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The Lord Has Been Mindful Of Me - Psalm 8

A beautiful hymn that I love to sing is titled, “The Lord Has Been Mindful of Me”. This is the title that I have assigned to our message today. The chorus to that song exclaims, “The Lord has been mindful of me! He blesses and blesses again! My God is the God of the living! How excellent is His name.” Those words were written by Lloyd O. Sanderson in 1948 and I believe we all can agree wholeheartedly with him. It is amazing how songs can make us ponder God and all that He has done to bless us. These hymns are helpful in deepening our faith and they lead us in worship of our awesome God.

Please turn your Bible to Psalm 8, where we find such a song that really makes us think about not only the majesty of God but our rich blessings in Him. We pick up right where we left off in our series on Sermons in Psalms. Today in our lesson David will start this song with a chorus, then add the verses, and then end with the chorus again for emphasis. To be fair, this psalm has many levels and layers. Some compare this psalm to a sandwich where the chorus is the bread at the beginning and end and the verses are the meat and toppings, or substance of this psalm. In either case, we will travel from heaven to earth, we will consider things above us and below us, which are over our head and under our feet. While the primary purpose of this psalm is to honor God, which will be evident by the many uses of “You” and “Your” throughout the lyrics to describe the work of God, the unique lesson for us is that God wants to share His glory with us and let us reign with Him. Don’t miss this valuable point in our study. This passage is quoted in the New Testament on a number of occasions to help us make spiritual application of it to our lives as Christians. We will be sure to examine these texts as a part of our lesson where it applies. What is so remarkable about David is that he was a mighty warrior who could kill lions and bears with his own hands while slaying giants among men with a sling and a smooth stone, but he could sit down in the evening underneath the canopy of heaven and meditate on God while examining the starry sky and write a worship song that challenges us to remain humble before God but at the same time to recognize the honor that God has richly bestowed upon us. It is sad that we don’t revere the name of God like we should throughout the world. I fear that we overlook the glory and majesty that God has put on display for us in His creation. As a part of that creation, I am also made sorrowful by the fact that the people of God do not live with the realization of their glorified state in the eyes of God. We were made in His image and likeness and even though man was made from the dust, the Lord decided to give us a special place in the scheme of all things so that we would have a pivotal role on this earth that would reflect our heavenly glory given to us by our majestic God.

This psalm begins, “For the choir director; on the Gittith” (probably an instrument from Gath or a melodic tune from this region that was to be used by those singing). This is also said to be “A Psalm of David”. It is inspired of God from the anointed King David and he is going to ask one of the most insightful questions that I am certain will cross your mind at one point or another, if it hasn’t already, “What is man that You take thought of him and the son of man that you care for him?” Why would the God of the universe think of me and you, and beyond that, care for us? Why is God mindful of me and you while we live on this earth? Why is he so invested in crowning us with His glory in heaven? We will search for answers together today.

Let’s read this psalm before we enter our study this morning:

“O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! 2 From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease. 3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; 4 What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? 5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! 6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, 7 All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, 8 The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!”

The Lord has been mindful of me: I will worship Him and honor His majestic name (vs. 1-2, 9)

The name of the Lord is to be exalted in all the earth

The first use of the word “LORD” in this first verse of the psalm (in capital letters) is the name for God. Yahweh is His name. The name of God was so sacred, ancient Israelites were afraid to speak it or even write it in fear that they would use His name in vain or misspell it. In some cases they considered the name too holy to write. The second use of the word Lord, where David says “our Lord” is the word for “Master”. God is Sovereign over all things and we recognize our place of humility before Him.

Unfortunately, we live in the “OMG” generation and using the name of God in vain has become a part of everyday vocabulary. We need to get back to holding the name of the LORD in high regard and be hurt when we see His name used in an irreverent manner. One of the ten commandments in Exodus 20:7 was,

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.”

Then we see this teaching upheld in Deuteronomy 5:11 and throughout the remainder of the Bible.

We need to spend time calling on the name of the Lord in prayer while we praise and extol Him to the place of honor that truly shows His worth. We call this worship. This is a call to worship! David uses the word “our” because this was a psalm for all to sing to God.

God’s splendor is displayed above the heavens

We hear David in Psalm 19:1,

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”

He goes on in that passage through verse 6 to talk about how many volumes of information the creation of God speaks and yet it doesn’t use words. The heavens declare the majesty of God by reflecting the glory of the Creator. Paul told us in the New Testament that even if we didn’t have a revelation from God, a preacher to preach, etc. that we would be without excuse because

“since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

Look around you! The creation is shouting it’s Maker’s praise. David is joining this adoration of God and invites all of us to do the same. How excellent is His name!

