2005-07-30 - Awe and Majesty
Psalm 8, Part 2
Introduction: In this lesson, we return to the world of poetry, the world of the psalmist. And here the psalmist is once again David. Psalm 8 is very familiar and is clearly Messianic in thrust.
In fact, the author of Hebrews applies it directly to Jesus in Chapter 2:9. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God, he might taste death for everyone."
As we usually do, we will first examine any background that we can find. Next we will review the text itself. Finally, we will see what the passage has for us. Initially, we find the psalm is calling us to take responsibility for the care of this creation around us. Second, we need to be touched with a sense of awe and an awareness of the majesty and greatness of our God and our Savior. Finally, we must ask if our lives reflect the reality of these truths in all we do and say.
Background: Generally most scholars and commentators agree the author of this Psalm is David. Most also find that no particular incident in his life can be identified as the source of the piece. It stands, therefore, as a message of praise for God and a prophetic statement regarding the Messiah and His kingdom authority.
Now we can clearly state this psalm is Messianic, primarily because it is directly applied to Jesus in the New Testament. We have already seen one example in Hebrews, but it is also quoted in Matthew and in 1 Corinthians. On the other hand, Leupold notes this does not limit interpretation to only a Messianic focus. If the psalm had not been quoted in the New Testament, the messianic aspect might not come up at all in interpretation.2
We can therefore find general applications for mankind, but we must never lose sight of the specific application to the ministry of Jesus. And so the glory of God is made manifest in His creation of man, and the more so when He takes on the form of man Himself and becomes the son of man, that is the Messiah, Jesus.
2 Leupold, H. C., Exposition of Psalms, Baker Books, 1974, p. 100-101.2 Leupold, H. C., Exposition of Psalms, Baker Books, 1974, p. 100-101.
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