In this Psalm we come across a doctrine that has to do with the authority that G-d gave/entrusted to man (Humankind – male and female)
The inscription: Written (by David) to the chief musician = Choir director.
· Gath (Al Gittith) – more than likely the name of a musical instrument that we don’t know much about.
v1: The first word written ‘L-rd’ is the sacred name of G-d (יְהוָ֤ה). It is a word that speaks of the transcendent G-d (surpassing, beyond the limits of ordinary experience). (This is the name where we get the word ‘Jehovah’ from)
· The second ‘L-rd’ is the word “Adonai’ which means our L-rd or our master.
· ‘Excellent’ – marvellous, wonderful, awesome. Unless we have a proper understanding of G-d we will not be able to praise Him correctly, as our worship will not be divinely inspired (ie based upon truth).
· Name = character. G-d’s character is unique in this world (even above/greater than the heavens)– His majesty (glory) is a reflection of His character.
v2: Infants – nursing children (newborn babies)
· Strength = power.
Note: Yeshua quoted this verse in Matt 21:14-16. The religious leaders were not happy with the fact that the young children were praising Yeshua as the Messiah. The word ‘Hosanna’ means “G-d save us please”. It is a deep and respectful request for help. Proper praise is a catalyst for bringing heavenly power into a situation. Improper worship hinders G-d’s power from being released.
· This power, which is rooted in praise, is a weapon against the enemies of G-d. It silences them – brings them to a stop.
v3: The word translated “consider” is not a good translation of the Hebrew word (we don’t consider, or meditate upon what we see in the heavens – this meditation on the things in the sky often led to idolatry – moon worship etc). The word used here is simply the word “look” or “see”.
· Ordained – established or set in place. G-d has created all things and put them into their proper, ordered, places. Everything that G-d has created reflects His majesty, wisdom and perfect knowledge.
v4: Not only did G-d create the entire and glorious universe, but He also put man together – methodically and not as a result of random selection [Man – this is speaking of all of humanity (male and female)]
· The ‘visiting’ of G-d always has to do with the will of G-d being made known to whoever was “visited”. G-d would visit to punish, or visit to redeem, visit to bless etc…It is a word
of great intensity (Ruth 1:6, Luke 7:16, Luke 1:68 etc). The “visiting” of G-d reminds us that G-d is highly invested, He is “all in” (either all in to punish or all in to bless). Who are we that G-d should be so highly invested in us?
v5: “lower than” – to be not at its full level.
· Although this translation says “lower than the angels” the Hebrew word here (translated “angels”) is the word “Elohim”(a term used for G-d as judge). We are far, far removed from G-d Himself. However, He has placed us (believing man) into a position whereby one day we will judge the angels in our redemptive state – higher than the angels, although far lower than G-d (1 Cor 6:3). This is a simple way of showing us how invested G-d is in His human creation. Angels are sent to serve us who are going to inherit salvation (Heb 1:14, Ps 91:11)
v6-8: G-d has given humankind dominion (government) over the works of His hands (ie everything in this world has been entrusted to us to look after – animals, rivers, trees etc. This does not mean if we decree something G-d has to agree. G-d has called us to steward what still rightfully belongs to Him, and with that stewardship comes responsibility and accountability.
As an aside: Climate change etc has become a religion to many people. Restoration of the earth (at the expense of people’s lives and livelihoods) has become their goal. Restoration of the earth is not its answer – the earth needs redemption (Roms 8:19-23).
v9: This verse is repeated – repetition shows emphasis. As humans we have a responsibility. If we are going to fulfil our responsibility in a G-dly way then we are going to need to proclaim (in word and in deed) how marvellous the name, the character, of the G-d of Israel and His Son Yeshua are in all the earth. When we lift up the name of the L-rd we begin to see things differently and we begin to do things differently. This brings about G-dly change in the world around us.