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TEXT: Psalm 8
SUBJECT: Psalm 8: You Fit In
There are three kinds of people in the world: leaders, followers, and loners. I don't know much about following or leading, but when it comes to being a loner, I can speak with authority. I have never studied the topic, but I don't need to. Because I am the topic! All of my life I have been a loner, and I can tell you why.
It is not because I love being alone. It is not because I hate being with other people. I am a loner because I don't know where I fit in. I know my roles in life: husband, father, pastor, friend, etc. But I have never felt comfortable in any of them. I always feel like an actor playing a part, and not the real thing. This is why I'm a loner. Because I don't fit in.
If I were the only person to ever feel this way, I should be in therapy instead of the pulpit: but I'm not the only person to feel this way. A great many people do-and maybe you're one of them.
If you are, you've come to the right place! Psalm 8 tells you who you are and where you fit in. But reading the Psalm-or preaching it-is not enough.
We have to believe it. Since faith is the gift of God, we need to ask for it. And, since faith pleases God, He'll be happy to give it to us. Thus, I invite you to join me in the prayer of the demoniac's father-
Lord, I believe;
Help my unbelief!
Psalm 8 is about our place in God's world. But, before David gets to that, he reminds us of God's place in our world, vv.1-2-
O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic is your name in all
Who has set your glory above the
Out of the mouths of babes and infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of your enemies,
That you may silence the enemy and
He calls God, LORD or 'Yahweh' or 'Jehovah'. Hardly anyone at the time was an atheist, and many people called their gods Elohim. a name often applied in the Bible to the one true God. But David disallows any confusion! Yahweh is the God of the Covenant, the Lord who made promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and is keeping them! He promised them many descendants, a good land, mighty kings, and best of all, His own special Presence. The Lord has made good on His Word! Israel outnumbers the stars for number; they're living well and safely in a rich land, David is their king, and he's ruling them well and protecting them from their enemies. Best of all, God is dwelling between the cherubim in the Tabernacle. The Lord is with His people, blessing them, forgiving them, changing their lives for the better. And not because of their faithfulness-but because of His own!
Yahweh is the object of Israel's worship, and He is also their king. Thus, David calls Him, 'Lord', and this time he uses a different Hebrew word. The word is Adonai, and it means 'the king'. In other words, David is only God's executive; he is ruling Israel in the name of its true king, the Lord. David's rule is not perfect, but it is good (for the most part) and points to a distant Son of his whose government will be identical to God'! Whoever sees this future king will see in His ordinary, human face and form, God Himself-
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the Incarnate Deity!
This is whom David is praising! It's whom he invites us to praise in this Psalm. For, you notice in the fine print, it's a public Psalm, a hymn for the whole nation to learn and sing at Temple and in their homes.
What's David praising the Lord for?
He's praising Him for the Creation, heaven and earth, which bear the stamp of divinity. God's Name is seen all around us; His glory fills the sky and outer space!
Scholars call this the argument from design. No one with a brain in his head can fail to see design in the world. It doesn't look like things just happened; that two Hs and an O (or is it the other way around?) bumped into each other and poof! There's the ocean! The world looks like it was designed and built by somebody-because it was! If we know a good car has got to be the product of a good designer, engineer, and auto worker, we also have to know that a world of this size and beauty and order and complexity has got to have been made by a God of infinite power and wisdom and artistry!
Looking at the earth by day and the stars at night, David goggles at the greatness of God and breaks into song-
O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the
The glory of God shines so clearly in His creation, that children-even babies-can see it. When 'thinkers' can't, when they find other ways to explain the world, the naïve wonder of children puts them to shame. God catches the wise in the their own 'wisdom'. He makes imbeciles of men who think they're smarter than He is!
Thus, David opens the Psalm with a burst of praise! He closes it this way, too. V. 9 is word-for-word the same as the first part of v.1.
This means: We will never know ourselves, until we know God. We live in His world, and until we believe this, we'll never know where we are, what we are, or how we fit in.
In light of the sun and moon and stars, and all the other big and magnificent things God has made, David turns to his own puniness, and wonders--
What is man?
