In this Psalm David looks at the stars in the sky and is overcome with the glory and greatness of God. He is in awe of the position and honor God has given to man. This Psalm is also prophetic of the Son of Man, Jesus Christ. This week we will be looking at the overall theme of the Psalm which is the glory of God.
What does it mean to glorify God?
Psalm 8 speaks of the majesty and glory of God. This is the bedrock of the Christian faith. All things exist to glorify God. However, what does this mean? Essentially, glorifying God means that we live the entirety of our lives to show the value, worth, and majesty of God. This encompasses everything we do, and is the focus of our prayers and actions. Our evangelism is not about the surpassing worth of the human soul; it is about the surpassing worth of the risen Christ. Our ministry is not about building the Kingdom; it is about showing the glory of the King.
The most righteous of actions can be the most wicked of deeds
In the sermon on the mount Jesus condemns people who do good things for the praise of others. All of our righteous deeds that are not done for the glory of God are wicked deeds. Saul’s desire to offer sacrifices, Hophni and Phineas’ desire to offer sacrifices, Moses striking the rock, and Uzzah’s desire to steady the ark are all examples of this. God does not desire my sacrifices or even my “obedience.” God desires for me to show the world that He is worthy of the entirety of my life. If I “obey” by tithing my spices yet neglect mercy towards my neighbor, I am not actually obeying God at all. If I share the Gospel with my neighbor’s child while neglecting my own child, I am not serving God.
The first commandment really lays out the whole of what Psalm 8 is saying. Everything in creation is to point others to God as the Supreme source of joy. Any thing that I value above God is an idol. This means that idolatry takes many religious forms. The Pharisees are an example of this. In their desire to serve God they killed His Son. Crucifying Jesus was a demonstration of their devotion to God; they hated Jesus for His “blasphemy.” Obviously, their righteous deeds were the greatest of evils. But why? It is because they were not living for the glory of God. They were living to promote God’s people and themselves, but not glorify God Himself. Idolatry is rampant in Christian circles because we have something other than God’s glory as the bedrock of what we believe and do.
This is why David wants all of God’s people to see what he sees, the glory of God. Theologians calls this the beatific vision, a glimpse of the glory of God that enthralls us and changes everything we do.
Have you seen the glory of God in the cross of Jesus Christ? Are you living for God’s glory or some other idol?