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Psalm 8:1-8

 To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.

 1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, SEPTEMBER 6, 2005:

This Psalm is just great!

It is one of the Bible's great "Evening Psalms!"

It talks, among many other things, about the night time sky!  (There's no mention of the sun here, just the moon and stars!)

Three "hints" in the opening "superscript" (information written above verse one) tells us of the musical nature of the Passage.

Here they are:  "To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David"

"Chief Musician" is a term indicating the great Choir Leader of Israel!

And "Psalm" in Hebrew ("mizmor") means a "melody!"

Plus ... even the little word "Gittith," which means a "winepress," is thought to here be a musical instrument that's shaped like a winepress!

These eight verses demand to be set to music and sung with all one's heart!

It is a Psalm of praise!

Lord willing, tomorrow we shall begin!

 

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, SEPTEMBER 7, 2005:

I've just learned that "Gittith" in the superscript of Psalm 8 is a form of the word "Gath!"

That was a Philistine city where giants lived, particularly Goliath!

That fact alone leads one Bible expositor to suggest that Psalm 8 just might be a Psalm of Victory!

And when read in that "light," it is even more brilliant!

Any portion of Scripture is as scintillating as a beautiful diamond ...  radiating intense flashes of light from some bright source!

And get this also:  Psalm 8 is obviously a "Messianic Psalm," prophesying the coming Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ.

For proof ... read Hebrews 2:9.  "But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man."

Notice the "quotes" Paul used ... from Psalm 8!

In Psalm 2 (also Messianic) we see Jesus as King over all men!

In Psalm 8 we see Jesus as Ruler over all creation!

I believe we are going to really LOVE this Psalm!

                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, SEPTEMBER 8, 2005:

The 8th Psalms opens and closes with the basically the same words!

The first verse:  "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens."

The last verse:  "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"

This is a literary device called "inclusio" and is used by th3e Holy Spirit to place strong emphasis on the Subject at hand!

While the heart, the middle, of the Psalm concerns man ... or at least it seems so on a first reading ... "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:  All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas." ... the true "FOCUS" must be the Lord!

I suggest to you that the only way to properly view this chapter of God's Word is through the "Lens" of Jesus Christ!

I do believe He is The Answer to each question this Psalm poses!

So while the able expositors call our Psalm a "nature" Psalm ... or a "praise" Psalm ... or a "night" Psalm ... or even a "Davidic" Psalm, I believe I'll just call it a JESUS Psalm!

Amen!

                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, SEPTEMBER 9, 2005:

"O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"

That's how Psalm 8 begins ... and ends!

Yes, it says that God's Name is EXCELLENT!

In our King James Bibles that word is rendered in a number of different ways. While it is translated "excellent" four times, it is also "noble" (or "nobles") eight times!

The Lord's Name is Noble!

And "excellent" (in Hebrew = "addiyr") is expressed as "mighty" five times!

The Lord's Name is Mighty!

It also is a Name of "principal" three times!

And "famous" twice!

Also once each our word "excellent" is written as "gallant" and "glorious" and "goodly" and "lordly" and "worthy!"

The word "addiyr" is only used twenty seven times in the whole Bible!

As an adjective "excellent" (again just following the Holy Spirit's use of "addiyr" through some of His Old Testament writings) describes the powerful or mighty waters that drowned Pharaoh and his army!  Exodus 15:10

It was used to describe the "saved" people of earth in Psalm 16:3.  Hence, God saves us and begins making us more and more like Himself ... in character and spirit!

It was once used to depict the glorious mountains of Israel!  See Psalm 76:5.

Jeremiah uses our word to focus upon the very best sheep in a particular flock! See Jeremiah 25:34.  Indeed our Lord is The Very Best!

While Nahum uses this adjective to modify the very best of the soldiers in a given army!  He literally calls these men "worthies!"  Nahum 2:5

Well, today I have tried every way I know to Biblically define that key word "Excellent!"

These thoughts should give us all some new ways to praise and glorify our dear Lord!  Some "word pictures" to better illuminate His Great EXCELLENCE!

The living Lord Whose Name is so Excellent!

Here is our verse again:  "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"

Tell Him sometime today what you think of His Name!

While this Friday the world will be taking That Holy Name in vain ... we should be exalting and honoring It ... and Him!

What a God we serve!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, SEPTEMBER 10, 2005:

The opening words are lovely!

Our great God is being addressed!

"O LORD, our Lord,"  it says!

Psalms 8 closes with that Title also!

When examining those two Names, one discovers that the first is Jehovah, and the second is Adonai.

Jehovah occurs 6519 times in the Bible!

While Adonai is found only 339 times!

Now these two words, when in conjunction, can be viewed a couple of different ways.

Jehovah is God's SAVING Name!  It is His Name by Which He enters into relationship with His people!  It is Jehovah God Who first shed the blood of some innocent animal to prepare coats for a fallen Adam and Eve to wear ... emblematic of a coming Saviour named Jesus!

Adonai, which means "ruler," is God's GOVERNING Name!  It is His Name by Which He controlled the fate of cities like Sodom and Gomorrah back in Genesis chapter eighteen.  It also means Master or even Owner!

Put these two together ... God "saves" us (The Jehovah Emphasis) ... then God fills us or controls us or directs us (The Adonai Emphasis)!  That's just the way He works!  He redeems me ... then He rules me!  He's my Saviour, and my Sovereign!  He's my God ... and my Guide!

Then let's look at it another way ...

Jehovah God loves me!  He shed His Blood that I might be saved!  He enjoys communion with His Own spiritual children!  He is typified and identified finally with Jesus Christ our dear Saviour!

But then Adonai God has the authority and position to keep me (once I'm saved) and provide for me and protect me for all of life here on earth and eternity to follow!

Do you see that?

I am saved (in Jehovah) and secured (in Adonai)!

God has upon me pity (Jehovah) and exercises over me power (Adonai)!

