was in result, and by virtue of this, that the Gospel was spread throughout the Earth; for upon CHRIST'S exaltation the SPIRIT was poured down upon the apostles, and they were endowed with gifts qualifying them to carry the Gospel into each of the parts of the world.
Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. (KJV)
Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings . . . not literally, although the Jewish writers generally understand it this way. Children are able to trust and praise GOD without doubts or hesitations, but as we get older, many of us find this harder to do. Our prayer should be to ask GOD for childlike faith, and to remove barriers so we can have a closer walk with Him. It is best to interpret this of the apostles and first preachers of the Gospel; and of such who received it and professed it; who were in their own eyes, and in the eyes of the world, as babes and sucklings (Mat.11:25).
Hast thou ordained strength . . . by which is meant the Gospel, the rod of CHRIST'S strength, and the power of GOD unto salvation (Rom.1:16); and which being made useful to convert souls, is the cause of much praise and thanksgiving to GOD, so that the gates of hell (Mat.16:18) cannot prevail against it.
Because of thine enemies . . . either for the sake of subduing them, and bringing them to the obedience of CHRIST, meaning the elect of GOD (Col.3:12) who were before conversion enemies of GOD and CHRIST; or instead for the sake of confounding the heartless enemies of GOD and CHRIST, and of the cause and interest of religion.
That thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger . . . Satan, the enemy of all mankind, is the adversary of CHRIST, personal and spiritual, who is filled with envy, wrath and malice, against CHRIST and His people; him, by the means of the Gospel and the ministry of it, GOD has caused to cease . . . not as to his being, but as to his power and authority in the Gentile world; out of which, to his great humiliation, he was cast, by the mouth and ministry of babes and sucklings. These words are applied by CHRIST to the multitude crying Hosanna to the son of David, out of whose mouths GOD perfected the praise of the MESSIAH; and by which, and CHRIST'S defense of them. The Scribes and Pharisees, the mortal enemies of CHRIST, and who wanted to revenge themselves on Him, were silenced and stilled (Mat.21:15-16).
And for Making Even the Heavenly Bodies Useful to Man, Thereby Placing Him a Little Lower Than the Angels (8:3-9)
We are to consider the Heavens, so that man may be directed to set his affections on things above. What is man, such a little, mean creature, that he should be so honored! Why should GOD favor such a sinful creature?
Under GOD, man has supreme power over inferior creatures, and is appointed their lord. This refers to CHRIST. In (Heb.2:6-8), the writer, to prove the sovereign dominion of CHRIST, shows He is that Man, that SON of Man, here spoken of, whom GOD has made to have dominion over the works of His Hands. The greatest favor ever showed to the human race, and the greatest honor ever put upon human nature, was demonstrated in the Lord JESUS. With good reason, the psalmist concludes as he began, LORD, how excellent is Thy Name in all the Earth, which has been honored with the amazing Presence of the Redeemer, and is enlightened by His Gospel, and overseen by His wisdom and power! Our words of praise should go up to Him each and every day, for He has a perfect right to our obedience as our Redeemer!
Psalm 8:3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; (KJV)
When I consider thy heavens . . . when I think about or look upon. They are called Thy Heavens because He made them, because He is the owner of them, or maybe because they are His Home. The work of thy fingers . . . which Thy Fingers have made. The fingers are the instruments by which we build a work, possibly indicating skill rather than strength; and so used in respect to GOD, as it is by His skill and wisdom that the Heavens have been made.
The moon and the stars . . . showing, that maybe this Psalm, was written at night, or that his train of thought was suggested by the thought of the starry worlds. It is not unlikely that the thoughts occurred to David when meditating on the honor which GOD had conferred on him, a feeble man, when his thoughts were at the same time directed to the goodness of GOD as the Heavens were envisioned in their silent splendor.
Which thou hast ordained . . . prepared, fitted, established and appointed. GOD had fixed them in their proper spheres, and they now silently show forth His glory.
Psalm 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? (KJV)
What is man . . . what is wretched, miserable man? Man in his fallen state is full of frailty, ignorance and sin. What, how mean and inconsiderable little sinful man is, when compared to the glorious Majesty of Almighty GOD! The Lord GOD is so infinite in power and wisdom, as He has shown in the framing of the Heavens. Frail or miserable man is not according to the state of man’s creation, but has fallen into a state of sin, misery and death.
That thou art mindful of him? . . . that GOD has set His heart on him, keeping him continually in His kind and merciful view is a blessing indeed! Art mindful of him, cares for him, and confers such high favors on him.
And the son of man . . . Adam, and the son of Adam, the first great rebel; the fallen child of a fallen parent (Job 7:17-18). Some think important, well-known men are meant here, but it seems to me that all people are meant, for we ALL are sinners (Job 14:4; Jer.17:9; Rom.3:10, 23).
That thou visitest him? . . . by sending the HOLY SPIRIT to convince him of sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn.16:8). It is by these visits that man is ever saved from the lake of fire (Rev.20:15). If GOD were to withhold the SPIRIT, there would be NOTHING in the soul of man but sin, darkness, hate, hardness, corruption and death.
*****What is man that thou art mindful of him? The word here rendered man means frail man. It means humanity in all of its weakness and limitations. The vast contrast between man's smallness, his revolting insignificance in a physical sense and the glory that GOD has lavished upon him is the burden of this incredibly beautiful Psalm. WHAT is man in a physical sense? Absolutely NOTHING when compared to the Almighty and Awesome GOD!
Psalm 8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. (KJV)
Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels . . . Hebrews 2:6-9 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (KJV) . . . GOD had made him a little lower than the angels, for a little time, while CHRIST was on Earth. GOD had made the Man, MESSIAH, Who was a little less than GOD for His time on Earth.
