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A Psalm of David | Psalm 8

Sermon Series:

Honest To Goodness

Jon Delger
Jon Delger

Executive Pastor

Peace Church

Main Passage:
Psalm 8


Hey Peace Church, great to see you all this morning. My name is Jon, I get to serve as the executive pastor here, and it's also my privilege this morning to get to bring us the word.

So if you've got a Bible, would you turn with me to Psalm 8, Psalm 8.

Great to see all of you this morning, whether you're here in the worship center, over in the chapel, or downstairs in the family venue, or joining us online, camping somewhere up north. Great to have all of you with us this morning.

As you're turning in your Bibles to Psalm 8, did you know that we are just four Sundays away from launching Peace Church Wayland? Praise God. That's right. It's okay. You can get excited about that. We're excited. On August 27, our Peace Church, our Peace Wayland launch team starts off their first two soft, what we call our soft launch services chance for that team to get to worship together and get to work out some kinks in our new location. And then on September 10 fall launches when we go public. So be sure to tell your friends from Wayland, September 10, join us over there. We are excited to have another body of believers worshiping Lord and preaching the word. Amen. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Awesome. Hey, if you got Psalm 8 in front of you, I'm going to read it, then we'll pray, then we'll get to work. So I'll make here we go.

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!

This is God's word, let's pray.


Father God, we thank you for your word this morning. God, thank you for being here with us. Please open up our minds and our hearts to hear your word, to be transformed, to become more and more like Jesus. Father, I pray that you would fill me with your Holy Spirit to preach your word to your people, a broken instrument, bringing your perfect word to your people. God, may you be glorified, may your church be built up, and may we have an impact on the world with the good news of the gospel. Father we love you, pray the song Jesus precious and powerful name. Amen. Amen.

Is it Cake?

Well, very recently my wife and I stumbled across a TV show that maybe you've heard of, maybe you haven't. It's called Is It Cake? Which is a great question to ask. Is it cake? And the whole show, the whole premise of the show is they put in front of you objects that look like real life objects and make you answer that question. Is this real or is it cake? And to me, it's just so much better than real or fake, right? Because it's not just fake, it's covered in sugar and delicious goodness. Isn't that just a beautiful thing? So I don't know what it is about this show, if it's just that attraction to something sweet or if it's, I don't know, something attracted me to the show. I love it. And so just for kicks this morning, we're gonna take a quick pop quiz, okay? So I'm gonna put a couple of images in front of you, make you choose. And so keep an eye on your neighbor, make sure they're being honest, get their hand up and admit if they're right or wrong and also make sure that they vote because if you don't vote, you're a coward. So make sure you vote, pick an answer. All right, here we go.

Real or cake? Real?

Ooh, not very many.

Or is it cake?

Believe it or not, that's a real shoe. Oh man! Psyched you guys out on the first one. That was awesome. All right, second one, here we go, we're gonna try it again. Real or is it cake? Oh yeah, that's cake, that's cake.

Is it real?

Either way, it's food, right?

Or is it cake?

Oh, it's cake, it's cake.

All right, last one for you, last one, cheeseburger. Is it a real cheeseburger or is it cake if you said cake you are so right I heard somebody say you don't worry I don't think there's real ketchup or mustard or anything like that in there that would be an you know it's I think that's sugary sweet delicious goodness in there I don't know what it is about this but it's just it doesn't that just grab you and you just want to know is that is that a real thing or is it cake and I think this plays on our interest in whether something is real, genuine, or authentic. And I think that's the same question that we come to the book of Psalms with this morning.

As we kick off our new sermon series, it's called Honest to Goodness, how the authors of the Psalms teach us about authentic faith. And this is the question we're asking, is it real or is it fake? Not cake this time, but is it real or is it fake? And we're gonna be looking at the book of Psalms that contains a hundred and fifty Psalms written by seven or more authors. There's actually forty-eight Psalms that are left anonymous. We don't know who wrote them, so there's at least seven authors, maybe more.

