Christ in Psalm 8



Welcome back to Defender’s Voice. This is Paul Kattupalli. It has been a great delight to my heart to study the portrait of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Book of Psalms. Today, let us spend some time exploring the beauty of Christ in Psalm 8. The Psalms which predict the coming of Messiah are called Messianic Psalms. Psalm 8 is one of those Messianic Psalms. This psalm was quoted four times in the New Testament.

Matthew 21:9

1 Corinthians 15:27

Hebrews 2:5-8

Ephesians 1:22

If we study these scriptures, we will understand God’s plan for humanity. I would like to show you 7 things from this Psalm.

  1. Children of Praise
  2. Creation of the Universe
  3. Consideration of man
  4. Crowning of humanity
  5. Character of Christ
  6. Control of nature
  7. Consummation of History

1.Children of Praise: This psalm starts with praising God.

O Lord, our Lord

How excellent is

Thy name in all the earth,

who hast set

Thy glory above

the heavens!

   David starts this Psalm praising God. Oh, how we neglect praising God in our time! We have time to check Facebook, Whatsapp, Yahoo News, CNN, Fox News, TV 9, TV 14 but we don’t have time to praise God, who created us!

    Joseph Stalin unleashed hell on earth and killed millions of people. He also demanded absolute adulation from his subjects. In his book The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn describes a gloomy scene. The year was 1937. The Communist Party gathered to honor Comrade Stalin. The Communist leaders started to clap.

“The applause went on – six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly…Nine minutes! Ten!…Insanity! To the last man! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers”.

   They were all clapping and clapping, they would like stop clapping but no one would like to be the first one to stop clapping and become the object of Stalin’s wrath. After eleven minutes, the director of a paper factory wanted to take the risk. He stopped clapping and sat down. That night, he was arrested and sent to prison for ten years.

    God does not want us to honor him or praise him under pressure. Praise should be voluntary and spontaneous. Start when you want and stop when you want, God does not penalize you. He delights when we praise him willingly. David was a man of praise. Whenever he gets some free time, he takes his harp and praises God. He sang to the God of the Universe.

    When Goliath threatened him, David did not blink. Goliath shouted at him, ‘What do you think I am? Do I look like a dog to your eyes? Come here, I will kill you, feed your flesh to birds and wild beasts’. Little David did not run away, fearing for his life. He told Goliath, ‘I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head’ (1 Samuel 17).

   When God Almighty is in the picture, the size of the Goliaths does not matter. We often compare ourselves to the giants that come into our lives. Soon we find ourselves in stress, anxiety and depression. We should compare our giants to our God. We should look at Goliath in the light of God Almighty. That is what David did. He told his fellow Israelites: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please relax. We have God Almighty on our side and we can defeat Goliath’. When God enters the picture, the fate of Goliath is sealed. David believed in God Almighty, the God of the universe and won a great victory over Goliath.

 Let us see verse 2:

“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”

 David, the great musician of Israel, the great singer of Israel, now becoming it’s great prophet. He prophesied before Israel, “One day in the future, my son will come before you. He will be your Messiah. When He arrives, even little children will praise Him”.

 This Davidic prophecy was fulfilled in Lord Jesus Christ. Let us see Matthew chapter 21. Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey. A festive atmosphere descends around the Temple. The crowds cut the branches from the trees and spread them on the road, they spread their cloaks on the road and sang, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’

  Even children were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’. As we can expect, the chief priests could not tolerate these sights and sounds in and around the Temple. They became angry. They did not recognize Jesus as their Messiah. They went to Jesus and asked him, ‘Do you hear what they are saying? They are calling you the Son of David. They are calling you the Messiah. They are singing praises to you. Stop them now’.

  Jesus told them, ‘I can hear them. Do you remember Psalm 8? Do you remember what David wrote in that Psalm, ‘From the lips of children and infants, you, Lord, have called forth your praise?’

   ‘I am your Messiah. I am the One our father David and other prophets predicted.

I was born in Bethlehem.

I was raised in Galilee.

I gave sight to the blind.

I gave voice to the dumb.

I gave hearing to the deaf.

I raised dead from the grave.

I came to Jerusalem on a donkey.

All those prophecies are being fulfilled in me.

I am your Messiah.

The ordinary men and women

the little children in Jerusalem could recognize me as their messiah. But you have hardened your hearts. Your eyes are blinded to truth.’

   The chief priests were not willing to see the glory of Lord Jesus Christ. They loved power more than truth. Jesus exposed their sanctimoniousness. He berated their hypocrisy. He condemned their deceit and fraud.

 The whole Jerusalem was jubilant when the Messiah, Lord Jesus, entered the Temple of God. But the leaders of the Temple were gnashing their teeth. Jesus warned them, ‘If you stop these children, the stones will cry out’ (Luke 19:40).