How do we fit in? Compared to the wonders of nature, we seem like nothing. The 70's rock band called us and our short, soon forgotten lives-
Dust in the wind.
Of course, we know when dust blows in our faces, but does anyone pay attention to a single grain of it? Can we even see the speck? Can we distinguish one from another? This is what the human race seems to be! How old is the earth? Scientists say more than three billion years; others say it's a lot younger than that.but, how old is the earth compared to you and me? Ecclesiastes contrasts it and us-
One generation passes away and another generation comes; but the earth abides forever.
This is not precise theology, but you get the point! The world is old and durable; we're not. What is our life? James wonders-
It is a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.
This is true of nobodies like you and me. And of the 'somebodies' too. Isaiah compares even great men to grass and flowers. Popping up in the spring and wilting in the fall. Here today, gone tomorrow, that's the human plight.
So, if the world is big and strong and lasting and we're not, what are we? Dust in the wind?
We're the things God is mindful of and the things He visits! Read Genesis 1 and you'll see whatever thought God put into the sun and moon, trees and grasses, fish, birds, and cattle, He put far more time and care into creating us. If the world was created for blue whales, He wouldn't have made dry land! If the world was for the birds, He wouldn't have made the cats! Go back and read the first two chapters in the Bible, and you'll see everything was designed and made and ordered for man's sake.
No, we're not as big as an elephant or as fast as a cheetah or as old as a redwood, but God cares more for us than He does everything else put together!
Did you watch the Wizard of OZ? It's not how much you love that matters, but how much you are loved. And this is what gives us our identity: God's love for us. The Lord did not become a tree to redeem the trees or a dog to save lost dogs. Or even an angel to reclaim Satan and his crew. No, what He became is a man! He took upon Himself the seed of Abraham!
Because God loves us more than His other creatures, He made us lords under His Lordship. He gave us dominion over the animals.
When man was right, he was fit to rule the world, to exercise the authority of God and to do it wisely and with compassion.
But then something catastrophic occurred: we fell into sin and started using the world for our own ends, and not God's. Instead of caring for the forests, for example we began clear-cutting them. Instead of mining the earth for its riches, we began strip mining the land leaving it broken, ugly, poisoned and unusable.
Oh, people of good will protested these devastations, but when they got power they used it in the same way, for themselves.
The luster of our Lordship was lost. A better Man than Adam was needed!
And He was given. Jesus is the Second Man Adam. What the earthly man failed to do, the heavenly man succeeded in doing!
Read the Gospels and you'll see what dominion looks like. Jesus controlled the sea and animals and trees and everything. Instead of abusing them, He used them as God would. Thus, He exercised the Lordship Adam should have, but didn't.
Then, loving the world as He did, He died for it, and in particular, died for sinners. When God raised Him from the dead, He became the Lord of the Earth, committed to renewing all things and setting the world right once and for all.
This has not happened yet. But it will. Jesus will return and with Him, Eden, only better and not losable as the other one was.
United to Him by faith, we will have a place in the New World, a world of harmony a world of love a world without sickness and death and all the things that make this world so hard and ugly.
By His Gospel, God invites you to join Jesus in the New Creation, to find yourself, and, for the first time in your life, to really belong.
So who are you? By nature you're an image bearer of God. This is where your dignity comes from: you're somebody because you image God in the world. In the Fall, the image has been distorted. But in Christ, it has been repaired. The brothers and sisters to your left and right are being remade in the image of Him who made them, in righteousness, knowledge, and true holiness. And so are you. Image Bearers, this is what you are now, in part, and with the Resurrection, will be in whole.
Do you fit in? Yes you do; you have a place in God's world, whether you're a senator or a janitor makes no difference! That place is important to God. He loves you and you're one of His children. I once asked a man who his favorite child was. He said, 'All of them are my favorite!' Your feelings don't matter! It doesn't matter if I'm neurotic or not! It doesn't matter if you think you're a misfit or not! What matters is that you belong to God, and therefore, you have a place in His world now and forever. What is your place? Wherever God puts you. That's the place to be. And to be happy.
God bless you, everyone. Amen.
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