Jehovah God is my Father (Jeremiah 31:7-9) ... and Adonai God is my Husband (Jeremiah 3:8)!

Truly there is more to God's Name "LORD our Lord" than we could ever have imagined!

What a God we serve!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, SEPTEMBER 11, 2005:

The statement is just overwhelming!

Yet, being in the Word of God, it's absolutely true!

"O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"  Psalm 8:1

We are told that God's Name is excellent (glorious, noble, worthy, mighty) IN ALL THE EARTH!

In searching the Scriptures for that term "in all the earth," I have found 11 occurrences.  Here are some of them:

God Himself wants to be known as the God Who Alone is unique "in all the earth!"  There is none other like Him!  This particular statement is addressed particularly to His Own people.  (Exodus 9:14)

God has promised to do for Israel "marvels" such as have not been done "in all the earth!"  I would say this one has been validated again and again ... not counting the yet future events mentioned in the Book of Revelation!  (Exodus 34:10)

Twice Scripture tells us that God's "judgments" are manifest "in all the earth!" He is in control!  (1 Chronicles 16:14 and Psalm 105:7)

Three times the Bible illustrates God's desire that His Name be known even unto the heathen, those who have not previously heard of His great Person! Even Naaman the Syrian leper (who was healed by the power of God) acknowledged only God "in all the earth!"  See 2 Kings 5:15  (Plus the decrees of two different Kings in Daniel 4:1 and 6:25)

And three times God's Name is associated with excellence "in all the earth!"  Twice in Psalm 8 (verses 1 and 9) plus Isaiah 12:5 --- "Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth."

Now, to summarize:

"IN ALL THE EARTH" ... to God's People, His Flock, none is like Him!

"IN ALL THE EARTH" ... no nation has seen the "marvels" Israel has!

"IN ALL THE EARTH" ... God's "judgments" are known ... and will continually be so!  This earth faces a rather dramatic future!

"IN ALL THE EARTH" ... God longs for His Name to be proclaimed!

And "IN ALL THE EARTH" ... God's Name is "excellent!"

One of the accusations hurled at Biblical Christianity is that Jehovah God was simple a local tribal deity Whom we Believers have elevated into omnipotence!

They are wrong!

He is God, not in a limited local sense, but indeed "IN ALL THE EARTH!"

We serve a big God!

And if you don't believe so ... just wait and see!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, SEPTEMBER 12, 2005:

Psalm 8, which is directly quoted by Jesus in the New Testament, says this to God the Father:  "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength ...."  Psalm 8:2

What an unusual statement!

The noun "babes" (in Hebrew = "olel") means little ones or infants or just children.

While "sucklings" (in Hebrew = "yanaq") means little nursing children.

How can God "fix, establish or appoint" (meanings of "yasad," our word "ordained" here) strength ... from infants or children?

Two things must be observed about this Bible statement.

Firstly, it is illogical!

This is NOT man's way of demonstrating strength!

Through babies?

But this IS one of God's ways to great Power!

Secondly, it is observable ... in Scripture.

Yesterday while driving for several hours, the Lord set my mind on this verse.  I mean our verse for today ...  "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength ...."

I was reminded of three outstanding babies of Scripture.

Moses was, from his birth, a mighty emblem of God's strength and power!

When God wanted to deliver His people (the nation of Israel) from the grip of the mightiest king on earth (Pharaoh), He sent a baby into the world! 

Little John the Baptist was, from his birth too, a forerunner of the very power of God!  Don't you remember the Bible space given to the circumstances around his birth?

When God wanted to announce the coming of His Son, His only begotten Son, He sent a baby into the world to be the mouthpiece!  John the Baptist was one of the greatest preachers who ever lived!  He had enough power to frighten sinful Kings in their wickedness!

And then ... when God wanted to save the world from sin ... He also sent a Baby into the world, JESUS!  His Virgin-Born Son!  And Jesus had the power to live sinlessly and die vicariously and be resurrected literally ... all that lost mankind might be redeemed!  What POWER!

Yes, I would say without doubt that God "out of the mouth of babes and sucklings" has established strength and power!

From baby Moses eventually came the Law of God ... "Thou shalt not ...!"

From baby John the Baptist eventually came the news of a Saviour ... "Behold, the Lamb of God Which taketh away the sin of the world!"

And from Baby Jesus eventually came the Blood, the sacrificial Blood, that saves old lost sinners ... "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."

There you have it!

Three babies ... whose lives eventually show us ...

1.  We are all sinners ... the Law!   (Moses)

2.  We all need a Saviour ... and He is Jesus, God's Son!  (John the Baptist)

3. The only One Who could say it:  "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."  (Jesus)

Now that's ordaining STRENGTH ... from the mouths of little infants!

Glory to God!

I imagine the devil is frightened every time a little one is born!  For the old deceiver knows what God can do ... even with just a precious little baby!

Amazing!

And by the way, thanks be unto God!

Last night the Lord blessed our daughter and son-in-law with twin babies, both little boys!

May God from these little fellows ... ordain even more strength ... to His Honor and Glory!

Amen!

Pray for them all please!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, SEPTEMBER 13, 2005:

It seems like such a simple statement.

A worshipper is adoring his God!

He speaks to His Lord, remarking ... "Thou hast set Thy glory above the heavens."

The noun "glory" (in Hebrew = "hod,") is only found in Scripture 24 times!

Now the usual word for "glory" (in Hebrew = "kabod") is used 200 times!

Glory ("hod") means "grandeur!"  It is once in the King James Bible translated "beauty" and once "comeliness!"  A well-known Bible dictionary says our word contains the idea of "an imposing form or appearance!"

Also our Bible renders the word as "honour" or "honourable" seven times!  And as "majesty" four more times!

In the first Bible use of our word, Numbers 27:20, our God is said to put "some of His Honor" upon Joshua, the newly appointed leader of Israel!  "And thou shalt put some of thine HONOUR upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient."

