Verse 1. "O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy Name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens."
Yes, God's name is excellent in all the earth, though millions of mankind are not aware of it. Excellent is His Name, and everywhere present is His power, and everywhere manifest is His wisdom and His love. No one thing there is in all the universe which does not tell of the hand that made it. The greatest and the least are alike the works of God's creation, the objects of His care, and the proofs of His omnipotence.
Verse 2. "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast ordained strength …"
"I cannot help adding that some little boys and girls who were fond of sitting round me on the pulpit while I preached, and handed to me people's notes - though they were often pelted with eggs, dirt, etc., thrown at me - never once gave way; but, on the contrary, every time I was struck they turned up their little weeping eyes, and seemed to wish that they could receive the blows for me. God make them, in their growing years, great and living martyrs for Him, who, out of the mouth of babes and sucklings, perfects praise".
From a letter by George Whitefield
Verse 3. "When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained".
How cometh he to mention the moon and the stars, and omit the sun, the other being but his pensioners, shining with that exhibition of light which the bounty of the sun allots them? It is answered: "This was David's night meditation … Night was made for man to rest in. But when I cannot sleep, may I, with the Psalmist, entertain my waking with good thoughts.
Verse 3-4. "When I consider the heavens, etc. … What is man that thou art mindful of him?"
To study whether it be the sun or the earth that moveth, and not to consider what motion is predominant in thy soul and life, is a pitiful, preposterous study. To think more what stars are in the firmament than that grace is in thy heart; and what planet reigneth, than what disposition reigneth in thyself, and whether the spirit or the flesh hath dominion, is but to be learnedly beside thyself.
Verse 4. "What is man …?"
The Scripture gives many answers to this question. Ask the prophet Isaiah: "What is man?", and he answers "all flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field". Ask David "What is man?" He answers: "Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie". Man is a lie; not only a liar, or a deceiver, but "a lie" and a deceit. All the answers that the Holy Ghost gives concerning men are to humble man: man is ready to flatter himself, and one man to flatter another, but God tells us plainly what we are.
What is man that God should take notice of him. Is he not a clod of earth, a piece of clay? But consider him as a sinner … and we may wonder to amazement. One step further; what is REBELLIOUS man, man an enemy of God, that God should magnify him? What admiration can answer this question?
Verse 6. "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; THOU HAST PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET".
Let none of us permit the possession of any earthly creature to be a snare to us, but let us remember that we are to reign over them, and not to allow them to reign over us. Under our feet we must keep the world, and we must shun that base spirit which is content to let worldly cares and pleasures sway the empire of the immortal soul.
Verse 9. "O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy Name in all the earth".
He closeth the psalm as he began it with admiration: whence learn - (1) the praises of our Lord, and the excellency of our covenant right and interest in Him are worthy again and again to be considered;… therefore, is this verse repeated again; (2) When a man hath begun to declare some reason of his ondering at the glory of God, manifested in the whole world, and specially in His Church, he must give over the full explication of this glory, and close as he began with wondering still; as here, the same exclamation of wondering at the excellency of God's glory concludeth the psalm as it began it… "O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth".
George Whitefield was once asked if he would found a denomination after him just as John Wesley had founded the Wesleyans. "No", he answered, "Brother John Wesley may do as he pleases, but let my name perish; let Christ's name last for ever".
"O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy Name in all the earth".