 Lord Jesus reminded them Psalm 8, how the prophecies of David fulfilled among them through His incarnation.

  1. Creation of the Universe

Let us see verses 3 and 4.

“When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained, what is man Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that Thou dost visit him?”

   David addressing God, the creator of the universe. Astronomers now estimate that there are about 10 billion galaxies in the observable universe. On average, there are 100 billion stars in each galaxy. So, there are about 1 billion trillion stars in the observable universe. It overwhelms us to imagine all stars around us. It’s just mind-boggling to think about the size of the universe. Yet, it all came through the creative work of God.

    We read in Psalm 147: 4

“He telleth the number of stars; he called them all by their names”

    The best astronomers of our world do not know the exact number of stars in our universe. But God knows. He knows every star by its name. In the last hundred years, astronomers constructed big and beautiful telescopes around the world. They look at the stars and give them numbers: HR 4689, HR 1231, HR 4540 etc. Let us say we called all the astronomers in the world and told them, ‘So, you tell us there are 1 billion trillion stars in our universe. We want you to give a name to each star’. I am sure they would pluck their hairs and lose their minds. There is no way to give a name to every star in our universe. Yet, God knows every star by its location and its name. God is an awesome God.

July 20, 1969

    Apollo 11 took two human beings to the surface of the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first two humans to walk on the moon. They had an unprecedented glimpse of the planet earth and other heavenly objects. Standing there on the moon, Buzz Aldrin read Psalm 8 and John 15:5.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me ye can do nothing”

   Today we have atheists who shout, ‘We don’t need God’. But God says, ‘Without me, you can do nothing’.

     Last weekend a gunman went into Santa Fe High School in Texas and killed ten people. How sad! How heartbreaking! Why teenagers losing respect for human life in our society? This shooter is only 17 years-old. On his Facebook page, he described himself as an atheist.  We are raising a generation of young people without the knowledge of God. We are raising a generation of children without fear of God.‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’. That is one of the Ten Commandments we used to teach our school children and post in our classrooms. But we kicked God out of our schools. We removed all posters of Ten Commandments from our class rooms. Today our children are afraid even to go a school. God says, ‘When you abandon me, you are inviting death and destruction. I am the vine, ye are the branches. Without me, you can do nothing.’  

   Buzz Aldrin took part in the communion on the moon. First he enjoyed God’s creation and then worshiped Christ. Worship and praise are the proper responses to the amazement as we contemplate the wisdom of our Creator.

   Everything in our universe reflects the wisdom of God. Do you know human brain is more complex than an entire galaxy with billions of stars?  When I was in medical school, I used to spend my afternoons in the anatomy lab. We used to have over 12 tables with dead human bodies. With a scalpel and knife, I used to explore each organ in the human body, from brain, eyes, intestinal system, heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys all the way to the feet. Psalm 139:14 used to flash in my mind:

“For I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are they works..”

  Not just humans, all plants and animals reflect the glory of God. One of the tragedies of modern life is we don’t take time to go out and explore the nature. The other day I and my son Jacob went out to walk in our neighborhood. Jacob is 7 years old. We came across a beautiful tree. I told him, ‘Jacob, take time to see and learn about these trees’. Jacob looked at me and said, ‘Dad, I don’t have time to look at the trees’. That’s a seven year old kid who says, ‘I don’t have time to see the trees’. We say we don’t have time, but we can make time if we are willing to cut down on our television time or Facebook time or Whatsapp time. We should take time to explore the nature around us because it reflects the goodness, greatness and faithfulness of God.

    Will the sun rise tomorrow morning?  We say, yes, it will. We say it from experience. But are we entitled to a sunrise tomorrow? Did we purchase any insurance policy to guarantee the sun rise? Nature has no obligation to continue tomorrow as it is today. God in his faithfulness has stabilized the solar system for our survival. Economist Milton Friedman once said, ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’.  Everything has a price in this world, but we take the entire universe for granted. Most people never take a moment even to say ‘thank you’ to God, who freely created this universe. If God ignores the universe for a second, we all will vanish.

    French philosopher Pascal wrote, “When I consider the short duration of my life, swallowed up in the eternity before and after, the little space which I fill, and even can see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of spaces of which I am ignorant, and which know me not, I am frightened, and am astonished at being here rather than there; for there is no reason why here rather than there, why now rather than there. Who has put me here? By whose order and direction have this place and time been allotted to me?… The eternal silence of those infinite spaces frightens me “(Pascal, 1958:61)

   The eternal silence of those infinite spaces only frightens us. But we don’t have to be frightened. Because God reached out to us.

  1. Consideration of Man

Let us verse 4.

