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Psalm 8 1
1 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. 2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? 5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. 6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, 8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

solar systemBackground 2

This psalm 8 is a solemn meditation on, and admiration of, the glory and greatness of God. Written by David, the psalm reflects the times and thoughts David must have had as he provided for his flock as a shepherd. It begins as it ends with the same acknowledgment of the excellency of God’s name. It is proposed for proof (v. 1) that God’s name is excellent in all the earth, and then it is repeated as proved (with a “quod erat demonstrandum’’—which was to be demonstrated) in the last verse. For the proof of God’s glory David gives instances of God’s goodness to man; for God’s goodness is his glory.

  1. For making Himself and His great name known to us (v. 1).
  2. For making use of the weakest of the children of men to serve God’s own purposes (v. 2).
  3. For making even the heavenly bodies useful to man (v. 3, v. 4).
  4. For making man to have dominion over the creatures in this lower world, and thereby placing mankind just below that of the angels (v. 5-8).

This psalm is, in the New Testament, applied to Christ and the work of our redemption which Christ carried out; the honor given by the children of men to Christ (v. 2, compared with Mt. 21:16) and the honor placed upon the children of men by Christ, both in his humiliation, when he was made a little lower than the angels, and then in his exaltation, when he was crowned with glory and honor. Compare v. 5, v. 6, with Heb. 2:6-8; 1 Co. 15:27.

When we are observing the glory of God in the kingdom of nature and God’s providence given to us, we should be led to the contemplation of Christ’s glory in the kingdom of God’s grace.

Biblical Truths and Theology 3

David seeks to give God all the glory due to his name. How bright this glory shines even in this lower world! 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 through the world. No name is so universal, no power and influence so generally felt, as those of the Savior of mankind. But how much brighter it shines in the upper world! We, on this earth, only hear God’s excellent name, and praise that; the angels and blessed spirits above, see his glory, and praise that; yet he is exalted far above even their blessing and praise. Sometimes the grace of God appears wonderfully in young children. Sometimes the power of God brings to pass great things in his church, by very weak and unlikely instruments, that the excellency of the power might the more evidently appear to be of God, and not of man. This he does, because of his enemies, that God could easily silence them.

We are to consider the heavens, that man may be directed to set his affections on things above. What is man, so mean a creature, that he should be so honored! Why are we so sinful a creature, that we should be favored this way! Man has sovereign dominion over the inferior creatures, under God, and is appointed their lord. This refers to Christ. In Hebrews 2:6-8, the apostle, 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, were exemplified in the Lord Jesus. With good reason does David conclude as he began, Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth, which has been honored with the presence of our Savior, and is still enlightened by His gospel, and governed by His wisdom and power! What words can reach his praises, who has a right to our obedience as our Redeemer?

Items for Discussion

  • God is to be glorified, why?
  • What are the benefits of meditation?
  • Is society doing more or less these days? Why?
  • What can we do to help ourselves, our friends, family, neighbors think more about our God?

 

Luke 11:24-28
24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.” 27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” 28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Background 4

In chapter 11 of Luke, Christ teaches his disciples to pray and encourages them to be frequent, instant, and overly persistent in prayer (v. 1-13). Christ also fully answers the charge of blasphemy by the Pharisees, who claim that by casting out devils, he has made a pact with Beelzebub, the prince of the devils, and shows the absurdity and wickedness of it (v. 14-26). Christ shows the honor of obedient disciples to be greater than that of his own mother (v. 27, v. 28). He criticizes the men of that generation for their infidelity and obstinacy, notwithstanding all the means of evidence offered to them of their guilt (v. 29-36). Finally, Christ severely scolds the Pharisees, their own lack of conscience, and their hatred and persecution those that have borne witnessed to their wickedness (v. 37-54).

Biblical Truths and Theology 5

Verses 24-26 Jesus had just sent a demon out of a man. Of course Christ did not make people free so that evil spirits could enter their lives again. People have a choice whether they will serve God or not. In the story, the man chose not to allow God to rule his life. That wrong decision gave the demon the opportunity to return to that man. This story, therefore, does not mean that the demon will return to that man. The man is in charge of those decisions.

The evil spirit thinks of a person as its home. If it leaves that home, it will wander in dry places. People thought of dry deserts as the place where there were evil spirits. This evil spirit looks for a place of rest in the dry desert places. It does not find such a place of rest. So, it returns to the person that it calls its ‘house’.

Without the evil spirit, the person’s life had improved. When the evil spirit returns, he finds the person in a better state. But the person has not permitted God to rule his life. So that person is available for the evil spirit to come in again. The evil spirit finds 7 worse evil spirits. And they all make their home in the person. So, the person is in an even worse state than before.

In this story, God blesses the man by removing is handicap but, through choice, the man had not allowed God to rule his life; he had not allowed the Holy Spirit to enter that empty place. So, the man was open to the return of the evil spirit. When the Holy Spirit rules a person’s life, there is no room for an evil spirit to enter.

Verses 27-28 The woman thought that it would be wonderful to be the mother of Jesus. She would be happy if her son was as great as him. His mother must be happy because God had blessed her with such a son. That was true but Jesus spoke of something more important. The natural relationship with him is not so important. But God blesses those people who have a right attitude to his word. They hear the word of God and they obey it.

Items for Discussion

  • When something good happens to you, something very good, how do you know if God was involved in the process?
  • Why are we vulnerable when we leave God out of our lives?
  • Do we recognize all evil?
  • What does a “God Centered” life do to protect us from evil?
  • How do you know if you are “full enough” to be protected from evil?

Discussion Challenge

  • How should a church/congregation keep the lives of its people full?
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