Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Psalm 8 – This makes one want to Sing!

Psa 8:1  To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Psa 8:2  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

Psa 8:3  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

Psa 8:4  What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Psa 8:5  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Psa 8:6  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

Psa 8:7  All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

Psa 8:8  The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

Psa 8:9  O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

I am intrigued by the KJV use of the word excellent, while the modern ESV has majestic. It is interesting that both Gill and Henry present this as truly fulfilled in the Gospel.

Also note that Webster defines these two words differently, if I read this correctly “excellent” is richer in true character while “majestic” pertains more to appearance. In this case I think the KJV is the right choice.

EX’CELLENT, a. Being of great virtue or worth; eminent or distinguished for what is amiable, valuable or laudable; as an excellent man or citizen; an excellent judge or magistrate.

1. Being of great value or use, applied to things; remarkable for good properties; as excellent timber; an excellent farm; an excellent horse; excellent fruit.

2. Distinguished for superior attainments; as an excellent artist.

3. Consummate; complete; in an ill sense.

Elizabeth was an excellent hypocrite.

MAJES’TIC, a. [from majesty.] August; having dignity of person or appearance; grand; princely. The prince was majestic in person and appearance.

In his face

Sat meekness,hightened with majestic grace.

1. Splendid; grand.

Get the start of this majestic world.

2. Elevated; lofty.

The least portions must be of the epic kind; all must be grave, majestic and sublime.

3. Stately; becoming majesty; as a majestic air or walk.

Psalms 8:1 Gill

O Lord our God,…. Jehovah, the one God, who is Lord of all angels and men, and in an especial manner Lord and King of saints;

how excellent is thy name in all the earth! by the “name” of God is not meant any particular name of his, by which he is called; but either himself, his nature and perfections; or rather that by which he is made known, and particularly his Gospel; see Joh 17:6; this is excellent in its nature, it being good news, and glad tidings of good things, which display the love, grace, mercy, and kindness of God to men, as well as his wisdom, power, truth, and faithfulness; and in the subject matter of it, Christ and his righteousness, and life and salvation by him, the spiritual blessings of grace it publishes, and the exceeding great and precious promises it contains; and in its usefulness for the enlightening, quickening, and converting sinners, and for the comforting and reviving of drooping saints. It is the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, and excels the law in glory. It cannot well be said how glorious it is; it is marvellously excellent; and that “in all the earth”, being carried by the apostles, who were sent by Christ with it, into all the world; where it has shone out, and appeared gloriously to Gentiles as well as Jews. This clause shows that this is said by David prophetically of Gospel times; for not in his time, nor in any period under the Old Testament, was the name of the Lord glorious and excellent in all the earth. His name was great in Israel, but not in all the world. He showed his word, and gave his statutes and ordinances to Jacob; but as for the Gentiles, they were without them, and were strangers to the covenants of promise, Psa 76:1; but this was true of the first times of the Gospel; and will be still more fully accomplished when the prophecies in Mal 1:11; shall be fulfilled;

who hast set thy glory above the heavens: meaning his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the brightness of his glory; in whom is all the fulness of the Godhead, the glory of all the divine perfections; so called Psa 63:2; and the setting of him above the heavens designs the exaltation of him at the right hand of God; where angels, principalities, and powers, became subject to him, and he was made higher than the heavens, Heb 7:26. And it was in consequence, and by virtue of this, that the Gospel was spread throughout the earth; for upon Christ’s exaltation the Spirit was poured down upon the apostles, and they were endowed with girls qualifying them to carry the Gospel into each of the parts of the world.

Psalms 8:1 Henry

The psalmist here sets himself to give to God the glory due to his name. Dr. Hammond grounds a conjecture upon the title of this psalm concerning the occasion of penning it. It is said to be upon Gittith, which is generally taken for the tune, or musical instrument, with which this psalm was to be sung; but he renders it upon the Gittite, that is, Goliath the Gittite, whom he vanquished and slew (1 Sa. 17); that enemy was stilled by him who was, in comparison, but a babe and a suckling. The conjecture would be probable enough but that we find two other psalms with the same title, Ps. 81 and Psa 84:1. Two things David here admires: –

I. How plainly God displays his glory himself, Psa 8:1. He addresses himself to God with all humility and reverence, as the Lord and his people’s Lord: O Lord our Lord!If we believe that God is the Lord, we must avouch and acknowledge him to be ours. He is ours, for he made us, protects us, and takes special care of us. He must be ours, for we are bound to obey him and submit to him; we must own the relation, not only when we come to pray to God, as a plea with him to show us mercy, but when we come to praise him, as an argument with ourselves to give him glory: and we shall never think we can do that with affection enough if we consider, 1. How brightly God’s glory shines even in this lower world: How excellent is his name in all the earth! The works of creation and Providence evince and proclaim to all the world that there is an infinite Being, the fountain of all being, power, and perfection, the sovereign ruler, powerful protector, and bountiful benefactor of all the creatures. How great, how illustrious, how magnificent, is his name in all the earth! The light of it shines in men’s faces every where (Rom 1:20); if they shut their eyes against it, that is their fault. There is no speech or language but the voice of God’s name either is heard in it or may be. But this looks further, to the gospel of Christ, by which the name of God, as it is notified by divine revelation, which before was great in Israel only, came to be so in all the earth, the utmost ends of which have thus been made to see God’s great salvation,Mar 16:15, Mar 16:16. 2. How much more brightly it shines in the upper world: Thou hast set thy glory above the heavens. (1.) God is infinitely more glorious and excellent than the noblest of creatures and those that shine most brightly. (2.) Whereas 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, and yet he is exalted far above even their blessing and praise. (3.) In the exaltation of the Lord Jesus to the right hand of God, who is the brightness of his Father’s glory and the express image of his person, God set his glory above the heavens, far above all principalities and powers.

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