Intro: Psalm 33 celebrates the authority, and control that the Lord has over his creation. It focuses us on the power of His words, and the way that He watches over and protects His people.
1 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.
2 Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
4 For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
he puts the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
16 The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
Main Point: As I wrote above, this psalm really is a celebration of the Lord’s authority and control over all that happens on earth and in the way He takes care of His people.
The psalmist starts by asking us to praise the Lord (v. 1-3), and then proceeds to tell us why. With the simple act of speaking, all that we see, touch, smell, and feel came into existence (v. 4-9). The Lord did not stopat creation with his involvement. Even now He is working in the world. He prevents the world from having their way, and He sees to it that his people, the church, prosper (v. 10-12). The Lord doesn’t look at the nations alone, but he also looks at the individual hearts of the men he has created (v. 13-15). In verses sixteen through nineteen we learn that it is not the resources of man that saves him, but it is the watchful eye of the Lord. The psalmist then closes with a reminder of the Lord’s help and protection, and asking for the Lord to surround his people with his Love.
The point: praise the Lord for He is in control of the world He created, and He will save the soul of the one who fears Him and hopes in His love.
Interesting Points: You have to admit that in verses 4 through 9 the way that the Lord controlled matter just by speaking is pretty cool. The Lord created space and time, just by uttering words! The effectiveness of the Lord’s words are on full display here. It makes me think, “Hey, if His words are so effective at creation, then when He declares me to be righteous it will be just as effective!” The Lord’s words accomplish his goals. What He speaks of you is the truth, and it will stand firm forever.
I love the line “the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.” Some other versions say “unfailing love.” Either way you get this picture that everything you come into contact with is full of the firm and steady love of God. Every step you take is immersed in the love of God. Every bite of food you eat and molecule of air you breath is inundated with the love of the Lord.
This love is not like the love of this earth. It is steady, pure, and unyielding to whatever weight is put upon it. Your whole life from the moment you breathe your first breath to the time that you breathe your last is full of this love. Whether you believe in Him or not, you are surrounded by His love all day long.
I also love how the psalmist reminds us that the “king is not saved by a great army.” His line of argument seems to be something like this “if the most powerful of us must be saved by the Lord, then all of us must be saved by the Lord.” None can save but the Lord.
It is also interesting that His eyes are not on the mighty, but on those who fear Him and who hope in His love. Here the meaning of “hope in His love” is to rely on his Love. It speaks of people who know that only the Lord’s Love can save them. They have nothing else that they can turn to, but throw themselves wholly on the Love of the Lord and trust for Him to save them. This is the heart of faith. This is a faith that saves.
Emotional Reactions: This could be a new favorite of mine. I love how it presents the Lord as both strong and loving. It makes me feel like I can trust Him to protect me from everything, but so approachable and generous that I can draw near to rest in Him.