On the Instrument of Gath (Psalm 8)


1 To the Chief Musician. On the instrument of Gath. A Psalm of David. O LORD, our Lord, How excellent [is] Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens! 2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all [things] under his feet, 7 All sheep and oxen–Even the beasts of the field, 8 The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, How excellent [is] Your name in all the earth!

PSALM 8:1-9


The address to the Chief Musician reminds us that this isn’t just a private musing of David, but one that he thinks is fit for others to join in as well. It bares David’s name, because he is the author, but these words that have given voice to his awe and wonder of God are suitable for others to use as well. Praise God for musicians who have the skill in penning notes, thoughts, words and have given us expression to praise God! There is no higher vehicle for music to transform us than when we sing praise to God. 

On the instrument of Gath. We remember that Gath was a Philistine Territory in the days of David. It was where Goliath was from. A little coastal village along a creek bank. What kind usefulness could come from Gath? Apparently there was an instrument there that the Hebrew folks took over and used in worship to the LORD!

Wasn’t the Lord worthy of Praise even from this instrument formed by Philistine hands? The Philistines may not have recognized the LORD, but He had made them just the same. He knit them together. He marked off their dwelling. He gave the spark to their creativity. He formed their human ears. He set forth the arithmetic of melody. Surely this instrument had been used for lesser worship of lesser god’s who were at best just stone and at worst demons. Now in the hands of a skilled Israelite musician this instrument would reach forth to it’s fullest potential and be redeemed for use in praising the one true God, the creator of heaven and earth.

I didn’t start out as a Christian. I came to a place where I put my hope and trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. There have been a lot of words that I have uttered that were not praise worthy, nor did they extol the grace and mercy of God. Yet, God in his grace and providence has called me to be an instrument in his hands for his praise and glory. I am grateful for this small line in this wonderful psalms that reminds me today that God redeems.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
  Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
  Call for songs of loudest praise.

Robert Robinson in the Hymn, “COME THOU FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING”


Father, You are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory! The details of your creation amaze me. From Astronomy to Oceanography our lives brim with testimony of design. From the smallest of cells the the most complex of eco systems the world testifies to your goodness. Thank you for letting me join in the chorus of your praise. I am grateful that you are a God who redeems. In Jesus Christ, Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

One thought on “On the Instrument of Gath (Psalm 8)

  1. Jim Laehy

    I have just come across your site and was blessed from your message “ON THE INSTRUMENT OF GATH”

    “O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!” Psalm 8:9

    May the grace of God through Christ Jesus our Lord be with you.


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