O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. (Psalm 8:1-2)
The first two verses of Psalm 8 make no sense next to each other. God’s majesty is proclaimed, and then it says He uses infants to “still the enemy and the avenger.” On the face of it, there is nothing majestic about the weakest of people (babies) silencing God’s enemies. Is there?
David understands his own weakness and the weakness of all humanity when taking in the wonder and power of the divine: “what is man that you are mindful of him?” (8:4). Have you ever seen something that was so wonderful—the stars, the mountains, the ocean—so beyond you that you couldn’t help but feel small? Insignificant? A pale brushstroke on the canvas of God’s creation? David sees the stars (8:3), considers the God who made them, and realizes how not God he is.
What is man…?
He goes on to explain some of what he said in verse 2. God has given dominion over all creation to mere humanity. We rule it all, sheep, oxen, birds, fish, everything. As God’s image bearers, we have the call to “rule the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:26-30). David marvels at the idea that you and I—such weak, imperfect, fallible creatures—would be entrusted by God to govern his world. God in his majesty gives lowly humanity the high calling to rule his majestic creation.
But this psalm is not simply about God entrusting the world to his image bearers. It’s ultimately about God’s truest Image Bearer.
How does God silence his enemies? By sending his Son as the weakest of the weak, the lowest of the low. Christ is born in a manger, lives the humble life of a peasant carpenter, is beaten and nailed to a cross like a criminal. And it is because of all that, Paul says in Philippians, that Jesus has been given the name that is above every name, that at his name every knee everywhere will bow before him (Phil. 2:6-11).
God uses the weakest thing imaginable—a poor man wrongly accused and publicly executed—to silence his enemies (8:2).
Today we can sing with the psalmist, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (8:1, 9), because that majestic Lord became a babe himself to deliver us from the enemies of sin, Satan, hell and death. We worship a God who is simultaneously majestic and humble, glorious and meek, powerful and weak. God Himself weakened Himself for you and for me. And it is because of that that we can sing praises to his majestic name.