Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
How does God use the mouth of His children?
The scripture says that God has ”ordained strength” out of their mouth. The original text for ‘ordain’ can also mean ‘make a foundation’. The word rendered ordained – יסד yâsad – means to found, to lay the foundation of, as of a building, Ezra 3:12; Isaiah 54:11. Then it means to establish, appoint, ordain, constitute, etc.
When we speak, God will make our words a foundation for His strength, i.e. He puts His power on our words. It is extremely important for us to understand this truth. We are tempted to discern from our emotions, whether we have enough strength or not.
- We may feel, or think, that we have strength, i.e. our own strength, and act from it. But, our own strength will not be sufficient.
- Or we may feel that we don’t have strength, and therefore we feel, or think, we cannot act.
The truth is, we are not called to act from our own strength.
- We are called to speak commands
- It is God’s job, to put His power on our words
When we do our job, we should believe that God will do His job. When we speak commands against the evil spirits, not just our words reach them, but God’s power. The power of God, put on our words, hit the evil spirits, and they have no chance against it.
The word “strength” is rendered by the Septuagint as “praise” – αἷνον ainon – and this is followed in the quotation in Matthew 21:16. The same rendering is adopted in the Latin Vulgate and in the Syriac.
The Hebrew word for “enemies” is tsarar, and it means ‘to cramp’. The word is interpreted differently in different scriptures, and we will study those interpretations one by one, since they tell us about the activity of the enemy in people’s lives.
Let’s first have a look at tsarar in the meaning ‘to cramp’, i.e. to press and to make people’s lives too narrow.
The evil spiritual world is pressing people. It becomes hard to receive salvation, and hard to live as a Christian. God’s plan is freedom for His creation. Freedom to receive salvation, and freedom to live, and to go further, as a Christian.
Other definitions of tsarar, with a similar meaning as cramp, are:
- Be too narrow
We don’t have to look long to find people who are ensnared in sin and misery, people tied up in themselves, people tied up in wrong relationships, or people who’s life and way of living has become so narrow they cannot go any further. Our ‘enemies’, i.e. the evil spirits, are working to trap us in all of these things.
The original word – שׁבת shâbath – from which our word Sabbath is derived, means to rest; to lie by; to sit down; to sit still; and in the Hiphil, to cause to rest, or to cause to desist; to put an end to, Ezekiel 34:10; Joshua 22:25; Psalm 46:9; Proverbs 18:18. Here it means to bring to an end the purposes of the enemy and the avenger; or, to cause him to desist from his designs.
Finally, let’s summarize Ps. 8:2 in a paraphrase:
God has put His power, His strength, on the commands of His children, to conquer what is pressing them, since it is His plan to make an end of the enemy’s ability to torment them.
It is time for us, the believers, to respond to the mission God has given us! It is time to command the enemy to leave!