That, I believe, is the idea of Psalm 8:1.  God has placed some of His great Beauty and Majesty and Glory "above the heavens!"

Now to discuss the preposition "above" (in Hebrew = "al").  God's Glory is set "above" the heavens.

It usually means "upon" or "above" in this sense:  pre-eminence!

When we look toward the heavens (the sun, moon or stars) ... God's Glory (Beauty) has been placed both upon them ... and beyond them, far superseding them in majesty and splendor!

In fact, Psalm 104:1 tells us that God is even "clothed" with this Glory ("hod")!

Furthermore, this sense of Majesty and Beauty and Honor, draped across the heavens is a GIFT from God!

That's exactly what the verb "hast set" means!  The Hebrew action word "nathan" is (over 1000 times) translated as "give" in the Word of God!

God has "given" us a bit of His great Glory ... to behold and adore ... and point us to even more of His great Honour and Essence!

No wonder man is so amazed at the heavenly bodies!

He has been studying them constantly since Creation.

Last week I learned that there are stars in outer space where rain, in the form of diamonds, falls!

I also was told (on good authority) that there are sections of the universe where matter is being "sucked" into vortexes so powerful that even light cannot escape!  These so-called "black holes" are there, just without any brightness! They truly consist of "outer darkness!"

There are multiple solar winds blowing right now that reach speeds in excess of a million miles per hour!

And there are billions of galaxies ... each with billions of stars!

How massive!

How awesome!

And, yes, how beautiful they are to behold!

Yet ... the GLORY of our God far excels them all!

And such heavenly displays are just a "sample" of the Beauty of our great Lord!

Listen to Job contemplate just what we've been considering today:  "By His Spirit He hath garnished the heavens; His hand hath formed the crooked serpent.  Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him?"  Job 26:13-14   (Job says,  "And we know nothing yet!  This is just part of it!")

According to these verses, God created and decorated the heavens ... including the constellations (like the "serpent") ... but all these beauties are just PARTS of His mighty Ways!

The universe is just a "beginning lesson" ... in any study of the Glory of God!

"How excellent is His Name!"

After this, all I know to do is WORSHIP Him!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, SEPTEMBER 14, 2005:

Some Psalms were written in the morning.

In fact, Psalm 63 is known as "The Morning Psalm."  The ancient godly Jews used it before sunrise each day ... to adore and worship Almighty God!

Here are its first two verses:  "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary."

But ... other Psalms were written at night.  They make appropriate prayers and meditations for the evening hours!

Such is Psalm 8.

The third verse explains my thought.  There David has been thinking (apparently at night) and says to the Lord:  "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained ...."  Psalm 8:3

The fourth verse completes the sentence, but for today verse three is plenty!

The opening verb "consider" translates the Hebrew word "raah" which means "to see, look or behold."  It also can mean "to perceive or to discern or distinguish."

David is seeing the stars with his physical eyes ... but far more than the stars with his spiritual eyes!

When this godly man sees the creation, he thinks about the Creator!

Notice what he calls the heavens ... the "work" of God's fingers!

The noun "work" (in Hebrew = "maaseh") means "a product," especially a "poem!" 

But ... get this!

Six times in the Word of God our word here "maaseh" (work) is linked with the Hebrew noun for "embroidery" and is (King James Version) rendered as "needlework!"

David just looked at the night skies and called them the "needlework of God!"

His embroidery!

His art work!

His great canvas!

No wonder there are groups of stars up there in the night sky that tell such lovely stories!

Going by their oldest known Hebrew names, certain star groups picture a Virgin sitting in the heavens ... holding a Branch in her hand!  (One of Jesus' ancient Titles!)

Another has her (a Virgin) actually holding a baby boy!

There are stars that (again, by the meanings of their oldest names) depict a Cross!

And I believe there is one group that pictures Resurrection!

And I'm sure one constellation is an emblem of the Holy Spirit being "poured out" at Pentecost!

Not to even mention a giant heroic Personage who is trampling a serpent under His Feet!

And the Second Coming is shown in several different ways!

Now lost men and women who study the heavens WILL not see these things. Many of them (but not all) are atheists.

Could it be so?

Could the Heavens tell such a Story?

Remember that from Adam to Moses, a period of 2500 years, mankind had no written Bible.

Yes, God has created ... engraved ... worked with His Fingers ... embroidered as with needlework ... all the glorious heavens!

Then ... no wonder Psalm 19 opens as it does:  "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.  Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,  which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race."

The "sun" as a preacher?  He "uttereth speech!"

The "moon" and "stars" as teachers of the Creative Power of God?  They "show or declare knowledge!"

Maybe tonight we should step outside for a while and (if skies are clear) look at God's great masterpiece, the star-filled heavens!  On a good clear night you can without the help of a telescope or binoculars see between 2,000 and 3,000 stars, depending on your quality of vision!  Wow!

And, when you see them, adore the Creator!

The One Who sent His Son to die for sinners!

The One who saved you through Jesus' Blood and by God's Grace!

Like David, we should all be amazed!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10, SEPTEMBER 15, 2005:

Have you ever thought about the "Fingers" of God?

While theologians would quickly tell us that such terms are just "anthropomorphisms," I have noticed that collectively the Lord's "Fingers" keep appearing in the Word of God!

Psalm 8 gives us a classic example.  "When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; what is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?" Psalm 8:3-4

Did you ever think of that?

"The work of God's FINGERS!"

Yes, and in Psalm 8 they are CREATING!

Daniel 5 mentions, I believe, the Fingers of God too!

During a wild ungodly party, on the very last night of Babylonian rule, a set of majestic Fingers appeared and wrote the death notice for Belshazzar and his court!  They were practicing debauchery ... with the very vessels of gold stolen from the Temple in Jerusalem!

Suddenly ... "In the same hour came forth fingers of a Man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote."  Daniel 5:5

Now some would argue the point, but no doubt this is the work of God too! 

