************ Sermon on Psalm 8:1,4 ************

By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman

This sermon was preached on November 27, 1997

Psalm 8
vs 1,4
"The Majestic God is Mindful and Cares"
Thanksgiving Day - 1997

"Dear your honor," wrote an eight-year old boy to Judge Archie Gringold of St. Paul, Minnesota. "I thank you so much for letting my mom and dad adopt me. I'll be nine soon, and I'm in the Cub Scouts ...
"Here's a picture of me. I'm also giving you four cents, because you deserve it."
Judge Gringold put the four pennies into a children's fund. "It makes it all worthwhile," he told the Chicago Daily News.

This little boy tells us something about thankfulness. Yes, thankfulness means we are to count our many blessings and name them one by one. But true thankfulness also involves a realization of where our blessings come from. That's why this little boy said his thank-you to Judge Gringold. Thankfulness means giving gratitude to someone who has met our need.

Today is Thanksgiving Day. Today we are gathered together to thank and praise God, the source of our many blessings.

I The Majestic God (vs 1,9)
David starts and ends Psalm 8 the same way with words of praise to God:
(Ps 8:1,9) O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
God's name stands for God's person, God's being, and God's attributes; they are all majestic.

"Majestic." In the Hebrew language, this word tells us that God is the incomparable, omnipotent God. We hear this message often in the pages of Scripture:
(Ex 15:11) "Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you--majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?

(1 Sam 2:2) "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

(Ps 86:8) Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.

(Jer 10:6) No one is like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.

God is majestic. He is majestic in power, in splendor, in glory, in works, and in holiness. He is incomparable. There is no god like the Lord God almighty.

For King David, the majesty of God is especially evident in His vast and wondrous creation. David looks at the sun, moon, and stars. David looks at the birds, fish, and animals. David looks at man. He sees all that God has made and He says,
(Ps 8:1,9) O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

II The Majestic God is Mindful and Cares for Man (vs 4)
A In verse 4 of this psalm David turns his attention from the majestic God towards man. And he asks in our text,
(Ps 8:4) what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
The Hebrew word for "man" refers to the impotent, frail, sinful being made of dust and born of woman. Compared to the awesomeness and majesty of God, what really is man? Compared to God, man is a nothing, a speck, something puny and insignificant.

B What amazes the psalmist and pertains to us on this Thanks giving Day, is that the majestic God cares for this speck called man and is mindful of him. It seems inconceivable that God the incomparable, omnipotent God Who has made the heavens and the earth should be concerned with man. Yet He is. And that is why we are gathered together today to remember the Lord's blessings and mercies and to offer thanks to Him.

God is mindful of man. "Mindful" is a covenant word. God doesn't forget man. Rather, He eternally remembers man. He remembers the covenant He has established with Adam, with Abraham, and with all their descendants. Because God is "mindful," He gave Abraham a promised son. Because God is "mindful," He brought Israel out of Egypt and into Canaan. Because God is "mindful" He brought Israel back from the Exile. Because God is "mindful," He fulfilled His promise to David of a Son Who would sit on his throne forever. Because God is "mindful," He sent His only begotten Son into the world, not to condemn the world but to save the world through Him (Jn 3:17).

Because God is "mindful," He forgives us our sins by the blood of Christ. Because God is "mindful," He has given us the present realities of salvation: planting new life within us, converting us, leading us to repentance and faith, uniting us to Christ, sanctifying us, forging us into the communion of saints. Because God is "mindful," we can rest assured that He will bring to fulfillment all the beautiful promises He has given us about the future life: a new and better life in a new and better body on a new and better earth.

"What is man that you are mindful of him?" Man does not deserve this. None of us poor sinful creatures deserve to be remembered by the majestic God of heaven and earth. Yet, the majestic God is mindful of us. So on this day we offer Him our thanks. We say,
(Ps 8:1,9) O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

C God is "mindful" of man. We would be remiss if we thought here only of His spiritual blessings. He also remembers the physical side of His covenant with man. In the Garden of Eden, God said to Adam and, through him, to all of mankind,
(Gen 1:29) "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food ..."
This is a promise of God to provide man with food.

After the Flood, God made a similar promise to Noah and, through him, to all mankind:
(Gen 8:22) "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."

(Gen 9:3) Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
This also is a promise of God to provide man with food.

God is "mindful" of these promises. He remembers them. King David can say in Psalm 8 that God "cares" for man. God daily gives us what we need: food, drink, clothing, shelter. He has given us life and breath. He has given us families. He has given us jobs. He has given us more than we need and can even use. God showers His care upon us.

I sometimes wonder if we realize how truly blessed we are. I came across this little clipping in my sermon illustration file this past week:
Dear Lord,
I have been re-reading the record of the Rich Young Ruler and his obviously wrong choice. But it has set me thinking.
No matter how much wealth he had, he could not:
ride in a car,
have any surgery,
turn on a light,
buy penicillin,
hear a pipe organ,
watch TV,
wash dishes in hot running water,
type a letter,
mow a lawn,
fly in an airplane,
sleep on an innerspring mattress,
or talk on the phone.
If he was rich, then what am I?

I want to show you how good we have it. On the back of your sermon outlines you will see a copy of a sheet I got from the Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner ... (review the first ten items). Truly, God is good to us. He has put us in a land flowing with milk (item # 1) and honey (item # 30). We have to say that God cares for us and is mindful of us.

D We too, like the psalmist, should be startled and surprised. Like him we should ask,
O Lord ... what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
Amazing, isn't it? The majestic God cares for man. The God beyond all compare, the God Who fashioned the heavens and earth, is mindful of man.

But, then, what else can be expected of our God? Yes, He is the majestic One. But He is also the LORD, what the Hebrew language calls Yahweh. Yahweh is the name of the covenanting, creating God. So of course He is mindful and cares. To do anything else, to be any other way, is to deny Himself, His character, His person, His name.

Today is Thanksgiving Day. Today we remember that the majestic One is mindful of man and cares for him. Today we offer Him praise as the source of all of life's blessings. Today we sing and we say,
(Ps 8:1,9) O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Let me conclude with a story.
In this one family a father opened in prayer at every mealtime, thanking God for all His blessings. Immediately after prayer, as was his habit, he began to complain: about the poor quality of the meat on his plate, the size of the eggs, the high interest rates, the soft potatoes, the poor wage he was making, the bitterness of the coffee, the outrageous prices one had to pay.
One day his little daughter set him straight. "Daddy," she said, "does God hear you when you thank Him for all His blessings?" With confidence he replied, "Yes dear, He does." "Daddy," she continued, "does God also hear you when you complain about the meat and potatoes?" A little hesitantly he replied, "Yes, He hears that too." "Daddy," she said again, "which does God believe?"

Which does God believe: when we pray and worship and say thank-you, or when we live ungrateful lives?

Always, at all times, we should praise and worship our majestic God:
(Ps 8:1,4) O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Why? Because,
(Ps 8:4) what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

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