What is man that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that Thou dost visit him?  (Psalm 8:4)

   What is man? As we live in this world, we realize the vulnerability of our beings. An infection left untreated can cost us our life. A heart attack, a stroke, a motor vehicle accident can cease our existence. I heard about a business woman full of ambition. She boarded a plane which was traveling from New York to Dallas. Midflight, a fan blade of this Boeing 737 broke apart. The debris hit the fuselage and broke the cabin window. All passengers woke up and started to shout. As the cabin rapidly lost pressure, this woman passenger was partially sucked out of the jet. The other passengers bravely pulled her in, but they could not save her life. She died from the injuries. Human beings developed more technology in the last hundred years than in all the preceding centuries combined. But we are still so frail and vulnerable. Our puniness becomes more obvious when compared to the size and power of the universe. David was bewildered by this human condition.

What is man before your creation?

What is the man that you are mindful of him?

What is man that you care for him?

   President John F.Kennedy used to keep a prayer on his desk in the Oval Office. You can see it now in JFK Presidential Museum and Library in Boston. This poem goes like this:

Thy sea, O God, so great,

My boat so small.

It cannot be that any happy fate

Will me befall

Save as Thy goodness opens paths for me

Through the consuming vastness of the sea.


Thy winds, O God, so strong,

So slight my sail.

How could I curb and bit them on the long

And saltry trail,

Unless Thy love were mightier than the wrath

Of all the tempests that beset my path?


Thy world, O God, so fierce,

And I so frail.

Yet, though its arrows threaten oft to pierce

My fragile mail,

Cities of refuge rise where dangers cease,

Sweet silences abound, and all is peace.

   John F.Kennedy, the most powerful man of his time, reciting the prayer,

Thy sea, O God, so great,

My boat so small.

  Imagine going in a space vessel and comparing it with the vast size of the universe.

Thy universe, O God, so great

My spaceship so small.


    Yet, David says, this great God of the universe reached out to us. To every individual.

Stephan Gladieu is a photojournalist from Paris, France. Last year he traveled to North Korea to study individual lives across that Communist nation. He was surprised to find out people in that nation do not take individual photographs. Only group photos are encouraged and allowed, not individual portraits. People don’t take individual photos even on special occasions like wedding!!

   Without God, there is no value to the individual. Joseph Stalin famously said, ‘One death is a tragedy, one million is a statistic’. Atheism has always been a fertile ground for totalitarianism. Not all totalitarianism looks and feels like North Korea. Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. Both wrote dystopian novels featuring totalitarianism. In Huxley’s Brave New World, totalitarianism is through numbing up people using materialistic excesses, and instinctual liberation through drugs and sex. In contrast, in Orwell’s 1984, totalitarianism is through hunger, starvation and imprisonment. Either way, in totalitarian societies, individual has no value. Into such a repressive system, God breaks in. David says,

   God wants to visit the individual.

   God is mindful of the individual.

   God cares for the individual.

In Jesus Christ, God became an individual, a human individual to interact with each one of us on an individual basis.  The Son of God became the Son of Man, ben adam in Hebrew.

  1. Crowning of Humanity

Let us verse 5

‘For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor’ (Psalm 8:5)

   British philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873) once said, “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied”. With all our deficiencies, it is better to be a human being than any other being in the universe because only the humans did God create in his image. He gave us intellect, rationality, morality, emotions, free will, and fellowship.

   God created humanity in his image. Evolutionists do not believe this fundamental truth of the Bible. They say human beings are products of a purposeless universe. There is no Creator and there is no such thing as image of the creator. Man is just a walking, talking animal. There is nothing special about him. God says, man is very, very special because of all beings in the universe, only man was created in the image of God.

   Never before in human history the identity of the individual has been such a controversial subject than it is now. Am I a man or a woman? Many people are not sure. They just want to call themselves, ‘Gender Fluid’ because they are not sure how their gender evolve in the next few weeks. David has a message for our confused world: God preordained our identity.

   The central message of Psalm 8 is the Glory of God & Dignity of man. You are dignified because of God. Man’s chief end is to enjoy God. Sadly, we lost this view of life, thanks to godless philosophies like Marxism. Karl Marx starts his The Communist Manifesto with these words,

“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed”

  There is no God in such a worldview. It’s all about class struggles, it’s one big fight. Bible gives us a different picture of reality: Glory of God and Dignity of Man. We derive our dignity from God and we live for the glory of God.

  Last time I was in Washington D.C, I went to visit African-American Museum on the National Mall. I stopped near a large exhibit on which the words of great abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison were etched: ““Wherever there is a human being, I see God-given rights inherent in that being, whatever may be the sex or complexion”

    God crowned every human being with his glory and honor. Realizing and practising this truth is the remedy for all our social evils.

It solves racism, because people of all races were created in the image of God.

It solves regionalism, because people of all nations were created in the image of God.

It solves casteism, because people of all castes were created in the image of God

It solves sexism, because both men and women were created in the image of God.