What did the Fingers write?

In simple words:  O wicked King, tonight you will die!  Your kingdom has ended.  God is giving it to another!

Now, the CREATING Fingers of God are the CULMINATING Fingers of God as well! He has just judged a whole nation on earth, an idolatrous one!  (To "culminate" means to put the finishing touches on something, hence to finish it off or bring it to an end.)

Next, in Mark 7:33-35, Jesus is healing a man.  He does so in quite an unusual way!  "And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.  And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain."

Here's God's "Fingers" are CARING for a poor deaf and dumb man!  What "Fingers!"  

I'm glad He "touched" me one day!

And in Exodus 31:8 we are reminded that God's "Finger" wrote the Law on Mount Sinai!  "And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God."  Also see Deuteronomy 9:10.

Now we have the COMMANDING Fingers of God!

Furthermore, on the fifth "plague" of Egypt, according to the Egyptian "magicians" anyway, the "Finger" of God sent lice upon all the land of Egypt. And this plague the false priests of Egypt could NOT duplicate!  Read it with me:  "Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said."  Exodus 8:19

Now God's "Finger" is CRUSHING the pride of a wicked crowd of old devil worshippers!

(Luke 11:20 is another great example of the Finger of God, belonging to Jesus, crushing the old devil!  Here are our Lord's very words! "But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you."  Sounds like the devil just got "crushed" again!)

Next, let's look at the CONVICTING "Finger of God!"

A woman, "taken" in the very act of adultery, had been dragged to Jesus!  Her accusers, all themselves hypocrites, stood around to hear the Lord's "verdict!" But Jesus, instead of saying a lot, wrote on the ground!  "This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not ."  John 8:6

Whatever He wrote, those men "scattered!"  (My Uncle, who was a Preacher, believed that Jesus wrote the names of their latest girlfriends and immoral conquests!  That surely would have caused such hypocritical men to "move on," wouldn't it?)

And, one last thing!

I have noticed as I "word-searched" for both the words "finger" and "fingers" in Scripture, the priests sure were mentioned a lot!  (Over a dozen references at first glance!)  If you remember, a man would have been disqualified as a priest if he had even broken his fingers at any time!  Priests HAD to have good fingers! 

Why? 

With them they sprinkled blood upon altars, sacrifices and the very people of God!

For example, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest had to ... "Take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times."  Leviticus 16:14

Well, I've got some good news!

Jesus, our faithful High Priest, already in Heaven at the Right Hand of God the Father, is interceding for us this very hour!  And He has sprinkled the Blood of the Cross on the great Mercy Seat there in Glory, with His FINGERS no doubt, by which Act He "obtained  eternal redemption for us!"  Hebrews 9:12 says: "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His Own Blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."  Amazing!

Yes, Jesus' FINGERS are still active ... on our behalf!

Now we have just discussed the COMFORTING Fingers of God!  Or at least I take great consolation in the fact that my Lord is our Great High Priest!  It wouldn't surprise me if His Fingers are still a bit Blood stained!  Hebrews 10:20 says that in Heaven, right now, Jesus' Blood is viewed by the Father as "freshly slain!"  That's the exact meaning of the word "new" there!  Study it for yourself!

Glory to His Name!

(And do remember:  Not a Finger of His was broken ... even on the Cross!  He ascended to Heaven with perfectly good ones!)

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11, SEPTEMBER 16, 2005:

"The moon and the stars, which Thou has ordained," so proclaims Psalm 8:3 ... in no uncertain terms!

Upon reading these great words, I immediately wanted to search the Scriptures, the whole Bible, and see how many times the "moon" and "stars" were mentioned together.

Ready for the answer?

Seventeen times!

David, with no telescopes or other scientific equipment, still loved the heavens!

And one night, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, he wrote these precious words!

"The moon and the stars, which Thou has ordained!"

He was obviously talking to God.

What does that word "ordained" mean?

In Hebrew it is spelled "kun" and means to establish or make firm or fix or even to stabilize!

Using this same verb in its exact form, God has also "established" two other things!

One is His standard of Judgment!  Psalm 99:4 says that!  Wrong is still wrong and right is still right!  That is, in God's Eyes!  And this great "standard" of His is carefully recorded in the Word of God!

Secondly is the earth our Lord has created!  Psalm 119:90 records:  "Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth."

Therefore, since God has ORDAINED or established the moon and stars, let's see what the Bible says about them!

Not only has God created them ... as Genesis 1:16 says ... He has also given them a number of practical uses!  One of those is to light the earth at night! "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also."

This is a fact that should generate praise in our hearts!  "The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever."  Psalm 136:9

God also gives us a WARNING about the moon and stars!  "And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven."  Deuteronomy 4:19

Do NOT worship them!

Also the Scriptures say that these heavenly bodies are tainted with sin, like from the devils rebellion.  "Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight."  Job 25:5

The moon and stars praise the Lord ... and will do so in even greater measure when Jesus comes again!  "Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light."  Psalm 148:3

Enjoy them now, when old age comes you may no longer have sufficient eyesight to even see them!  "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; while the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened ...."  Ecclesiastes 12:1-2

The moon and stars vary in brightness and glory!  Paul uses this fact in 1st Corinthians 15 to teach us about our future glorified bodies, after Jesus comes again!  "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory." 

But, surprisingly, the MOST OFTEN mentioned facts about the moon and stars deal with some future day of judgment in which these heavenly bodies will be dramatically impacted!

Read with me, noticing that each Passage contains the words "moon and stars."

Isaiah 13:10 --- "For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine."

Joel 2:10 --- "The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining."

Joel 3:15 --- "The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining."

Matthew 24:29-30 which say:  "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." 

Praise the Lord!

Luke 21:25 --- "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring."

Revelation 8:12 --- "And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise."

Consequently I today draw this Biblically based conclusion; the moon and stars, as beautiful as they are, and as efficient as they are, and as established by God as they are ... still have an even greater role to play in God's Plan for the Ages!

