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<< Today's Insight with Chuck Swindoll

Day by Day - Dec. 16, 2009

Living Beyond the Grind of Feeling Overlooked 

by Charles R. Swindoll

Psalms 8 

All of us need to be needed. It is satisfying to know that we can make a contribution or assist others in their need. Being in the swirl of activity, resourceful and responsive, we tend to think it'll never end. But it does. Sometimes ever so slowly through a chain of events or sometimes abruptly without warning, we find ourselves sidelined and no longer in demand. A tiny blood clot in the brain can seize our usefulness and leave us in its devastating wake. Another factor is age . . . merely growing older can move us away from the fast lane. By being passed over for a promotion or by being benched because a stronger player joins the team, we feel overlooked. It hurts.

The eighth song in God's ancient hymnal is a great one for those times in our lives when we feel bypassed, set aside, overlooked. It highlights the value God places upon His creatures, especially mankind.

There are three introductory observations that leap off the page as I read through the Eighth Psalm:

First, it is a psalm of David, written under the Holy Spirit's direction.

Second, it was designed to be on the "Gittith" (note the superscription, those words above verse 1). The etymology of this Hebrew term is questionable. Most probablyGittith is derived from Gath, an ancient Philistine city.

Do you remember David's most famous victory? Goliath, the giant he slew, was from Gath (1 Samuel 17:4, 23). You, too, may have a giant to slay—that personal giant of feeling insignificant. So take heart; this song is for you.

The Scriptures also tell us that after David's victory over Goliath the people of Israel sang and danced as they celebrated the triumph (1 Samuel 18:6 -7). I suggest—and it is only a suggestion—that this psalm was composed by David as a hymn of praise in honor of God who gave David that epochal triumph over Goliath of Gath. As you read the Eighth Psalm, you'll see that it seems to fit that historical backdrop.

My third observation is that Psalm 8 begins and ends with identical statements: "O Lord, our Lord, / How majestic is Thy name in all the earth. . . ." I find several interesting things about this repeated statement:

1. The psalmist speaks on behalf of the people of God, not just himself, hence ourinstead of my. This tells us he represents the people as he composes this song of victory.

2. The name of Jehovah is identified with majestic. This is from the Hebrew word ah-daar, meaning wide, great, high, noble. David pictures our Lord as One who is gloriously magnificent, absolutely majestic!

3. The Lord's works and attributes are not limited to Israel or to the Land of Canaan. They are universal in scope. The Lord God is no national or tribal deity secluded from all else.

David worships the living Lord as the majestic and glorious Lord of all. Take time later tonight to look up at the stars. As you study the vast stellar spaces, give God praise for His wondrous works in the universe. Though silent, they reflect our God's majesty.

Excerpted from Living Beyond the Daily Grind, copyright © 1988, 1989, 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

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