To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
I think we can get through this entire chapter in one post!
I had a really rough week recently, and ended up looking ahead at this chapter and finding it really encouraging. I find as I teach that each kid that I teach has a different background from all the others. I’ve experienced kids telling me that they don’t want to go to anger management to deal with their problems, or about how they only have one parent raising them and the lack of the other is devastating, but I was not prepared for a kid to threaten with taking his own life 2 weeks ago. He expressed how tough things were at home, how he felt what he was doing was unnecessary and pointless… my assistant was the one who spoke to him, and I trust she did what was right for the moment, and I notified the school. But it hit me hard. I go through my week praising God, thanking Him for each moment I get to spend in His Will changing a child’s life who maybe doesn’t have it all together and just needs some one to tell them they are the best thing since buttered toast. Then my train is totally derailed and my thoughts are brought back to this reality where I can’t fix anything on my own, especially not those pieces that are missing that take away these kids’ hope for something better.
So this last Thursday, before going to teach the class this boy was in, I sat across the table from my dear friend and read this chapter. I do my best to not walk around in the brokenness of my life because I believe God is healing me and His Grace is enough, so when a kid keeps coming to me and says something like, ‘My dad is gone and I miss him.’ I try to say something like, ‘I know that is sad, and it hurts, but you are stronger.’ Because if people keep nursing those wounds and feeding that cry for attention, that kid will just stay there. We can’t accept living out of a broken place if we believe God is capable of healing all our afflictions. I read this chapter before teaching and I felt this reassurance that where I was weak, God was strong.
David opens this Psalm crying out to ‘Yahweh Adonai’ which is ‘God our judge, director, ruler, and supporter of men.’ He boldly declares, so there is no question, that God’s glory is above the heavens, which to our knowledge is the highest you can go. God’s strength is even evident in children, and His strength can be used in our weakness to confound the enemy. Then David looks at everything in God’s creation. He looks at all the goodness God created, and he knows it is good because God is good, and how amazing he is to have created all of this and still be mindful of us. He knows what is going on in our lives, what things make us break down and cry, and what things lift us up. David felt that God not only knew all about us, but that He visited with us. Notice how in verse 5 that David says we are a little lower than angels, this could also be translated as lower than God because the Blue Letter Bible says the Hebrew here is ‘Elohim’, which is a name for God. I suppose this would be a way to also say that ‘who are we, that we were created after the likeness of the Creator.’ But either way you look at it here (my Bible says ‘angels’), David is pointing upward. Not listing all the things we are greater than, but pointing the greater things then us that we are close to.
David does go on to recognize that man was given dominion over the things of the earth, and he echoes a bit of the creation story. As God carefully crafted each thing, we too should treat all things with such care. David understood his position in creation, and He praised God for all these things. As I think about what I am going through, and what that little kid is going through, it comforts me to remember how Great God is and that He is always up to something. I realized that maybe God didn’t put me in this kid’s life to talk to him about his wish to end his life, but I do get to share God’s love with this kid. This past week, I got to sit down and just draw with him, helping him smile and hopefully give him something good to cling to for the week. I realized from these verses and witnessed it in my teaching that there are certain experiences I have had that God brought me from that help me to talk to these kids. It is foolish of me to think that I would be able to help all these kids with every struggle, that doesn’t feed hope because it is something I cannot do, but God can come into those broken places that I can’t reach into to bring true healing. The most I can do is just echo the love that He has shown to me.
I hope you enjoyed this psalm as much as I have. Be blessed, friends.