But each of them represents a different person's situation, good times, bad times, whatever situation they're in. Some of them are praising God, some of them are crying out to God, some of them are lamenting, some of them show a little bit of a little anger and frustration even I'll admit as I read through some of the Psalms I kind of asked myself a question is it okay to say that is it okay to feel that way to think that way as a Christian and so I'm excited as we walk through a few sermons in this in this series in the book of Psalms to get that experience of what is an authentic genuine faith look like what does it look like to talk to God to pray to God to express ourselves before the Lord and this morning we're going to get to see the first in that series looking at Psalm 8, a Psalm of David.

So, you guys know King David. He was a king of Israel. He was a shepherd. He was a warrior. He was a husband. He was a father. He was a grandfather and we're going to get to see in Psalm 8, him express himself before the Lord and get to learn from that experience. So, as we walk through the Psalm, we're going to see three parts and three points. You ready to go? Let's do it.

Authentic faith has a proper view of God

Here we go. Point number one. Authentic faith has a proper view of God. Authentic faith has a proper view of God. Look with me at the first couple of verses here. Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth. You have set your glory above the heavens.

I don't know how many people are dog people or cat people in the room. But I think dogs and cats actually teach something about this psalm. I don't people try to get in the head and think about the difference between a dog and a cat.

But if you think about a dog, I think about it this way if you think about a dog a dog sits there and thinks, "My my person who I live with they give me food. They give me water. They give me shelter They give me love and affection. They must be God."

Whereas a cat says, "this person who I live with, they give me food, they give me water, they give me shelter, they give me love and affection. I must be God."

That is the essential difference between a dog and a cat. And I think Psalm 8 reminds us that we should be more like a dog than a cat. Sorry, cat people.

David says, how majestic is your name, your name God, not my name, but your name. One definition of the word majestic is having or showing impressive beauty or dignity. When you think of your majesty, you think of somebody who's royalty, right? A king or a queen, this is the way we refer to them, your majesty. Or you think of the mountains or the Grand Canyon, something that's got breathtaking beauty and grandeur, right, something that is both great to look at, but also big, right, it's awesome in the sense of that word.

I think of, personally, I think of like a bald eagle, right, when you see that picture, the word that springs to mind is not pretty, but the word, but beauty is there, there's beauty there, but there's so much more, there's also just this sense of bigness and just strength right and I think that word majestic communicates that also about God and that's what David is saying is that God is both beautiful, but he's also Powerful somebody who deserves our reverence and our respect take a look at that second verse I think this takes a little bit more explanation out of the baby out of the mouths of babies and infants you've established strength because of your foes to still the enemy and the Avenger.

I think the simplest way that I can come up with to explain what this verse is saying is this, is that God is so great that he uses the littlest instruments to bring down the biggest foes. It's kind of like when I was a kid, my dad would go to arm wrestle me and instead of using his right arm, he'd use his left arm, right? I'm so strong, I'm going to take you down with my weak arm. Although my dad, as I think about it right now, was left-handed, so maybe that wasn't, I don't know. But he uses the weakest thing he's got available to take down the strongest thing in order to demonstrate his strength. It reminds me also of 1 Corinthians 1. For consider your calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise according to worldly standards. Not many were powerful. Not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise.

So Christians, we were not chosen for our smarts or for our strength, God shows in fact what was weak in the world as his instruments in order to shame those who thought they were wise or strong in their own eyes.

This is the way that God works. God is so great and so powerful and so strong that he uses the weakest of instruments to demonstrate his strength when he takes down his foes. Think of David in his own life, right? You think of David who gets his fame from his fight with Goliath, right? David is a teenage boy. He's a young, skinny boy with a slingshot standing in front of a giant clad in armor carrying a spear and a sword, right? I mean, it's laughable. And yet God demonstrates his strength because he uses David to win the fight.

