Sermon: The Name of the King - Psalm 8

Jesus is King. His life, death, and resurrection make him, and him alone, worthy of all honor and glory. The entire Bible points to this truth.

Sermon Series: God's Provision for Humanity

  1. Glory on Display - 2 Corinthians 4
  2. Reconciled and Remaining - Colossians 1
  3. Redeemed! - 1 Peter 1
  4. The Name of the King - Psalm 8

Scriptures: Psalm 8

Connection to unit theme: Jesus is King. His life, death, and resurrection make him, and him alone, worthy of all honor and glory. The entire Bible points to this truth.

Introduction idea

Legendary basketball star Michael Jordan prefers using code names for his inner circle. Venon, Butler, and Harmony, are a few examples. But Jordan's code name is somewhat surprising. He answers to Yahweh, a Hebrew word for God's personal, covenantal name. Interesting! Jordan's fame and popularity require a greater name.

Psalm 8 declares that there is only one Yahweh. The God who made all things is the only one worthy of the name that is majestic in all the earth (vv.1, 9). This short Psalm is unique. David, the author, never calls the reader to actually do anything. He simply begins and ends the psalm by declaring how majestic (kingly) God's name is in all the earth. The rest of the psalm tells why God's name is majestic. Let's examine those reasons together.

I: God's name is majestic because of his glory (vv. 1–2)

Verses 1–2 say God's glory is seen in two places: the heavens and helplessness. First, we see it in the heavens. Verse 1 says God covered the heavens with his majesty (ESV: "glory"). Psalm 19:1 says "The heavens declare the glory of God." The purpose of creation is to magnify and declare the beauty and glory of God. The heavens are not idolatrous. They exist for glory - his glory, not their own. Therefore we should not misuse creation. Sunsets are for savoring God. Zoos are meant to zoom in on God's creativity and imagination.

Second, we see God's glory in helplessness. Verse 2 says God established a stronghold from the mouths of children and nursing infants. His point is that God uses weakness to overcome strength. He can use the weakness of an infant to overcome to might of an army. His glory is most visible, not in our cunning and strength, but in our weakness and dependence on Him.

Application: Does your heart soar into worship when you see a sunset or mountain range? Have you considered that your weaknesses might be used by God as strengths for his glory?

II: God's name is majestic because of his love (vv. 3–4)

David arrives at a dilemma in verses 3–4 that few Christians consider. He is stunned by the beauty and vastness of God's world. He asks, "What is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him?" (v.4). It would appear God has more to love and care for than humans. After all, the heavens did not rebel against God. The heavens are not set at enmity with God. Rather, creation groans as it awaits freedom from the bondage of decay (Rom. 8:19–23). Man is a flea - a temporary speck on canvas of history. Any visit to a beach or mountain range will quickly confirm our smallness.

The fact that God shouldn't seem to care for us should stagger us. The fact that God does care should launch us into worship and praise. He had every right to leave us in our sins, but He chose to set His love on us and make us His own. Many Christians struggle with God's love. We either think God can't love us or He has to love us. But biblically speaking, neither is true. God had no obligation to us, yet chose to love us. Now, through Christ, no one is beyond God's love and affection.

Application: We shouldn't matter to God, yet we matter immensely. How does this truth affect you?

III: God's name is majestic because of his grace (vv. 5–8)

When God created man he blessed him and said, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth" (Gen. 1:28). David has this in mind in verses 5–8. God gave His image bearers the right to rule and have dominion over all things.

The fall subverted man's dominion and rule. Now it is clear, both from the Bible and history, that man is not ruling over the world. There is chaos, pain, and death. Cornelius Plantinga writes, "In sin, people attack or evade or neglect their divine calling. These and other images suggest deviance: even when it is familiar, sin is never normal" (Plantinga, Not the Way It's Supposed to Be, 5). The author of Hebrews makes the point that man is not currently ruling all things. "For in subjecting everything to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. As it is, we do not yet see everything subjected to him. But we do see Jesus - made lower than the angels for a short time so that by God's grace He might taste death for everyone - crowned with glory and honor because of His suffering in death" (Heb. 2:8-9).

In other words, Psalm 8 needs a savior. It needs one who would take the punishment for what we deserved. In grace, God sent Jesus Christ to redeem us and by raising Him from the dead, bestowed on Him the name that is above every name (Phil. 2:5–11). Now, His name is the most majestic in all the earth. He is crowned with the honor and glory of our rightful king.

Application: The grace of God in Christ should launch our hearts into worship. Are you moved by the grace of God? Does it stagger you that Jesus took what you deserved?

Conclusion idea

On April 30, 2013, Robert Galbraith released his crime novel, Cuckoo's Calling. It barely sold 500 copies in the first few months. Many store owners considered pulling the book from their shelves. But the news on July 14 changed all of that. Galbraith, it was announced, was not the true author. J. K. Rowling actually wrote and published the book pseudonymously. From there, sales skyrocketed. It quickly rose to the top of multiple best-seller lists. The mere mention of Rowling's name changed everything. The name of Jesus should impact Christians this way. The mention of Jesus should launch our hearts into worship. His name is majestic in all the earth. He is the king we worship, trust, and treasure.

Greg Breazeale is pastor of Metro East Baptist Church, Wichita, Kansas.