In Psalm 8, the psalmist has set his gaze on the vastness and beauty of creation. He understands what he sees is indicative of something greater than what the eye beholds and so he is filled with awe and humbled before the majesty of God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, as we say in the Creed.
His musings prompt us to ponder too the mysteries of the infinite and the created order.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
On our worst days, we, like the people of Babel, seek to make a name for ourselves. On our best days, we understand how small, needful, and unworthy we are and cry out for the glory of his name, for something greater than ourselves, saying, O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
On our worst days, we long for control and understanding, attempting to map out plans for God. On our best days, we proceed simply with the faith of a child, surrendering to his ways.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
On our worst days, we live and act as if we are the center of the universe. Everything we do and say is born out of self-preservation and self-gratification. On our best days, we wonder with the psalmist, Who are we that you are mindful of us?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
On our worst days, we question our own worth and we treat others as if they have little or no value. On our best days, we know that all are made in the image of God, crowned with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion 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 along the paths of the seas.
On our worst days, we act like this world belongs to us and we stomp on it, polluting it and threatening to destroy it, failing to care for it as it deserves. On our best days, we, with the psalmist, marvel at its beauty and we understand our duty to lovingly oversee and steward this precious gift.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
On our worst days, we are concerned most about our own reputation. On our best days, we are concerned most about God’s reputation.
Indeed, O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!