Or I think of Matthew 21, where Jesus actually quotes from Psalm 8, this passage that we're looking at this morning. In the passage, Jesus just turned over the tables of the temple, right, because of the money changers. They're not living according to God's word for the temple. And so he turns over the tables and then the Pharisees come to rebuke him. And yet the Pharisees are almost drowned out because you've got these little kids shouting, Hosanna, Hosanna, son of David, Hosanna in the highest behind him. The praises of children drown out the rebuke of these enemies of our Savior.

Authentic faith has a proper view of God, namely that our God is majestic, that He's high, that He's above. Now, as we begin to talk about the greatness and the glory of God, which we're going to talk about a lot in the book of Psalms, right? In the book of Psalms, we see a ton of this kind of thing. I think it's important that we address may be a question that's already in your minds and that has been in the minds of many people over the centuries as they come to the book of Psalms. And that's this question.

Is it selfish for God to ask us to worship him? Is it narcissistic for God to say, look at me, worship me, call me majestic, bow down, and praise me? Is that wrong? Is that bad?

I want to answer that question with just a couple of quick principles. I also want to warn you, we're going to take kind of a quick deeper dive into thinking about this. And so if you need some time to just hear this and just chew on it over the course of the week, there's nothing wrong with that. Feel free to just take it in, chew on it over the course of the week and come back to it.

But I want to just share with you two principles, I think, that answer this question. Answer number one, God must be all about his own glory and worship, otherwise, he is not God. So the logic goes something like this. If God is not about his own glory, and he's about somebody else's glory, then that somebody else is God. Right, if we're supposed to bow down to God, but God bows down to somebody else, well, the person that God is bowing down to, well, that person's actually God. God is the highest and greatest being in the universe, and that's why he deserves worship and praise. If he wasn't the highest being in the universe, he wouldn't deserve that. If he didn't ask us to praise him, if it wasn't just and right and good for us to praise him, then he wouldn't be the greatest person in the universe. Have you ever heard the phrase, it ain't bragging if it's true? It's kind of like that, right? For God to say I am the greatest being in the universe is not bragging, it's simply true.

It's just a fact. Now if I were to stand up here and say I am the greatest thing in the universe, you all should bow down and worship me. Now that would be bad. That would be a bad thing. You should all leave if I ever do that or throw me out. But when God does it, it's simply right and proper for him to do so. So God must be all about his own worship and glory, otherwise, he's not God. Answer number two is, worshipping God is where humans find the fullest joy. Have you ever experienced something amazing and just felt the need to tell somebody about it?

Right, if you're standing and looking at mountains or at Lake Michigan or the Grand Canyon or just something beautiful I think there's something in us that says I don't want to just see this myself I want to kind of nudge somebody and say look at that. Isn't that amazing?

I experienced this all the time when my wife goes to bargain bins and then text me a picture of the great deal that she just got, right? She gets so much joy out of a good deal that she just got she has to share it, express it with somebody.

I think that's kind of what worship is, right? That there's something, we see God in the scriptures, we see him through his works and creation, we see God and we just sort of bubble over into expressing what we see. We just express, oh man, oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth. All right, we just have to express it and the actual joy comes with expressing it. Worship, it's amazing how God has designed the universe and that worship is not just the thing that God deserves it's also the thing that brings us the greatest joy. Isn't that amazing of our God to design the universe in such a way that that happens? That it is just and right and perfect for God to get worship but it's also the most joyful thing in the universe for you and I to do is to give him worship. All right, so point number one is that authentic faith has a proper view of God and who he is.

Authentic faith has a proper view of self

The second one, next couple of verses is this, authentic faith has a proper view of self. Take a look at verses three and four. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you care for him." So I sort of imagine David writing this psalm as he's maybe doing his evening devotions, sitting out on the balcony, he's sort of looking up at the sky and seeing the moon and the stars and he's just thinking about God and he just sort of pulls out a pen and paper and writes down a few things. And he sort of thinks about how small he is, how small we are in the span of the universe. All right, is this something you've reflected on?

