Saturday, November 1, 2014

Psalm 8: Strength from babies?

Go to and search for strong babies. I guarantee you will smile, maybe even giggle. It's such a ridiculous idea that it makes us smile. And yet, God, the creator of the universe has chosen babies to confound his enemies. Here is what Psalm 8 says: 

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?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Lord , our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
If I were put in charge of editing the book of Psalms, I would leave out the sentence about babes, foes, enemies and avengers. It seems like it doesn't fit and breaks up the beauty of the Psalm. It is much more majestic without that sentence. Without that sentence God is majestic and man looks pretty good too, just a little lower than the angels and crowned with glory and honor. I like that. So why this odd verse about babies and infants? And who are these foes, enemies, and who is the avenger?

The foes are called "your foes", so the enemies are God's enemies. God has enemies. The creator of the universe, the One who put the stars and moon in place, who scattered the galaxies, this God has enemies, foes. There seems to be one in particular that the Psalmist calls "the Avenger". He sounds like a pretty badass dude. If you have a name like "the Avenger" it seems to shout "Don't mess with me!".

So how does God, the creator deal with his enemies? Does he choose his strongest warrior angel and send him out as a champion to cut down his foes and the Avenger? Does he send a batallion of elite angel warriors, clothed in battle armor, swords clashing? No. He sends out babies and infants. Who are these babies and infants? We are the babies! Mankind is the new kid on the block, the babies of the universe. We've only been around for approximately 340,000 years. The universe is millions of years old. There are beings and powers in the universe, ancient and oh so very powerful. Some of them hate God.

So what does the ALL Powerful God do to defeat his enemies? He chooses the weakest of beings, mankind to show off his strength, to show off his glory. He chooses us.

But God chose what the world considers nonsense to put wise people to shame. God chose what the world considers weak to put what is strong to shame.   God chose what the world considers ordinary and what it despises—what it considers to be nothing—in order to destroy what it considers to be something.   As a result, no one can brag in God’s presence. I Corinthians 1 
Lord, you are so majestic that you can use the weakest beings in the universe to bring down your foes. You don't need to call on the armies of angels, you chose babies, the weak to show off your strength and defeat your enemies. And in an even stranger twist, you yourself became one of these weak human beings and through this incarnation you have reconciled the entire universe to yourself. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth, in ALL the universe.