Out of the Mouth of Babes (Psalm 8:2)

child singing

I have the verses of Psalm 8 posted next to my kitchen sink, and I’ve been thinking about verses 1 and 2 all week:

“O LORD, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!

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”

What does it mean?  What did David intend when he said that God ordains strength out of the mouth of babes?

Well, I pulled a trusty commentary off my shelf.  No, I pulled off two!  No, three!  Then I read the verses in several different versions.

Most commentaries agreed that this verse is a prophecy of what would happen a week before Jesus’ crucifixion…

“So the disciples went and [got a donkey] as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them.  And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!
Hosanna in the highest!

“…But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant and said to Him, ‘Do You hear what these are saying?’
“And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes. Have you never read,

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have perfected praise?'”
(Matthew 21:6-9, 15-16, NKJV)

The Bible is very clear that we are all born with a sin nature.  However, we are also born knowing that there is a God.  Author Ted Tripp, author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart, says that we are born with a “Godward Orientation.”

Almighty God chose to reach through the crowds gathered that day in Jerusalem and allow the tiniest children to praise Jesus. Imagine!  The little ones, still in diapers and clinging to their mothers’ skirts, watching as Jesus came riding into the temple on a donkey.  They saw Him heal the blind and deaf people that they had seen congregating at the temple.

Maybe a little girl says, “Mommy, what is wrong with Old Joe’s eyes?”

“He is blind, Honey.  That means he can’t see.  It’s like when Mommy plays peek-a-boo with you and covers up your eyes, only he never gets to UN-cover his eyes.  It’s always dark for him.”

Baby Sister says, “Ow-wie, uh, oh,” and sticks out her bottom lip.

“Why does he sit at the temple every day, Mommy?” asks Big Sister.

“Well, he’s hoping that God will make his eyes all better, Dear One.” Inside her mind, the mother was thinking, “Yeah, and he sits there hoping to line his pockets with the coins of generous worshipers.

“God WILL make them all better, won’t He, Mommy,” Big Sister confidently says.

“Awww bettah,” echoes Baby Sister.

Then, when Jesus arrives and really DOES heal the sick, the little, watching eyes grow wide and little lips start to sing.

Hosanna to da Son of Day-bid!”

Little hands start to clap, little ones put wet kisses on their mommy’s faces, little feet start to dance…

And I think about the times when I wake up on the wrong side of the bed.  I stumble out to breakfast and holler at the kids to quiet down their racket. They’re already up and at the kitchen table, blank paper out and crayons busily working.  They stare at me with big eyes as I bang the pots and pans and slam the cupboard doors.  Everything gets quiet as I reach for something for my headache.  As I gloomily gulp my milk, I hear a 3-year-old singing,

“Jesus loves me,
This I know!
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak,
But He is strong…”

On the chorus, I hear a toddler voice join in.

“Yah, mmm mmm mmm meeee
Yah, mmm mmm mmm meeee
Yah, mmm mmm mmm meeee
Na mmm mmm na na oooooh.”

And life suddenly has perspective again.  When I am an enemy of God — when my Godward orientation naturally shifts to the idols of self — God can take the voice of a little child and remind me that He is in charge.  He knows what is going on in my day, and He holds the answers for all my problems.  I am weak, but He is strong.  And He loves me.  The Bible tells me so!

Perfect praise comes when I become as a little child, humbling myself before a righteous God and confessing my sins.

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’

“Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

“‘Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea'” (Matthew 18:1-6).


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  1. Lois Snyder says:

    Know I love you in the Lord and am praying for you as you seek to have a Godward focus.

  2. Great blog/ site. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insights.

  3. Anne,
    What does it mean? What did David intend when he said that God ordains strength out of the mouth of babes?
    Sorry I believe that you Got this wrong. I believe the word says what is means and means what is says .
    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.
    If I read this as it is written out of the mouth ‘ which in the original form meant blowing . Ordains In the Hebrew that is “to set ” But the same can be said to “perfect ” ..Strength Is “power , Majesty , praise”
    To Silence the enemy and the avenger.
    The enemy is Satan the avenger is God. There is only one thing that I know that is set by God , Perfect , and Has Power majesty and praise that Is given by God in blowing.
    That is the holy Spirit and gifts of the Spirit .
    So If I read this as its written , God is saying that he will pour out his spirit on a child and provide them gifts. To protect them from the enemy and him having to destroy them.
    Gods highest commandment amongst love for other above murder is “Honor thy Father and mother ” . What does God do when Mommy and daddy are the problem ? Set a child in the family with gifts to save the child and lead the child to lead the parents to Jesus ?
    Psalm 68
    A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation.
    6 God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
    18 You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men,
    Even from the rebellious, That the Lord God might dwell there.
    7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says:
    Eph 4
    “When He ascended on high,He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men”
    Jesus changed strength to praise , Paul changed “received Gifts to Gave gifts”
    The Spirit and Jesus gave the gifts yet with all gifts of the Spirit they receive all the Glory from what was given .
    1 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
    Only God can silence the Enemy and the avenger. The Gifts are used in the power of God his Spirit to Silence the enemy as only he has that power. Also to Silence the avenger , So that he does not have to bring vengeance.
    He is Merciful , if a child is put into an abusive home they are in danger. Might if he saw a child might be molested, he would put a gift of Mercy and discernment in that child. So the Child could withstand the abuse forgive, understand it wasn’t them and then use those same gifts to turn the parents to his great love. Saving the whole family .

    • Betty Gaston says:

      WOW! This interpretation was so Beautiful! It brought a tear to my eyes. Gods word is so powerful and beautiful when you truely understand it. I enjoyed reading each interpretation for they both directed our attention to the Master. Thank you so much. Amen.

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