Chapter 8

This psalm is a solemn meditation on, and admiration of, the glory and greatness of God, of which we are all concerned to think highly and honourably. It begins and ends with the same acknowledgment of the transcendent excellency of God’s name. It is proposed for proof (Ps. 8:1) that God’s name is excellent in all the earth, and then it is repeated as proved (with a “quod erat demonstrandum”—which was to be demonstrated) in the Ps. 8:9. For the proof of God’s glory the psalmist gives instances of his goodness to man; for God’s goodness is his glory. God is to be glorified, I. For making known himself and his great name to us, Ps. 8:1. II. For making use of the weakest of the children of men, by them to serve his own purposes, Ps. 8:2. III. For making even the heavenly bodies useful to man, Ps. 8:3, 4. IV. For making him to have dominion over the creatures in this lower world, and thereby placing him but little lower then the angels, Ps. 8:5-8. This psalm is, in the New Testament, applied to Christ and the work of our redemption which he wrought out; the honour given by the children of men to him (Ps. 8:2; Matt. 21:16) and the honour put upon the children of men by him, both in his humiliation, when he was made a little lower then the angels, and in his exaltation, when he was crowned with glory and honour. Compare Ps. 8:5, 6; Heb. 2:6-8; 1 Cor. 15:27. When we are observing the glory of God in the kingdom of nature and providence we should be led by that, and through that, to the contemplation of his glory in the kingdom of grace.