And hast crowned him with glory and honor . . . CHRIST was indeed crowned with glory and honor by His FATHER, and only He can actually crown and restore fallen and sinful man to the original glory and dominion as GOD desired. CHRIST, as GOD’S Representative, received His crown and dominion, not so much for Himself, but for man’s good and in his place.
*****GOD in and through CHRIST, had graciously and wonderfully made a Way to restore sinful man to his primitive and happy estate, in which he was just a little below the angels; from which he had fallen by disobeying GOD. When the Lord JESUS made Old Testament appearances, He came as the Angel of the LORD; but when He came to Bethlehem, He came much lower than that . . . He came to the level of Man (Jn.1:14). Angel of the LORD: (Gen.16:7, 9-11; 22:11, 15; Ex.3:2; Num.22:22-27, 31-35; Judg.6:11-12, 21-22; 13:3, 13, 15-21; 1 Ki.19:7; 2 Ki.1:3, 15; 19:35; 1 Chron.21:12, 15-16; Ps.34:7). Many times the Angel of the LORD was the incarnate CHRIST JESUS.
Psalm 8:6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: (KJV)
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands . . . all power in Heaven and in Earth was given to CHRIST when He was raised from the dead, and ascended on high, and was set down at the right Hand of GOD (Mk.16:19; Lk.22:69; Acts 2:33; 7:55-56; Rom.8:34; Col.3:1; Heb.10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet.3:22). He was declared LORD and CHRIST (Acts 2:36); LORD of the hosts of Heaven (Mal.4:1. 3), of all the angels there, King of saints (Rev.15:3), King of kings, and Lord of lords (Rev.17:4. 19:16). All things in Heaven and Earth, which GOD has made, are put into His Hands, to serve His cause and glory, and for the good of His people; for He is Head over all things in the church. This is a much greater territory than was given to the first man, Adam (Gen.1:28). Thou madest him to have dominion . . . CHRIST JESUS, Who being in the form of GOD, and equal with GOD, for a time emptied Himself, and made Himself of no reputation; was afterwards highly exalted, and had a Name above every name (Phil.2:6-9).
Thou hast put all things under his feet . . . or put them in subjection to CHRIST, and as it is interpreted: Hebrews 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. (KJV)
*****Good angels depend on Him, and adore Him, while evil angels and devils are subject to Him (1 Pet.3:22), whether they want to or not; and so too are wicked men, whose power and wrath He is able to restrain; and the church is subject to CHRIST, as her Head; and so too all good men, willingly and whole-heartedly, and from a deep heart-felt love and fear, obey His commands. Dear one, all creatures in the Earth, air and sea, are subject to Him, whether they think so or not!
Psalm 8:7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; (KJV)
All sheep and oxen . . . all the tame animals, which are useful for food and clothing, the flocks and herds (Gen.1:26). Nothing is clearer than the control which man has over flocks and herds, making them obedient to his use and his will.
Yea, and the beasts of the field . . . the wild beasts, which he can make use of to destroy and devour his enemies, the reference is to the power which man has of subduing the wild beasts; of capturing them, and making them serve his purposes; of preventing their increase and their destructions; and of taming them so that they shall obey his will, and become his servants.
No animal has ever shown itself superior to man’s power and skill.
Psalm 8:8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. (KJV)
The fowl of the air . . . these GOD rained around the tents of the Israelites for their relief (Ps.78:27), and can command them to feed His people, as the ravens did Elijah (1 Ki.17:4); or to destroy His enemies (Jer.15:3; Ps.50:10).
And the fish of the sea . . . examples of CHRIST'S power over them, and of their being at His command, and for His service (Mat.17:27).
And whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas . . . some understand this of ships, made by the wisdom and skill of men, in which they pass through the paths of the sea, and fish in the midst of it. The Targum is, and leviathan, which passes through the paths of the sea. See (Isa.27:1). Some interpret all these things in a symbolic way; and some of the ancients by sheep understood believers among the Gentiles; by oxen, the Jews; by the beasts of the field, idolaters and profane persons; by the fowls of the air, angels; and by the fish of the sea, devils: but these are explained by another who say that sheep, are common members of the churches; oxen are those that labor in the Word and doctrine; the beasts of the field are aliens from the city and Kingdom of GOD; men fierce and cruel (Isa.11:6); the fowl of the air are those lifted up with pride and vanity; and the fish of the sea are those immersed in worldly pleasures. Maybe it all should be interpreted literally; from where it may be observed, that what was lost by the first Adam is restored by the second; and that believers have a free use of all the creatures through CHRIST . . . and not only the things that are mentioned here are subject to Him, but everything else, everywhere . . . dear one, there is NOTHING that is not put under His control.
Hebrews 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. (KJV)
Psalm 8:9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (KJV)
O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! . . . the Psalm ends with the same words with which it began; which shows that the sense of this, with which the psalmist was affected, continued with him, and doubtless increased, after confirming it, by the instances he was led to take notice of (8:1).
*****This repeats Psalms 8:1, and summarizes the main reason of the Psalm, to give glory to Israel’s MESSIAH, our CHRIST, and especially for the final restoration that He will bring about in the latter days, when He will be All in all (1 Cor.12:6; 15:28; Eph.1:23; Col.3:11). So it is that the writer properly closes this brief but beautiful song of praise with the terms of admiration with which it was opened.
Psalm 8 Prophecies Fulfilled in New Testament
#1. The mouths of babes perfect His praise. Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. (KJV) Fulfilled: Matthew 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? (KJV)
#2. His humiliation and exaltation. Psalm 8:5-6 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: (KJV) Fulfilled: Hebrews 2:5-9 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (KJV)
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