Look at them tonight!

Admire them ... then worship the Great God Who spoke them into existence!

Also remember the time is coming, a future time of great judgment upon sin, when God will command them to cease their shining and they will obey Him explicitly!

They will do so too!

So ... in the moon and stars above we have three lessons:  one being for the past, another for the present, and the third for the future!

Past:  They say, "God created us!"

Present:  They say, "God controls and maintains us!"

Future:  They say, "God will cut us 'on' or 'off' at His Will ... and we will obey His every desire while the wicked disobedient rebellious earth is being judged for her sin!

What lessons they can teach!

Thank God today for the moon and the stars!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12, SEPTEMBER 17, 2005:

"What is man?"

After considering the heavens, particularly the night sky, David the Psalmist once asked a question. Itís a very pertinent question. He asked it of the Lord!

"What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?" Psalm 8:4

Some of the innumerable (to man) stars, planets, suns, asteroids, comets, and moons of the universe are so vast in size! They "eclipse" man in so many ways! There are stars in space into which a million of our "suns" could easily fit! Thatís big! Our earth is just a baby planet compared just to other planets in our solar system!

Conversely, man is so small!

And in strength too! The energy produced by some of those stars is the equivalent of tons and tons of nuclear detonation ... per minute! Solar winds are clocked at millions of miles per hour!

And man? He certainly has no such strength!

Why, the Hebrew word for man ("enosh") means man as a weak and frail mortal!

And the swath, the girth of their very orbits, astounds us to this day! Earth circles the sun ... which circles the galaxy ... which circles yet something else! Take little Pluto, for example. His orbit takes 247 earth years to complete! What vastness!

While poor mankind scarcely travels a few thousand miles (at most a few million) in a whole lifetime!

Yes, according to size, strength and swath ... what is man when compared to such creation?

But the same Psalm that asks the question ("What is man?"), also answers it! It seems that mankind is the very crown of Godís creative work!

He is in fact, since now a sinner, the very object of the redeeming Blood of Jesus!  He is, if saved, a future inhabitant of the Heavenly City!

Man, so "puny" in comparison to the moon and stars, is yet blessed twofold in our verse.  "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?"  Psalm 8:4

God "is mindful" of man!

The verb here, "zakar" in Hebrew, means to remember or to think upon or to call to mind! God has not forgotten us! Isaiah 49:15 words it best: "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee."

Remembered of God! The only thing about saved mankind that God chooses to forget is ... his sins! Listen to Him in Hebrews 8:12. "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."

That alone makes man special!

But ... thereís a "progression" in this verse. We go from "man" ("enosh") to ... "son of man" (in Hebrew = "ben adam")!

"Enosh" is man as a weak frail human, subject to failures and eventually death. While "Adam" is man created by God with special aptitudes and talents, man as made in Godís image!

And ... here ... this "son of man" is "visited" of God!

This second verb (in Hebrew = "paqad") means to count or number! To oversee or govern! And even at times to punish (31 occurrences in Scripture)!

God visits us!

He has visited us!

He is visiting us now!

And He will forever do so!

What?

How?

Through His darling Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Perfect Son Of Man!

God was "made flesh" and dwelt among us! See John 1:14!

Yes, I believe this Psalmís focus goes from the human man to the God-Man, to Jesus Christ our Lord!

Where the first Adam failed ... the Last Adam (Jesus) succeeded!

Where the first Adam sinned ... the Last Adam did not!

While the first Adam made us all sinners ... the Last Adam gives sinners hope of Eternal Life ... through faith in His Name!

Even this one short verse of Psalm 8 canít help but point us to ... JESUS!

And I like that!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13, SEPTEMBER 18, 2005:

"A little lower than the angels!"

That's where God placed mankind when he created them!

That puts human beings on a level higher than the insects ... and the creatures of the sea ... and the animals at the zoo as well!

Psalm 8 makes the above statement as it answers the question "What is man?"

The exact words are:  "For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour."  Psalm 8:5

Think of the dignity God bestowed upon mankind!

He (or she) is just a little lower than ... Michael, the Archangel!

Or Gabriel!

Or perhaps even the Cherubim or Seraphim!

Man has been created just "a little lower" than the "innumerable company of angels" mentioned in Hebrews 12:22 also!

Man ... in God's eyes ... is special!

I guess so!

Man, once having fallen into sin, became the very object of redemption!

Man is why Jesus came to earth!

Man is why the Cross of Calvary had to be erected!

Man is why all Christ's precious Blood had to be shed!

Man, with whom God longs to fellowship, is the center of a divine plan that picks us wicked humans out of the miry pit of sin and places us on the Solid Rock, Jesus Christ the Saviour!

Man is so special that God (in human flesh) visited him ... and died for him ... and is willing to save him from his iniquity!

And, folks, these Truths today drive many people absolutely mad!

I was reading just the other day where a scientist, an evolutionist and an atheist, was "mocking" the idea of the universe being anthropocentric!  The term means man-centered.

The article said that we now know that billions of galaxies exist ... and that the idea that the earth is unique or man in some way particularly advanced is ... "silly!"

That's exactly what the devil wants folks to think!

Evolution itself suggests that man is nothing more than an animal ... one more "step" in an ever advancing chain of progressive events!

The writer I mentioned advanced the notion that some day ... thousand or perhaps even millions of years from now ... a far advanced species of mammals will have evolved!  Maybe with double brains and eight arms and stronger backs and longer life spans ... a species that would look back at human history and just "chuckle!"

I REJECT ALL THAT KIND OF THOUGHT!

Man is not just a "speck" on the Darwinian time chart! 

He is not an "accident," produced by chance or fate through random laws of "selection!"

He is the creation of God!

He is the focus of an overseeing Lord!

He has been "visited" by the Virgin Born Son of God!

He is on God's "Mind" constantly!

