Sermon Overview & Prayer: "Theology From A Night Sky"

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Psalm 8 – PRAYER POINTS
Theology From A Night Sky - CJ Mahaney

These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer.

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. 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? (Psalm 8:1-4)

“Psalm 8 introduces us to the first experience of joyful praise and adoration in the Psalter…here in Psalm 8, if just for a moment, darkness and suffering are driven away by the commanding vision of the sovereign God of the created universe and his unfathomable care for humanity.” (Gerald Wilson)

PRAYER: Father, in a world filled with darkness, sin, and suffering, we ask that the Holy Spirit would prompt us to see the brightness of your glory in your Word, in your creation, and in your care. Help us to always be ready to give an answer of our hope, and to share about the One who so loved this world.

His name is majestic like no other for He is like no other in His greatness, splendor, wisdom, power, beauty. He has no rivals! And His name is majestic “in all the earth.” The psalmist’s response to the name and majesty of God revealed in redemptive history and on display in creation is one of awe, admiration, adoration and amazement. He cannot remain silent but must give voice to God’s glory!

PRAYER: Lord, knowing that out of my heart my mouth will speak, give me ears to hear the condition of my own soul. Is my heart (and hence my mouth) filled with fear, or worry, or complaining? Or do I abide in faith, gratefulness, humility, and trust...expressed in thanksgiving, adoration, worship, and praise?  Direct me to those who know me well enough, and hear me often enough, to help me answer these questions. May I always see you high and lifted up above all!

“God has chosen to use weak things to confound the mighty. He does not need to use powerful people or eloquent speakers to silence his adversaries...”

Jesus Christ himself referenced Ps. 8, verse 2. “Jesus said to them, ‘Yes, have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise?’”(Mt. 21:16). So, verse 2 is an invitation from God to the weak to pray to and praise the majestic LORD who will strengthen you and silence your enemies.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for the assurance that my frailities and weaknesses in no way limit your power and authority. Thank you for the grace you promise to the humble, and for your power made perfect in weakness. What a marvelous gift to know that I need only cast care, and you will abundantly take care!

“The central rhetorical question is ‘What is man that you are mindful of him…’ In the context of Psalm 8, the question expresses stunned awe as the psalmist glimpses the surpassing greatness of the universe and reflects on human smallness and massive insignificance: astonishingly, God is mindful of man – the word has overtones of compassion, as the parallel line shows: he cares for us.” (D. A. Carson)

PRAYER: Father, may my every glance at the heavens – the sun, the moon, the stars – be a reminder that your eye is upon me, that you are mindful of me, that your steadfast love is toward me, and that your sovereign rule and reign is over everything that concerns me!

The conclusion of the psalm models for us the only appropriate response to the content of this psalm-declare with freshly deepened theologically informed affections verse 9. “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” 

  1. Behold the night sky – Look up in order to cultivate humility-look up to be humbled by what you see and behold the glory of God that is discernable in creation. Let us not tire of familiar glories.

PRAYER: Lord, as I gaze upward into the expanse of the heavens, and as I observe the beauty of creation all around me, once again...open my eyes, my heart, and my mind to the wonder and glory and majesty of who you are. You spoke, and these came to be. You uphold all things by the word of your power. And yet, you know me by name! May such a miraculous reality fill me with trust and worship. 

  1. Behold Christ – The New Testament sees Psalm 8 as ultimately fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The ultimate importance and significance of Psalm 8 lies in its application to Christ.

In the letter to the Hebrews chapter 2:8-9, the author identifies Jesus as the one who fulfills the original design of God for humanity. The vision of Psalm 8 is fulfilled in the incarnation, death, resurrection and exaltation (glory and honor) of Jesus according to the gracious plan of God for delivering His people from sin and death and hell and satisfying them with himself for eternity.

And even though at present, when we look around our fallen world we don’t see everything subject to His reign, we see Jesus; and one day His people will reign with Him, fulfilling God’s original design.

PRAYER: Lord God, may we steward the life you have given us with faith, faithfulness, trust, and obedience. May we live life with grateful hearts for gift of your love, gloriously displayed in the gospel.

And may we do all this with the joy of knowing that there is a day coming when every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!

“O Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

 

OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
In Psalm 8, David praises the Lord as both merciful and mighty. The Lord works through weakness to show His strength. Then, David transitions to consider “what is man?” Man is small compared to creation’s glory. But God sees us and cares for us in a way we don’t deserve. Last, David praises the majesty of God again. Praise is the only appropriate response to God’s self-revelation. Most importantly, this psalm points to the true Man, Jesus Christ. Christ has gloriously fulfilled God’s plan for humanity through his sacrificial death and resurrection.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. C.J. encouraged us to look at the placement of Psalm 8 within the Psalter—a psalm of praise following five psalms of lament. Why is this flow of events important and how should it influence our response to suffering?
  2. Where are you experiencing weakness in your life right now? How did this psalm give you renewed comfort and hope in God’s ability to work through weakness?
  3. What are practical ways you can plan to “look up” at God’s glory in creation this week instead of looking at your phone or considering yourself?
  4. C.J. said that God’s glory shines most brightly in the face of Jesus Christ. He was crowned with glory after facing the shame of the cross. How did this psalm make you treasure Christ more?
  5. C.J. mentioned the Psalms are 95% spoken words—to the Lord or to others. How does this psalm encourage you to proclaim God's greatness out loud to fellow believers and nonbelievers?