Let's just reflect on it for just a moment. The nearest star to us, the sun, inside the sun you can fit 1.3 million earths. So we live on this big planet called Earth, 1.3 million Earths inside the nearest star to us, the sun. And yet the sun is nowhere near the largest star. Of the stars that we know of, and there might be more that we don't know of, we can only see so far into the vastness of space, UY Scudy, I'm not sure if I'm pronouncing that quite right, but UY Scudy is five billion times the size of our sun. Five billion. That little pixel right in there is our sun. You and I are very small in the span of the universe.

I also get the same sense when I go to a place that I make a pilgrimage to about once a year, the big house. When you sit in this stadium and you look out 107,501 seats in the bowl and a few more as you go up on each side, you get a sense of how small you are. 110,000 shouting, screaming, excited fans shouting, go blue. And you get this sense of how small you are in comparison with all that's around you. John Newton, who's famous for being the author of amazing grace said not only is it amazing that God would send his son to die For me, it's amazing that God would think about me at all We think about the size of us in the span of the universe It's amazing that God would even think of us and as what David says What is man that you are mindful of him the son of man that you care for Him. Authentic faith has a proper view of the self. And I think that proper view has at least two aspects that it holds in tension, that we are small and that God cares for us. You are small and yet God sees your struggling marriage. You are small and yet God sees your battle with addiction. You are small and yet God sees that you had very little sleep last night and you've changed your 101st diaper for the day. God sees as you go off to work, working two jobs, doing whatever you can to make ends meet. You are small and yet God sees you, loves you, and cares for you.

 That's amazing. I think there's another principle here for us and it's this, that there is huge freedom in knowing that I am not the center of the universe. I think of a movie that my kids like to watch, Horton Hears a Who, Dr. Seuss' story. And the whole story is about, well, there's an elephant who finds a flower, who on the flower there's a little tiny speck, and we find out that on that little speck is a whole world of people. And the main character who we follow is the mayor of Whoville, who has 96 daughters and one son, and he's mayor of the entire town and he's running around frantic and furious, trying to keep his hands on everything that's going on in his family and in his town, and he thinks the whole weight of the universe is on his shoulders. He thinks that all this stuff that's in front of him is just the weight of the world and it's all on his shoulders. But actually, he finds out that he is just a tiny little man on a tiny little speck on a tiny flower being carried by an elephant. And that truth gives him great comfort. He finds out that he is not the center of the universe. That it doesn't actually all come down to him.

That the weight of the world does not belong on his shoulders. There's something freeing, I think, about knowing that. I think about King David. King David is the head of state, he's royalty, he's the commander of the armies, he's God's chosen one, he's the one who's supposed to protect God's people. Twice in his lifetime, his sons rise up and try to take the throne from him. David sees some hard stuff. David's gotta be a man who thinks that it's all on his shoulders. I sort of imagine him sitting before God just sort of with this weight on his shoulders and thinking, just, I'm the guy. I gotta carry it all. I gotta do it all. And in that moment, as he sits there and looks at the stars and the moon, and he's got Bible in hand, it's almost like he hears God say to him, hey David, you're not the guy. I'm the guy. The weight is actually not on your shoulders. The weight's on my shoulders. You are not the center of the universe. I am the center of the universe. That's a very good thing for you. You almost hear David say, thank you. Thank you God that I am not the center of the universe. What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him. I am small and yet you care for me. Praise God. Authentic faith has a proper view of God and also has a proper view of the self.

Authentic faith sees God's greatness through our greatness

The third part of this psalm. Authentic faith sees God's greatness through our greatness. Now that might seem like a reverse of everything we've just said, but hang with me.