From this we learn that there is value not only in reflecting on the revelation of God in His word, but from time to time it is important to look up and also take a look around you and count your blessings, meditate on the awesome wonders that we find in the world, pause and take inventory of the joys that can be found in each day. These are gifts from God! David says there is immense value in looking into the heavens to reflect on the things that God has done. This should leads us to praise the majesty of God!

God chooses the humble to shout His praises to put the wicked to shame

This second verse might seem strange or out of place. But if you recall in the psalms preceding this one, David spoke with the LORD often about his enemies and asked Him to intervene, to rise up and destroy them. Here David acknowledges an important truth. If you want to silence those that seek to harm you, keep entrusting your soul to your Creator and praise Him. It will put those that intend to harm us to shame. The best example of this is Jesus! While suffering He uttered no threats. He did not return evil for evil. He entrusted His soul to His Father in His hardships and even death. This is where we get the true meaning of this passage.

During the triumphal entry into Jerusalem while Jesus was riding into the city, in Matthew 21:15-16, we find this passage quoted,

“But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He (Jesus) had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, ‘Hosanna, to the Son of David’, they became indignant and said to Him, ‘Do You hear what these children are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF’?”

Wow! We know that Jesus wanted the little children to be able to come to Him. We also know that Jesus said unless we are converted and become like little children we cannot enter heaven. There is something special about the innocent, humble praise of children.

Several thoughts are being expressed here by Jesus. First, he acknowledges that the children are praising Him. Next, they were saying “Hosanna” which means “Save, I pray”. In other words, they were crying out in praise asking Jesus to be their Savior. The point that really stands out and would have struck a chord in the heart of the Pharisees, is that Jesus was quoting a passage from Psalm 8 which clearly to the Jews would have been understood to be in reference to the praise of God. Jesus, as the Son of God was accepting the praises of the people as God. He is the exact representation of God’s image and He came to reveal the Father’s glory to us (Heb. 1:1-3). He was in the beginning, He was with God and He was God (John 1:1). He became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). He came to explain God (John 1:18).

In the psalm, David clearly is making a distinction between those that praise the Lord and serve Him as Master and those that will continue to do evil and deny God His rightful praise. When the text says that the Pharisees and scribes were indignant, Jesus quotes this verse saying that they represented those that were adversaries, enemies and revengeful that would eventually cease. This was a powerful message from Jesus, who was here called the Son of David, which was a clear reference to His kingship and current position at the right hand of His Father as King of Kings and Lord of Lords over His church.

Whether people on the earth want to acknowledge God as their Master or not, one day every soul will come before the throne of judgment, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord. Again, this is an invitation to worship, but many will continue to misuse the name of the LORD and be rebellious, refusing to acknowledge the will of God for their life.

Okay, so we have the bread for our sandwich, let’s get to the meat. Are you ready?

The Lord has been mindful of me, I will consider the work of His fingers and rule with Him (vs. 3-8)

We need to consider the work of God

Twice in the section of the psalm, David mentions the work of God’s fingers or hands. The first time, he talks about how he takes time to consider the things that God has done. I get a picture of David on a cool summer night, under a cloudless sky scanning the stars, the moon, the glow of the reflection of the sun on the moon and thinking about how small he really was. Perhaps he felt insignificant in that moment. Remember that David didn’t use a telescope to see the heavens, but David was moved by the experience nonetheless.

David asks as a result of scanning over the vastness of the heavens,

“What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?”

Before we try to answer the questions that David asks, let us point out that David knows that God thinks about him and that He cares for him. David just wants to know why God would do this in the midst of the enormous splendor of creation before his eyes. It might be a question you ask as you stand before the ocean or perhaps when you have boarded an airplane and you are 33,000 feet in the air hovering above the clouds, but at some point in your life you will have to wrestle with this query before God, why are you mindful of me and why do you care for me? On top of our smallness, we also battle our flesh and our daily struggles with sin. Why does God even want me?

Listen, we have launched spacecraft into outer space that send back pictures of our universe that David never had the opportunity to consider. If David was so touched by a starry sky, why are we not impressed with what we can now see and understand.

