Psalm 8 – Funny Business

By Aaron Elder

Funny Business. There are three main ways I use this phrase and as I read this Psalm, all of them strike a chord with me. Mostly it is in relation to verse 2 of the Psalm because it is so powerful yet seems so out of place.

With someone I don’t trust much, but I’m relying on them to be truthful, we might make an agreement that will be finalized with this saying, “And no funny business.” As I observe the comedy in my world through my kids and otherwise, with a generous laugh I say, “that’s some funny business!” Or In the midst of my work when things don’t go quite as planned on a particular day, I might say, with a shoulder shrug, “it’s a funny business.” 

Call me crazy, but in the context of Psalm 8, all of these come to mind when I think that through the praise of children and infants God has established a stronghold against his enemies.

I picture God joyfully sitting on his throne delighting in what he has made. And from the story of Job, I picture Satan as a curmudgeon coming to God as foe and adversary. I picture Satan, irritated as ever because of God’s joy, declaring his plans for evil. And knowing God’s pension for turning evil on its head, Satan leaves saying, “and no funny business.” The ultimate “funny business” took place at the cross and resurrection of Jesus when God took even the great trump card of death and turned it into the coronation ceremony of the Lord Jesus.

When God declares that it is the praises of children and infants that become his weapon against his enemy, I can’t help but think about my kids. I think about my 2 year-old who pronounces the word “raisin” as “sheh-vay” (what?). I think about my 4 year-old giggling uncontrollably as we wrestle in the living room and I think about my 7 year-old building a penguin instead of a snowman in the front yard complete with pine needles protruding from the top of its head because, “you know, some of them have hair sticking up.” I just chuckle and say, “that’s some funny business!”

As I read the bible and observe life – with all of its twists and turns, with its hurts and searing pain, with its celebrations and deep joys, with its observations of grandeur and the awkwardness of humanity stumbling through life – I’m humbled by the way God joyfully interacts with us. And seeing these miniature humans wrapped up in pure joy, it is their giggles and playfulness that become the powerful weapons that God uses to pierce evil and turn corrupt power on its head. And I can’t help but shrug my shoulders and say, “this life… it’s a funny business.”

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