[[To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.]] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth! Who hast set Thy glory above the heavens.
To the chief musician: As in Psalm 6, David composed this wonderful paean of praise to be used in worship, led by the Levite priest who was the overseer of all the music.
The gittith, as far as I can discover, was an instrument–most likely the lyre. It may have looked something like this:
It was a small enough instrument to be held on one’s lap. I’ve always wanted to see one close up and personal, just to pluck the strings and imagine how it must have sounded when David played and sang.
This Psalm has a strong theme of praise to God, and worship directed toward Him for all His wonderful works. David repeats his words from verse one in the final verse of the psalm, beginning and ending with the same statement of the wonderful glory of God.
The psalm begins with the recognition of Who God is: O Lord: The word Lord indicates a sovereign Being here, and His preeminence over all things.
Our Lord states the covenant relationship of Yahweh to His people (Lord). So it was saying, simply stated, that “God is our Master.”
That simple yet profound sentence has been rolling around in my head since last night. I went to sleep with the music in my head that I learned years ago for this verse, and with the concept that He is indeed Lord, sovereign, powerful over all things.
How excellent is Thy Name in all the earth: Some translations use the word majestic instead of excellent. The word excellent means that His Name excels all other names, is greater than all other names, and deserves the honor over all other names. Majestic carries the sense of superiority over all others. Here is a list of synonyms for majestic: powerful:—excellent, famous, gallant, glorious, goodly, lordly, mighty(-ier one), noble, principal, worthy.,
In earthly use, man has given the title Your Majesty to rulers of kingdoms. It is a term of great respect, acknowledging the sovereignty of the ruler over all others. Kings and Queens dressed in majestic clothing, often decorated with gems, in fabrics no one else could afford. Symbols of their power were gem-studded crowns and scepters, and all people bowed before them. To misuse or abuse the name of a royal person could end in death!
I thought, of course, of the casual way we have come to refer to God these days–although such misuse is nothing new. Satan has always tried to bring God down below the level of man, stripping Him of His omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. Of course, at the same time, Satan has tried to elevate man to be a deity to himself. Such exclamations as OMG! should never come from the mouths of believers. It is a flippant phrase, meaningless in its overuse. People who would never ordinarily use His Name casually have been caught up in this computer-driven exclamation as we use it in texting, commenting, and so on. It is so often applied to the inane, such as “OMG! I LOVE your shoes!” We should stop it. To use it is a defamation of Almighty God.
God has indeed set His glory in the heavens! On a clear day, the blue color is a thing of wonder just in itself. I love big, white, puffy clouds that sail above us like ships powered by the wind. When those clouds turn dark with rain, it is a blessing that helps keep us alive! The evening and night skies have long been a wonder to me. All the colors of a sunset are God’s salutation at the end of each day. If you live far enough away from a big city, the sky is filled to overflowing with the stars He has thrown across the universe, including the foggy band of the Milky Way that is visible on a clear night.
He has blessed us with so much wonder, so much glory for our enjoyment. To attribute all that to an accident of evolution is to deny the very existence of God–which, of course, was the stated goal of Charles Darwin. He was angry with God over the loss of a beloved daughter, and vowed that he would prove that there was no God at all. Which leads me to ask, “How can you be angry with a God Who does not exist?” But that’s a topic for another day.