Free & Fit - Psalm Eight - God is Sovereign
Free & Fit - Psalm Eight - God is Sovereign
Psalm Eight provides a clear definition of who God is, in verse one it reads that God is Sovereign. Throughout the Psalm from verse one through five it is consistently defining God’s Sovereignty. That God is majestic, that God made the heavens and the earth, and that God crowned humanity with all glory and honor. In this short Exegesis the writer is going to be drawing closer to Gods Sovereignty and explaining how the verses, the Poetic writing and through critiquing the poetic writing that God is Sovereign. In and throughout Psalm Eight the clear thesis for this Exegesis is that God is Sovereign.
Whilst working with the poem the writer found that three of the verses created a clear and common parallelism. There is a Synonymous parallelism in verses one, three and four. This is clear in verse one through the reference to Gods majesty and glory. “O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth, You have set your glory above the heavens (Psalm 8:1).” representing his sovereignty, and thus creating the same power through majesty and glory. Furthermore, verse one refers to Gods sovereignty reigning over all the heavens and the earth.
In verse three another example of synonymous parallelism is apparent. It reads “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established (Psalm 8:3)”. Here the writer believes that the verse refers to the heavens and the moon and the stars up above, almost as if star gazing into the heavens. This reminds us as readers of looking up to the heavens and helps us to think about raising our heads in Praise and worship to God. Verse three reflects Gods Sovereignty again through the power of working in Gods hands and specifically Gods fingers. This is mirrored in the second part of the verse with reference to the idea that God has established the heavens, the moon and the starts. That God made them, that God created them, and that God is sovereign over them all. This creates an image of God reigning over all creation metaphorically. Despite a tradition of the heaven being placed above in the sky, this helps us contextualize that God is above it all. That Gods Sovereignty is not in a physical and lateral position above, but that God is the CEO, that God is in control and that God is Commander and Chief. That God reigns above it all God is Sovereign over us all.
In verse five parallel synonym potentially appears again. We will later critique this. The verse reads “Yet you have made them a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.” The first similarity is the clear distinguishable characteristics of who God is and Gods relationship with humanity. God is again Sovereign; here through the reference to God being above humanity, humans “are a little lower than God” and at the start of the verse God has “made them”.
The second in verse five similarity is the reference to humanity, the word “them” is used consistently in this verse which also suggests perhaps a change in the narrator in verse three where it refers to “we” and here in verse five it is referring to “them”. In fact, there is perhaps three changes of speaker in this Psalm. Verses one and two refer to “our God” as the narrator speaking of God, God “our sovereign” in verse one, then it verses three it refers to “I” second change in verse three and then in verse five “them”. This all to say that there is a clear parallel synonym in verse five through the reference to both God and humanities characteristics.
On the contrary, in verse two we experience a different kind of parallelism, here we find two different parts of the verse which both contrast each other. In the first section of verse two it states that “You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and infants (Psalm 8:2a).” Here we see the highest part of God again another consistent reference to the God of the heavens again re-affirming his sovereignty and reign over his creation. Yet, the reference to babes and infants is out of context and not similar to the previous writings within the Psalm. Here the Psalmist is introducing a new characteristic of God. Yet it still affirms his sovereignty through the fact that God is setting the glory of the heavens out of the mouths of the babes and infants. Yet, this is the first time we are introduced to the relationship between God and some form of reliance, or relationship, with humanity. Here we read that God is only able to reign sovereign with the help of Babes and Infants. This creates a new symbolic parallel in the relationship between God and humanity. Again, this relationship between God and humanity appears in the second part of the verse where is states that “you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger (Psalm 8:3b). The relationship between God and humanity may not be clearly described, but a metaphor is created which is clear through the toxins of the enemy, the foe and the avenger. The nature of God here is good, overcoming the foe and enemy, thus he is overcoming evil, not stated, but perhaps obvious and that he is sovereign over the evil.
Finally, in verse five we see some dispute about the parallelism. The Psalmist again introduces new material, but perhaps is trying to create a new identity as a new writer. Previously God was Sovereign over all humanity, but here the Psalmist introduces the idea that humanity is perhaps not so unimportant, and that God does care for them. In fact, verse five states “Yet you have made them a little lower than God (Psalm 8:5a).” Not just is humanity cared for, but humans are just under God. So, God remains Sovereign, but humanity is elevated not alongside God, but just next to God, just below God. Verse five goes on “And crowned them with glory and honor (Psalm 8:5b). God again uplifts humanity and places them in an almost Royal position, perhaps as Kings and Queens enthroned over all other forms of creation which we read about if you continue to read Psalm Eight verse five onward.
In conclusion, God is sovereign. Humanity is in a close second, but God remains sovereign over humanity, the heavens and the earth and all creation. The Psalmist creates images of Gods rank, title and authority and humanities redemption through their relationship with God almost in a form of being Knighted and Crowned with glory and honor by God. The Sovereignty of God demonstrates Gods independence, Gods omnipotence, Gods omnipresence and Gods ultimate power over all creation. Through from the moon and the stars over all the heavens and the earth God is Sovereign over all including us as all as humans.
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