He is, in position of glory and honor, just below the very angels themselves!

And how do I know all this?

From Psalm 8, among other places!

However, this representative "man" of whom we are speaking, due to his own disobedience ... is a sinner!

And as such, he is headed straight for judgment ... and a place called Hell!

And that, you see, is WHY Jesus died!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14, SEPTEMBER 19, 2005:

In a way the whole thought is surprising!

The Psalmist says to God, Who created mankind, "Thou hast crowned him with glory and honour.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet."  Psalm 8:5

Do you see that?

God has crowned man with glory and honour!

And "glory and honour" are qualities that exist most purely in the very presence of God!  "Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place."  1st Chronicles 16:27

Daniel once said to King Belshazzar:  "O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour."  Daniel 5:18

Only God can give real glory and honour!

Yet, again I observe, He has bestowed it upon mankind.

Then we are told that God gave man "dominion" over "all things," putting them under his feet!

"Dominion" (in Hebrew = "mashal") has the idea of rulership or governorship ... over the whole earth!

And the little qualifier "all" (in Hebrew = a noun and spelled "kol") means just that, the totality of something!

Look what God did for Adam, the prototypical man, the first man.  God placed him on earth ... just slightly lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and honour and placed him in a position above all creation!

Astounding!

THEN SIN ENTERED!

Adam and Eve "fell!"

They disobeyed Almighty God!

And the sin that tainted them ... also robbed them of much of their glory and honour!

You know as well as I do that lost mankind now lives on a level much lower than the angels!

Some men live lower than the very animals they were supposed to control!

Instead of man having dominion over nature ... nature (again, due to man's "fall" into sin) has dominion over man in many instances!

Fermented grapes sure control man now, don't they?

Or rotten grain, with which man makes beer!

Or poppy seeds, from which he extracts opium?

Or maybe marijuana?  It is any longer just a plant?

No!  Man, bowing before it, derives euphoria from its chemicals! 

Instead of being a king ... man has become a slave!

On the surface it looks like God's great Creation Project has gone astray!

Man, sinful man, has drastically failed in God's design for himself!

And friends, that is WHY God had to send another Adam!  Make that ... Another Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ!  "The Last Adam," That's Who Paul called our Lord in 1 Corinthians 15:45.

And the Last Adam (Jesus) victoriously gained what the first Adam lost!

Adam number one failed.  He sinned!

Adam Number Two succeeded!  He was sinless!

What I'm saying today is this:  Jesus is God ...and yet He is God Who came (via the Virgin Birth) into human flesh and lived sinlessly and perfectly fulfilled His Father's Plan for mankind ... then died for us old failures ... known as sinners! He died so that we might be saved from Hell!

Jesus, The God - Man!

The PERFECT GOD - MAN!

Hallelujah!

In fact, I really believe the Lord Jesus won for mankind, through His shed Blood on the Cross of Calvary, MORE than the first Adam ever lost!

What a Man!

What a God!

What a Saviour!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 15, SEPTEMBER 20, 2005:

In Psalm 8, when God told newly created man that he had been given dominion over "all things," a list immediately follows.

"All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas."  Psalm 8:7-8

I am suggesting to you today that in every instance, mankind has failed in God's stated plan for his life!

Look at the "sheep."

Their "wool" is for man's clothing.  In fact, Hosea 2:9 records the Lord saying: "Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness." 

There it is:  "wool" ... for human clothing!

But has man made proper use of "clothing?"

No!

He (and she) do quite the opposite!

At least in these last days they do!

Dressing immodestly, man refuses to use the "sheep" and his wool (or any other material for covering the naked body) for God's intended use!

Everywhere, even in many churches, various stages of "undress" are seen!

Man has failed herein to have proper dominion over the flocks of earth!

Let's look at the next word in our verse: "oxen."

The Bible says men are to control oxen, but Psalm 106:20 tells us that man was controlled by oxen!  He even worshipped one!  "They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass."  This happened while Moses was on the Mount, receiving God's very Law!

And "the beasts of the field?"

Instead of making them "lower" than mankind, scientists today tell us we have descended from them!  They are not our servants ... they are our parents!  And that's exactly what Darwinian evolutionists are telling us!

And the "fowl" of the air?

Jesus used these little flying creatures to teach spiritual truth!  "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?"  Matthew 6:26

But today mankind tells us the birds used to be creeping things ... that millions of years ago "sprouted" wings and took off! 

Instead of man using the birds to point us toward God and His great love, now they are being used to point us away from God!

And the "fish" of the sea?

Little true "dominion" is found there as well!

Man, in "controlling" ocean life, has pretty well poisoned it all!

Many kinds of fish are now declared too tainted with mercury or some other poison for human consumption!

See what I'm saying?

In Psalm 8 David said to God of man:  "For Thou (Lord) hast made him (man) a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas."

But mankind failed!

In a way this is a sad portion of Scripture!

But what if I told you that God sent a Man, a Perfect Man, Who did have dominion over all creation?

In fact, that Man (Jesus) is coming yet again back to earth!

And for a whole golden age of time He will exercise that God-prescribed dominion completely ... as God's perfect Will is demonstrated for the whole world to see!

Then, and only then, will Psalm 8 be precisely fulfilled!

"Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!"

You see ... where man failed, Jesus succeeded!

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 16, SEPTEMBER 21, 2005:

Many years ago a man was leaving Church one Sunday morning after I had preached the Word of God.

He had a question, a Bible question, to ask his Preacher.

He wanted to know if Psalm 8 ... "What is man, and the son of man? Made a little lower than the angels.  Crowned with glory and honour.  All things under his feet" ... was describing earthly man (like you and me), or the Lord Jesus Christ, the True Son of Man!

The answer to the question is:  BOTH!

God did create Adam, the first man, to fulfill all the great goals the Psalm mentions.  Notice the words in verse five of our Psalm, which says that God "made" man!