It solves religious intolerance, because people of all religions were created in the image of God.

   ‘Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor’ : No other worldview gives humanity more value and honor than Christian worldview.

  1. Character of Christ

    Interestingly, this Psalm also describes the nature of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

‘For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor’ (Psalm 8:5)

    The writer of the Epistle to Hebrews quotes this verse in Hebrews chapter 2:  7 – 10

  1. Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Please note those words: We see Jesus

He was made a little lower than the angels.

   Jehovah’s Witnesses, you should note those words. Jesus was not an angel. He was and is a human being.

He was born a human.

He lived as a human.

He died as a human.

He raised from dead as a human.

He ascended into heaven as a human.

Now, in heaven, he is glorified as a human.

   Jesus was and is God who became a man. Jesus is our God. He is our Man.

He was made a little lower than the angels.

God who created the angels,

God who commands the angels,

God who is worshiped by angels,

was made a little lower than the angels.

   Why? for the suffering of death, to taste death for every man.

In Adam, the human race went into curse, pain, suffering and death.

In Christ, a new human race is being created by God.

In Christ, a new human civilization has started. And the best is yet to come.

Then the writer of the Epistle to Hebrews says, Jesus became the Captain of our Salvation.

  For many people in America, cricket is nothing more than a bug. But for people in India and other British ruled nations, cricket defines life. I still play cricket in my neighborhood. Every cricket team has a captain. The Captain goes on our behalf to the toss, he determines where we stand in the field, he decides who bats and bowls. We follow his directions. Jesus Christ is our captain. He becomes the Lord of our lives.

  1. Control of the nature

  Let us read Psalm 8: verses 6-8

  1. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8. The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

    God gave man the dominion over the nature. True, we don’t feel like that today. Even our dogs and cats often do not follow our commands, let alone sharks and whales. It was not like this in the beginning of the creation. God gave complete dominion over the nature to our first parents, Adam and Eve. You remember Jesus telling Peter to go and find a coin in the mouth of a fish? I wish I could do pay my taxes through fishing! That was the kind of dominion the original parents exercised on nature. After sin entered into human race, entire nature lost its original order.

   (May, 2018) We can see how volcanoes have been erupting on Hawaii’s Big Island. Rivers of lava forcing thousand of people to flee. People are terrified. They made a goddess out of these volcanoes. Madame Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, the woman who devours the earth. One person who lost her home in the lava said, “My house was an offering for Pele. I have been in her backyard for 30 years. In that time I learned that Pele created this island in all its stunning beauty. It’s an awe-inspiring process of destruction and creation and I was lucky to glimpse it”. Another person called this goddess Tutu Pele, meaning grandmother Pele, she made us, we are her descendants. Some say this goddess Pele was born in Tahiti to the fertility goddess Haumea, then forced to flee to Hawaii in a canoe after seducing the husband of her older sister, the goddess of the sea. Pele went around and using her stick she dug out fire pits under different islands in Hawaii. That’s how we got these great volcanoes and craters. Kimo Awai, a 67 year-old hula teacher said, “We believe in 40,000 gods, but Pele is in the highest echelon for obvious reasons. Pele created Hawaii; she is that primordial force that exists within all land masses. And she can be vengeful, so watch out.”

  This is Romans chapter 1 stuff, folks. Nature terrifies us in myriad ways.When people are terrified of nature, they start to worship it. They made gods out of sun, stars, planets, oceans, rivers, animals, plants, human beings. Instead of repenting of their sins and coming to the Creator, they are worshiping the nature.

    When Lord Jesus Christ establishes his millennial reign, things will change. Under His lordship, human beings will regain their dominion of the nature. We saw last week, when the United States inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem, violence broke out in Gaza and over 60 people died. This will change. When Lord Jesus Christ, establishes his kingdom in Jerusalem, there will be no destruction from nature, there will be no violence between the Jews and Gentiles. He brings forth complete dominion over the natural world and political world. There will be no more bloodshed or violence.

We read in 1 Corinthians 15:24-27

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

  1. Consummation of History

Let us see verse 9

O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!

This chapter started in praise and ended in praise. Human history started with praise and it will end with praise. When God created the universe, there was praise. Then the sin entered and disturbed God’s creation. God came into this world, died for our sins on the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended into glory. One of these days, God will put an end to human history and all dominion belongs to Christ.

   In 1992, political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote the book The End of History and the Last Man. In this book, Fukuyama argued that at the end of human history the Western liberal democracy becomes the final form of government for all nations. He is wrong. The end of history is not liberal democracy, but divine autocracy. Our God and Lord Jesus Christ will rule this world. And all God’s children will say, O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all earth!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you for the precious thoughts from Psalm 8. It is a great delight to see your portrait unveiled before us as we studied this chapter. We praise your dear and loving name, Amen.

Paul Kattupalli MD

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