Consider a few of the amazing points made by Louis Giglio in his presentation called “Indescribable”:

“We don’t know how big the universe is. We call it the “known universe,” in other words we haven’t built a big enough telescope to see exactly what is out there that God has created, but every time we build a bigger telescope, we are wowed once again. One of the dilemmas of scientist is that they think there must be more inhabited planets in the universe. One of the arguments is that if the universe is just simply a habitation for you and me, it is way oversized. What if the primary purpose of the universe is not to just simply be a home for you and me but to show off the splendor and the majesty and the greatness and the glory of the God who created it all. When God said “Let there be light…” light came traveling out of the mouth of God 186,000 miles a second. That’s the speed of light. That is so fast that a beam of light could circle the earth 7 times every second. The Bible says, “By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, the starry hosts by the breath of His mouth.” We live in a subdivision of the universe called the “Milky Way Galaxy.” The “Milky Way Galaxy” itself is so big that we have to use “light years” to get around in it. Light goes 5.88 trillion miles in a year… that is a “light year.” The “Milky Way Galaxy” consists of billions of stars. Scientists say that there are hundreds of billions of other subdivision and galaxies beside the Milky Way in the known universe. If we were to count the billions of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, one star per second it would take us 2,500 years just to count the stars in our galaxy (the Milky Way). Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is 100,000 light years across. Scientists say that our solar system is the size of a quarter, and the Milky Way Galaxy is the size of the entire North American Continent in relative size. In other words, we are not even that consequential in our own subdivision called the Milky Way Galaxy. Neil Armstrong said, “I remember on the way home on Apollo 11 it suddenly struck me that the tiny dot, pretty and blue was the earth. I put my thumb up and shut one eye and my thumb blotted out planet earth. But I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” We, man, are significantly small, but it is “significant insignificance”. Because as tiny as we are, we are known and prized by the LORD who created us and loves us and knows us even though we are teeny, tiny little bitty people on a little bitty speck floating through the vast cosmos that He has made. Just like He knows every star and calls them by name, He knows each one of us can call you by name. The Sun is 10,000 degree Fahrenheit on the surface. In its raging intensity is like billions of nuclear bombs going off every second. The sun is so strong it is sending light out at 186,000 miles a second. It only take the beam of light 8 minutes to cover the 93 million mile journey from the sun to your skin on earth… and it came out of the mouth of God. The Sun is 100 times the diameter the earth. A scientist once said that it would take the gross national product of the United States of the America for seven million years for your local power company to run the sun for one second, yet the sun, is one of the billions of stars in our subdivision of the galaxy called the Milky Way, which is among hundreds of billions of subdivisions in the known universe that God made. Then 440 light years out we come to this beautiful constellation called “Pleiades” which is mentioned many times in Scripture. In the Old Testament books, the prophets, and in Job we see this mentioned. In speaking to Job God says, “Job, can you hold the Pleiades in your hand?” 1,000 light years out we come to the Vela Pulsar. The Vela Pulsar is making sounds that can now be picked up and detected. The heavens truly do declare the glory of God. 8,000 light years out is the Hourglass Nebula… a dying star emitting tons of gases that are cooling and creating this beautiful thing in outer space. It reminds us that God is watching. God sees everything and knows everything. 28 million light years out you come to the Sombrero Galaxy… it is 50,000 light years wide and trillions of miles thick, The Hubble telescope is 353 miles above the earth, and gives us stunning images like we have never seen before. It reveals to us the magnificence of God’s creation. We go past the Sombrero Galaxy to the Whirlpool Galaxy… the darling of astronomy… 31 million light years away. It is called a grand design galaxy. It is made up of hundreds of billions of stars (Some scientist say 300 to 500 hundreds billion stars). Some have stated that every second in the universe a star is born… stars as big as our sun and bigger, and God is just naming them all and putting them where they are, in His universe. The Scripture says that through Jesus, God made the world. Paul wrote, “He created all things, things in heaven and things on the earth.” Everywhere you look its God saying “I love you!” Long before you decided what you were going to do with God… God decided what He was going to do with you. And that was to not give you what your sins deserved, but to give His Son what your sins deserved. And to give you the gift of Himself and an invitation to live forever in a big, big story that is all about Him. Its grace and hope. Its love so amazing and love so divine, it demands, deserves, should get back our soul and our life and our all.”

In Isaiah 40:25-26, the prophet Isaiah recorded the words of God,

“To whom then will you compare Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. Raise your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who brings out their multitude by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing.”

The Bible also says that God knows who you are and even the number of hairs on your head. God is not disconnected and disinterested in us. He is very invested in us and desires that we stop living small and realize the grand scheme of things and what He has in store for us.