God made man ... "to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:  all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas."  Psalm 8:6-7

Yet man fell into sin and has miserably failed in his God-assigned task.

But ... God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son ... to pluck mankind from the brink of Hell, save his old lost soul and take him to Heaven some day!

Praise the Lord!

In coming to be the Saviour, Jesus (Who is God the Son) takes upon Himself human flesh and becomes the God - Man!

Perfectly God!

And Perfect Man too!

Paul goes so far as to call Jesus, when contrasting Him with the first Adam back in Eden, "The Last Adam!"  Speaking of Jesus, 1st Corinthians 15:45 records: "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."

And Jesus, God having come to earth in flesh (John 1:14), did fulfill all that Adam failed to accomplish!  That and a whole lot more!

Let me show you what I mean!

Apply all these qualifications (each from Psalm 8) to our Lord ...

"A little lower than the angels!"  The Holy Spirit directly applies these words to Jesus in Hebrews 2:9

"Crowned with glory and honour!"  Again, Hebrews 2:9 --- "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."  Amen!

"All things under His feet!"  Yes, read David's words here:  "The LORD (God The Father) said unto my Lord (God The Son), Sit Thou at my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool."  (Psalm 110:1)  Also see Ephesians 1:22 and 1st Corinthians 15:27, where God "hath put all things under His (Jesus') feet!"

"Sheep, oxen, beasts of the field, fowl and fish!"  I suggest to you today that Jesus is both the Creator and Sustainer of all animal life today! 

Do you remember when he rode a little colt, on which no man had set, into Jerusalem one day?  With a crowd loudly screaming praises on either side of Him?  And that little untamed unbroken animal meekly carried the Lord of Life into the city?  See Mark 11:2 for the details.  That's was dominion over a little donkey!

Do you remember His control over the fishes of the sea?  One had a coin divinely lodged its mouth one day ... just to pay Peter's overdue taxes!  Once a whole "school" of them went to the right (not the left) side of the boat (at Jesus' command), to be caught by some hungry disciples!  (John 21:5-6)

Roosters (fowl) crowed at just the right time too ... when Jesus was near!

And The Last Adam not only controlled the animal world as mentioned in our Psalm 8 Passage ... He also was Lord of the weather (storms stilled) and the plants (water into wine) and physics (walking on the sea) and biology (blinded eyes seeing and deaf ears hearing and lame legs walking) too!

Truly, Jesus is THE PERFECT FULFILLMENT of Psalm 8!

No wonder it begins and ends with these words:  "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"

And, furthermore, when Jesus comes again ... "all things under His feet" ... will be demonstrated in an even greater way.

For just a "sample" of explanation, read Isaiah's description of that future glad Day when Jesus returns and reigns in glory and honour:  "The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."  Habakkuk adds:  "The perpetual hills did bow ... the mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation." Habakkuk 3  (How's that for "control" over nature?)

And back to Isaiah, when Jesus reigns ... "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."  Isaiah 11:6-9

Amen!

Enough has been said!

What Adam, the first man failed to do ... Jesus, The Perfect Man has done!

Talk about being "successful,"  Jesus is!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 17, SEPTEMBER 22, 2005:

When various portions of Scripture begin and end with the same words we should take note!

Many Bible paragraphs and chapters do this. Some Books of Scripture do so too.

For example, the eighth Psalm does!

Here's its first verse:  "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens."

Now read its last verse:  "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"

This is a literary device, here used by the Holy Spirit Who inspired all Scripture, to show the Theme or Topic or Subject (the real Focus) of a Text!

Sometimes Bible teachers calls these identical opening and closing words an "inclusio."

We can immediately observe, then, that the Whole Point of Psalm 8 is The Lord! I mean particularly the Lord ... and His Name ... and its Excellence!

Look precisely at how the Name of the Lord is presented here:  "O LORD, our Lord!"

In Hebrew, that's "O Jehovah our Adonai."

He is our Saviour and Redeemer (That's what Jehovah indicates)!

And He is our Sovereign or Master or Lord (The meaning of Adonai)!

The first Name "LORD" presents God as a Fact!

The second Name "Lord" presents God as a Friend!

LORD ... He's The Powerful God!

Lord ... He's my personal God ... and Saviour!

Then too, you will no doubt see that the fact of the "Excellence" of God's Name is repeated in that ninth verse also.

"How excellent is Thy Name in all the earth!"

The reason this is done ... to emphasize God's great Name yet again ... is accompanied by a 7 verse commentary, the whole mid-section of Psalm 8!

God's Name is excellent in all the earth ...

                      ... even little babies prove it!  Verse 2

                      ... even the moon and the stars prove it!  Verse 3

                      ... even the creation of man proves it!  Verses 4 and 5

                      ... even man's failures prove it!  Verse 6

                      ... and certainly Jesus' Victories prove it!  Verses 7-8

It bears repeating after all that ... "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"

Then, lastly, study with me this fact:

There are some words missing in the last verse of the Psalm ... words that were included in the first verse!

Again let's look at the two verses together:  "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens."  Psalm 8:1

"O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"  Psalm 8:9

I have capitalized the words from verse one that the Holy Spirit did not include in the last verse.

"Who hast set thy glory above the heavens."

Why the difference?

I believe this. 

By the time we have really lived all the verses of Psalm 8 ... in a personal and complete way ... Jesus will have returned to earth the Second Time!

We will have already been to Heaven with Him (in the Rapture) and will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that His Glory is "SET ABOVE THE HEAVENS!"

And as we then sing Psalm 8 on earth, a redeemed earth, a purified earth, a millennial earth ... singing it with the ransomed of all the ages ... we will no longer need to accent the truth about the Heavens and God's Glory!  We will have experienced that in person!

Then ... for a thousand glorious years ... literal years I believe ... we shall worship Jesus and proclaim again and again that last verse:  "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"

Like the Scripture says, there's coming a day when ... "The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."  Isaiah 11:9 and Habakkuk 2:14

Lord, hasten that glorious day!

