How excellent your name!!! The first and last expressions of Psalm 8 are identical. MAH ADDIR SHIMeKA is a striking call out and “all the earth” is an unstoppable attention-getter because it is the superlative expression of global harmony and community.
The narrative runs from the proposition to the punchline through one request and a few pitstops;
The storyline gets expanded only once from (1)” you remember humanity” (2) “you visit him” with YOU KEEP HIM LACKING JUST BELOW ANGELS
- Request: Please put your glory above the heavens.
- Surely I keep looking at your heavens
- you remember humanity
- you visit him
- you chrown him
- you make him ruler
Wanna know who the actors are? By name? David and Yahweh.
This query – who are the actors? – highlights the peculiarity of usage of the divine name: God’s actual name. It is both mystery and enigma. Conscience demanded that Moses had a name to attach to his message to Pharaoh. The patriarchs, built altars and vocalized towards God using several distinct names.
- He was EL-something in patriarchal times; EL-OLAM, EL-BERIT, EL-ELYON etc.
- Adonay is not a name; it is “owner”, “lord”, a term one uses to show respect to one’s peers.
- Abigail’s servants used adoneynu of their boss Nabal (2 Sam. 25:14, 17).
- David is “our lord” (1Kgs. 1:11, 1Kgs. 1:43, 1Kgs. 1:47) spoken respectively by a Levite (priest’s son), Bathsheba, and David’s servants).
- “Our Lord” is also on the lips of the returned exiles (Neh. 8:10 , Neh. 10:29)
It is not merely curious that the sacred name YHWH is not spoken and that ADON takes its place. It is as if one rejects using one’s wife’s name, and insists of calling her “my wife”, “ISHTI” but the name, the same name, put into the temple, becomes a wall of injustice, a pretext for xenophobia. The excellence of the name is denied when women and Gentiles are treated as strangers to God’s glory and strangers to the glory assigned to all humans. Glory that is above the heavens has been dragged through earthly things: wood, precious metals, blood, leather, and fine cloths.
All the earth seems to be on the backburner for the religious classes who have their heads locked into place between law and prophet, between the secular and the profane. All the earth does not stand a chance in their books. They will have a mighty explanation for standing afar off when the call has been going out for God’s people to mingle with all the earth and spice things up with heaven’s light.