The next place that Psalm 8 is recorded in the New Testament is in Hebrews 2:6-8. For the sake of context we will read verses 1-8,

“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every violation and act of disobedience received a just punishment, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders, and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. For He did not subject to angels the world to come, about which we are speaking. But someone has testified somewhere, saying, “What is man, that You think of him? Or a son of man, that You are concerned about him? You have made him for a little while lower than angels (the word in Hebrew in Psalm 8 is Elohim [God]; You have crowned him with glory and honor; You have put everything in subjection under his feet.” For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.”

We don’t have time to dissect that text, but get this main point. We have been offered a great salvation in Christ and God has crowned us with glory and honor and the amazing role of ruling over the things that He created until the day when we are glorified with Him in the new heaven and new earth where righteousness dwells. Angels weren’t even bestowed with this special reign. Rather, only for a little while, are we made lower than angels on earth, after which we will even judge angels said the apostle Paul. We are already seated in the heavenly places with Christ and one day we will reign with Him forevermore. In the meantime, we are to have dominion over all created things. This stems from Genesis 1:26-28, when God commanded Adam to have that dominion over creatures on earth.

Many people have concluded that Psalm 8 must be a Messianic psalm about Jesus because it is quoted in Matthew and in Hebrews in contexts where applicable to Christ Jesus the Lord. Some claim that since Paul said all things are under the feet of Christ in Ephesians 1:22 as head over the church that this cannot apply to me and you (See also I Cor. 15:27) The fact is that these verses are speaking of His life as God in the flesh. The Father prepared a body for His Son to come and do His will in. Since Jesus emptied Himself and left heaven to come and be made like us, His brethren in the flesh, He was able to undergo the human experience, understand temptation, pain, sickness, fear, loss, broken relationships, trials and even for a moment separation from God. Most importantly He endured the death of the cross for the sins of the world and after being buried He was resurrected on the third day to give us all hope beyond this world. This earth is not the end all be all.

Jesus ascended into heaven and said, I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am there you may be also (See John 14:1-6). Heal also added, "And you know the way where I am going." Thomas didn’t understand so Jesus said,

“I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

He is going share heaven with us one day. In the meantime, He expects us to embrace this as a present reality. For example in Revelation 5:10, the living creatures of heaven sang a new song,

“Worthy are You to take the scroll and to break its seals; for You were slaughtered, and You purchased people for God with Your blood from every tribe, language, people, and nation. You have made them into a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign upon the earth.”

We are reigning now with Christ, and one day we will share His glory all because He died for us on the cross and redeemed us and we responded to the good news to serve Him as Lord. As members of the church we are priests in this kingdom before God and we reign now. This has to sink in or we will miss the answer to David’s question, “What is man…?” Now do you understand why God is mindful of us? He has a vital role for us to fulfill in the body of this life. Do you know why God cares for you? He demonstrated that by sending His only begotten Son to lay down His earthly life so that we could all spend eternity together. Right now as you learn more and more about the majesty and exalted name of God or as we discover new details about the work of His hands in creation, I hope that you are led to say with David, “O LORD, our Lord and Master, how majestic or excellent is Your name in all the earth!”

We read in Revelation 3:21,

“He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne."

God has plans for you and me. Are you listening and following the Maker’s plan for your life? You can start today! It’s not too late!

Do you stand in awe when you consider the creation of God. While it should make you feel small, what if your feelings of being a blip on the map are only to help you see the glorious everything that is God. Once you come to that conclusion, you begin to realize that life is more than the things that we often make it about. Life is all about God, His glory and the glory that we share in Christ. If only we could keep this truth in every thought, word and action. Life looks totally different through this worldview.

Maybe you haven’t made it that far yet. You might not even be a Christian and a child of God. I want to help you with that. Because of Jesus death, we can respond to the gospel invitation by hearing with faith, that faith includes believing that Jesus is the Son of God and confessing his name after deciding that you will turn away from your sins and then you will be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

From this moment on you live in hope of the glory of God as a servant in the kingdom of the Lord. When that kingdom is delivered back to God one day, you can rest assured you are a part of this blood bought body of followers known as the church of Christ.

If you are a struggling Christian, I am also here to help you. I want to pray with you over your challenges and help restore you to being active in the things of the Lord once again. If we fall short, we don’t lay down and die in our sins, we confess our faults and God is faithful to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. How can I encourage you today?

Reach out with your spiritual needs and I will get you connected to a good church in your area that can assist you in your walk with the Lord.

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