According to Jeremiah 1:12, God can do that, "hasten" His Word!  Jeremiah tells us: "Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it."

Amen!

If you don't like Jeremiah's approach, then take John's in Revelation 22:20. This is the last prayer of the Bible by the way! 

"Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 18, SEPTEMBER 23, 2005:

Let's just take one Portion of Scripture, Psalm 8, and list a few little "nuggets" of gold from its nine verses.

It begins with the words "Our Lord."  That could remind you of a New Testament Prayer that begins with the words "Our Father!"

Why is God's glory said to be "above the heavens?"  (Psalm 8:1) 

Perhaps because Solomon told us back in 1st Kings 8:27 that the heavens alone were not big enough to contain our great God!  "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have builded?"  Therefore God's Glory must also be "above" the heavens!

Psalm 8 is quoted three times in the New Testament; Matthew 21:16 and 1st Corinthians 15:27 and Hebrews 2:5-9.  The Hebrews Passage is a virtual commentary on Psalm 8!  There Paul teaches us HOW to apply the Psalm to Jesus!

Since "Gittith," in the superscript of the Psalm, means "winepress" ... could classic "Second Coming" Passages like Isaiah 63:1-3 and Revelation 14:14-20 further explain its implications?  Is Psalm 8 a Passage that will not be completely fulfilled until Jesus returns to earth?  "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped."  Here's Jesus at the winepress of God's Wrath!

When Jesus quotes Psalm 8:2 in Matthew 21:16, He deliberately changes the word "strength" to "praise!"  HE can do that!  Therefore, we can logically and Biblically assume that there's a "link" between the two, strength and praise! Scripturally speaking, the more one "praises" God ... the "stronger" he will be in the faith!  Read Nehemiah 8:10 --- "The joy of the LORD is your strength."

Psalm 8 gives us a choice:  look down at a fallen man (Adam) ... or look up at an exalted Man (Jesus God's Son and the Saviour of the world)!

The verb "visitest" in Psalm 8:2 (in Hebrew = "paqad") ... suggests Jesus' coming to earth to die for lost mankind.  However, the same verb 31 times is translated (in the King James Bible) "punish" or "punished!"  God the Son will either SAVE a lost soul ... or, if that soul rejects God's Grace and rebels against the Truth, punish him for his unrepentant heart.  In Psalm 8 ... God loves people more than planets!  He loves souls more than stars!

When Psalm 8 speaks of all the animal world being subjected to the Son of Man (Jesus), I am reminded of a verse Mark includes in the account of Jesus' Temptation in the wilderness.  "And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him."  (Mark 1:13)  You can be sure those animals were adoring their Creator during those special days!

Our Psalm lists six categories of "nature" which are going to be perfectly subjected to Jesus when He returns!  "Sheep" ... Jesus is The Good, The Great and The Chief Shepherd!  "Oxen," compared to preachers throughout the New Testament (1st Corinthians 9:9 being an example) ... are just our Lord's dear "undershepherds, caring for His flock!"  "Beasts of the field" perhaps represent the lost masses of the world (the field = the world, Matthew 13) whose "every knee will bow" to Jesus some day!  The "fowl" of the air, birds, will assist Jesus in "cleanup" after Armageddon!  Birds went "into the Ark" too!  And the "fish" of the sea are invited into Jesus' net in Matthew 13:47 as well!  And that which "passeth through the paths of the sea" could be the many ships and merchants who ply the oceans day after day, making fortunes for financial gain.  They too must some day submit!  Even the god called "mammon," the love of money ... will bow before our great Lord!  Read about the coming destruction of Babylon (the world's financial and commercial kingdom) in Revelation 18.

I have one thing to say: "Jesus is Lord!"

And then the closing words of the Psalm, "all the earth," must remind us again of that clause in the "Lord's Prayer"  which requests:  "THY KINGDOM COME!"

Amen!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 19, SEPTEMBER 24, 2005:

The phrase "all things under His feet" is a key thought in Psalm 8.

Man (Adam, Eve and all their offspring, including us) failed to fulfill that mandate! We, instead of living with "all things under our feet," have largely perverted "all things" and let them have rule over us instead!

But Jesus, God's Son, came to earth!

And what we could not do ... He both has done during His life on earth ...and will do in ever greater measure when He comes again!

I mean in "putting all things under His feet!"

Interestingly, I found that phrase three other times in the Bible!

"All things under His feet!"

Notice with me ...

1st Corinthians 15:25 and 27 say:  "For He (Jesus) must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet."  Then ... "For He (Jesus again) hath put all things under His feet."  All enemies placed "under Jesus' Feet!"  That's exactly what God the Father promised Jesus back in Psalm 110:1.  Listen to David: "The LORD (God the Father) said unto my Lord (Jesus), Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."

Next Ephesians 1:22 says:  "And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church."  God the Father has placed Jesus as Head of the Church, having also subjugated "all things" unto God the Son!

Then Hebrews 2:8 says:  "Thou (God the Father) hast put all things in subjection under His feet (Jesus' Feet). For in that He put all in subjection under Him, he left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we see not yet all things put under him."  It says ... "Not yet" ... but that Day is coming!  This Text obviously looks into the future, when God's Will shall be done on earth, as it is in Heaven!

Look what we have here ...

1st Corinthians 15:25,27 --- Jesus' Determined Power Over The Devils!

Ephesians 1:22 --- Jesus' Delightful Power Over His Disciples!

And Hebrews 2:8 --- Jesus' Delayed Power Over The Dispensations!

I am so glad this Saturday in late September that our LORD is Lord of all!

"O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"  Psalm 8:9

And with those lovely Biblical words this series of Bible studies on Psalm 8 must close.

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

WE HAVE NOW STUDIED THE WHOLE PSALM, VERSE BY VERSE!  GOD HONORS HIS WORD! "HOW EXCELLENT IS HIS DEAR NAME!"

 

 

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