The 17th century German astronomer, Johannes Kepler, was said to be a deeply religious man who was a Creationist.
The story’s told, though it may be apocryphal, that Kepler was troubled by a friend who denied God’s existence. In order to convince him, Kepler constructed a model of the universe with the sun and the planets revolving around it.
When the friend visited his Observatory one day and saw the model, he exclaimed, “How beautiful it is! Who made it?”
Kepler casually replied, “No one made it. It made itself.”
His friend looked at him and said, “Nonsense, tell me who made it.”
Kepler then responded, “Friend, you say that this little toy could not make itself. It is but a very weak imitation of this great universe which, I understood, you believe did make itself.”
Psalm 8 does not argue the existence God as the Creator, but assumes and affirms it. The earth is “filled with His glory.” The heavens are the “work of His fingers.” He “ordained” the moon and the stars. The beasts, the birds, and ocean life, all owe their existence to Jehovah’s creative genius,.
This short Psalm can be summed up in one word–Majesty. God has displayed His majesty throughout the earth, the cosmos, the infant child and all of humankind.
In my notes from Homer Hailey’s Psalms class, he asked this question, “Is this Psalm one of God or of man?” His answer: “God has glorified Himself in the heavens and in man. In view of God’s greatness and majesty, this question then jumps off the page, “What is man that you are mindful of him?
This Psalm professes that God created man, cares for him, and crowns him with a special place just a bit lower than the angelic host but higher than the animal kingdom.
This Psalm leads us to ask the three great questions considered by philosophers, theologians, scientists and religious thinkers through the centuries.
Why am I alive?
Does my life matter?
What on earth am I here for?
These three questions speak to the issue of my existence, my purpose, and my significance. These questions in connection with this Psalm remind us that everything begins and ends with God. Bertrand Russell is credited with saying, “Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.” Although I question the authenticity of this attribution, the sentiment speaks to a scriptural thought.
Psalm 8 resounds with the truth that you are not an accident. You are not an evolved ape. Nor did you originate from a one-celled amoeba. You’re made in the image of God. With a spark of the Divine nature.
Your life matters. You have worthy. Dignity. And purpose. Rick Warren, author of the “Purpose Driven Life,” was right when he wrote, “Nothing matters more than knowing God’s purposes for your life, and nothing can compensate for not knowing them. Without purpose, life is trivial, petty and pointless.”
We have the ability to achieve more than success in life, we can find significance. Tim Tebow once tweeted, “I think the greatest tragedy in life is looking back and saying, ‘I was successful in things that didn’t matter.’” Indeed, leadership guru John Maxwell was right when he wrote, “Success is when I add value to myself. Significance is when I add value to others.”
It’s been observed, that “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” The world has a blurred vision because it sees life through a secular lens. Psalm 8 helps us see ourselves differently. See others differently. And see the world differently. It provides a perspective to see as God sees.
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Ps. 8:1).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
2 responses to “Psalm 8”
Ken, this is a beautiful Psalm, thank you for sharing the blog.
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