It’s not a lament! For the first time in this study of the Psalms we have a praise. Finally we get to hear from David out of his joy.
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[4:14] The notes in my chronological Bible reminded me that again, we can’t be sure of the exact time any of the Psalms were written. Those writers think that the ark of the covenant entering into Jerusalem would have been an excellent cause for David’s joy. I talked a lot about this event back in November of 2022 during the Friends of God series (episode 85, Friends of God: David part 3) so I won’t go on too long here…even though I really want to.
[5:42] The important thing to remember is that David had tried to bring the ark in to Jerusalem one time before and it didn’t go well. We assume that after some soul-searching David figured out why he was unsuccessful in bringing the ark home. Therefore, when it enters, he is very jubilant and is singing and dancing down the streets for all to see. Go back and listen to that episode again…or the first time if you are new here…and you can read it for yourself in 1 Chronicles 15.
[15:24] So, that might be why David is in the mood for praise. He starts off with a bang. “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Then he kind of stumps us, if we are being honest. My NIV says it this way, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” What? How did kids get brought in to this.
[18:32] The Passion translation really paraphrases this nicely and I find that it makes more sense to me. “You have built a stronghold by the songs of babies. Strength rises up with the chorus of singing children. This kind of praise has the power to shut Satan’s mouth. Childlike worship will silence the madness of those who oppose you.” The footnote says, “There may be a vast difference between the glory of the heavens and the little mouths of children and babies, yet by both the majestic name of the Lord is revealed.” Good, right? You may still be wondering how this makes sense. Jesus himself says in Matthew 18 that we need to change and be like a child to enter into heaven. What does that mean to you? I think it is talking about the faith of a child. The awe and wonder. Children stick with their convictions when they are convinced they are right. Have you ever argued with a child? Trust me, you will most likely concede or give up. That is what we should be like because David says that the words and praise of children can shut the mouth of the enemy. That enemy is Satan. He is prowling around. He doesn’t much care if we love God and believe in Him. He doesn’t need us to be on his side. He just needs us to be distracted. He needs us to not be focused on fulfilling our God given purpose and glorifying the Lord.
[26:52] David then shifts back into expounding on how great God is. He speaks of the heavens and how God has set them in place. Passion translation calls it His creative genius. I highly recommend following NASA on Instagram or just visiting their website. The images of the cosmos will take your breath away. I always end up staring at them thinking that there is no way they are real. I mean, come on. All those stars and planets seemingly just floating around? Gets me every time. And in the next breath David asks with all of that how in the world does God think about us? “What is man that you are mindful of him?” Job asks the same question. His query is not in the same awestruck tone as David, though. Job has lost everything. Truly one of the best stories in the Bible. The book of Job is one of my favorites. It is so rich. We can learn so much. I’ve already talked about him, too (episode 73, Friends of God: Job). Job says in 7:17-19, What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention, that you examine him every morning and test him every moment? Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant?” It’s the same thought David has. With all the other things going on in the universe and beyond, why does God spend so much time fooling with us?
Yet, He does. Amen. I get why Job wants a break, but I also am just thankful that God knows little ol’ me.
[29:27] The next bit is about God as creator, Elohim (another Name of God, episode 40). He says we were made just a little lower than the heavenly beings and made ruler over the works of God’s hands. He left us in charge. He made it all for us.
I want to come back to who is man that you are mindful of him? Why would God do that? David feels this and ends the same way he started, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”