Let's take a look at verses 5 and 6 here a moment. Verse 5, Yet you have made him, human beings, a little lower than the heavenly beings, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands. You have put all things under his feet. And he goes on in the next couple of verses to list all those things that he's put under his feet. So we've seen that God is really big, that we are really small. And yet David now says, even though we're small, we have a really significant role to play in the universe. The scripture says that we are just a little lower than the heavenly beings or the angels, right? The angels are right around God and the throne room of God serving God day and night and yet we're just outside of that right God has made us in his own image God has Created us he's reached in to save us. He's gonna spend eternity an intimate relationship with us says even though we are small That small place that we are is still a very significant place in the scheme of things We're close to the Lord. We're close to God. Also points out in verse six that God gave us dominion. Think of Genesis one and two. In Genesis one and two, God says that human beings are supposed to be that his representatives, his rulers on the earth, that everything that he created is under their charge. They're supposed to be his, like his vice regents over the whole world.

So when we look out at nature, we should be amazed by God, but also when we look at the mirror, we should see ourselves and think about what an amazing God that created human beings.

Authentic faith sees the greatness of God through the greatness of man.

I think it's really important that we get that in the right order. We see the greatness of God through the greatness of man. The greatness of man is not an end in itself. There's a lot of preaching out there that wants to tell you that you are really great. I think you all are wonderful people, but there's a lot of preaching out there that wants to tell you that you are really great, and a lot of people see that as the solution to the self-esteem problem that people talk about in our nation.

Let me just share with you a quote from one preacher. He says, "You have to know who you are. God breathed his life into you. You have royalty in your blood. You are excellent in every way. Now put your shoulders back, hold your head up high, and start carrying yourself as royalty. You are not average, you are not ordinary, you are a masterpiece."

Now let me ask you a question. Is there truth in there? Yeah. We've just seen how it's amazing that God has made human beings in his image. God's going to spend eternity with us. God loves us. There's some truth there. And yet, where is the focus of the people walking out the doors after hearing a message like this? Is their focus on themselves or is it on God? Unfortunately, I think it's on themselves. I think some of the most dangerous things in the world are not outright lies, but half-truths, or in this case, a misapplied truth. Unfortunately, there's a lot of Christians out there that walk around with the idea that God exists to make much of me. Maybe a little bit like the cat. He provides for me. He created me. He sustains me, He saved me because I am so great. I would pose a different idea.

Psalm 8, King David would pose a different idea. When you look in the mirror and you think, man, human beings are amazing. You should also look straight through that mirror and say, the God who made human beings is truly amazing. That's the point, that's what it's all about. I think the biggest, for the bigger problem in our nation, is not self-esteem, but God-esteem, lack of God-esteem. God doesn't exist to make much of us, we actually exist to make much of God, and that's where joy and freedom are found. Right, joy and freedom don't come when we make ourselves the center of the universe. You and I actually weren't made to bear that weight. You and I can't hold up under the weight of holding the entire universe. It's the wrong tool for the job. Think of yesterday, I was working around my house and I was up on a ladder and I had a drill in one hand and I needed to beat something in. And so I took my drill with the back end of it and I started beating it in. And I could sort of hear a voice in the back of my head, my dad saying, it's a drill, not a hammer, John. He was right. The wrong tool for the job, it won't work.

You and I weren't designed to carry the weight of the universe. But God will not be crushed under that weight. We make God the center of the universe. We are free. We can have joy in being exactly who He designed us to be His creatures, under His care, loved by Him, small but deeply loved. Psalm 8 concludes with the same words that it started with, O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth. The psalm closes with the same words that it started with, and so will we. Is your faith real or is it cake? Do you have a proper view of who God is? Do you have a proper view of who you are? Do you know God's place in the universe and your place in the universe? Authentic faith holds these two things in the right place and says with the psalmist, Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.

Would you please stand with me and let's pray.


Father in heaven, we adore you. You are majestic. God, we are awestruck by who you are, by what you've done, by what you've created us to be, thank you for loving us. We love you, Father. We pray this all in Jesus' precious and powerful name. We love you, Father. We pray this all in Jesus' precious and powerful name.


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