Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Psalm 8: Out of the mouths of babes

Psalm 8
            1       O LORD, our Lord,
      how majestic is your name in all the earth!
                  You have set your glory above the heavens.
            2       Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
                  you have established strength because of your foes,
      to still the enemy and the avenger.
            3       When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
      the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
            4       what is man that you are mindful of him,
      and the son of man that you care for him?
            5       Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
      and crowned him with glory and honor.
            6       You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
      you have put all things under his feet,
            7       all sheep and oxen,
      and also the beasts of the field,
            8       the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
      whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
            9       O LORD, our Lord,
      how majestic is your name in all the earth!

In the Institutes, Calvin points out about verse 2, "Thus he declares not only that the human race are a bright mirror of the Creator’s works, but that infants hanging on their mothers’ breasts have tongues eloquent enough to proclaim his glory without the aid of other orators."

As a father of a newborn, the only oration coming from my babe is loud, cranky crying! But what a reminder it should be that she declares the majesty of her Maker. There are seemingly more important creations--quadrillions of galaxies hurtling throughout the universe, but God looks down on those created in his image, bearing his likeness, showing his love to each person. The promises of John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 are for my humble children, and not for the spanning majesty of the rest of creation.

And we can see Christ in this too. He came to be a little lower than the heavenly beings, though in the form of God. And out of the mouth of that babe was the establishment of the New Covenant, fulfilled thirty or so years later when he cried out, "It is finished!" And now to him is given dominion; the Father has put all things under his feet. Indeed, how majestic is his name in all the earth!

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