Notice that this psalm provides no information about the earthly author. We know, however, that all the psalms are inspired by the Holy Spirit as part of God’s word no matter the human that penned them.
Psalms 33:1 ¶ Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
This psalm is a song of praise. The composer urges those that trust in the LORD to rejoice in Him. Words of praise are beautiful and befitting those that benefit from God’s goodness.
Psalms 33:2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
Psalms 33:3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
The song urges the people to praise the LORD with musical instruments, playing skillfully and loudly. They are encouraged to compose new songs as well.
Well, that certainly describes the praise music at my church! The people that lead our worship ministry make a point to introduce new songs and encourage the use of original songs from those that are being trained through and participate in that ministry. I am especially blessed to enjoy original songs by my granddaughters that are both beautiful and biblically based. New songs help us keep our worship fresh so that it doesn’t become a repitition of rote words.
Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
Psalms 33:5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
In this section of verses, the writer begins to give reasons for which one should praise the LORD. First, he is a God that is righteous and just. His word is steadfast and sure, and His works are firm and faithful. The LORD loves all that is moral and just as revealed in His law. The earth is filled with evidence of His beauty and kindness.
It is so easy in our times to get overwhelmed with all the evil that prevails in our world that it is easy to take for granted or lose sight of all the beauty and kindness that evidence God’s love. I especially love to take pictures of the beauty of the creation around us and use it to frame truths from scripture to use to encourage and comfort others. He holds the atoms together to support our existence. He provides all the things necessary to sustain life. He has given us amazing bodies with the ability to see, hear and enjoy the creation around us. He has given us the ability to love and be loved in return. He surrounds us with miracles—the most beautiful of all seen in the face of every new baby. I could go on and on!
Psalms 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
These verses acknowledge the LORD as our Creator as well as the fact that He created just by speaking things into existence. That is truly amazing when one ponders the vastness of the heavens and their stars and planets and their constancy throughout history.
Psalms 33:7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
It is the LORD our Creator that keeps the waters of the sea together and the waves from covering the land. He has set boundaries beyond which they are not allowed to pass without His permission. He has the great depths of the oceans controlled in a depository, a specific place according to His own determination.
Job 38:8–11 “Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth....and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?”
Psalms 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
Psalms 33:9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
The composer calls for the whole earth to fear the LORD, to respond to Him with reverence and awe. That is the response that consideration of the creation around us should inspire. Wherever we look, it should fill us with wonder that the LORD could just speak to bring it all into being with such precision, intricacy and continuity.
Psalms 33:10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
I like the simplicity of the NLT for this verse: “The LORD shatters the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes.”
Again, this is a truth that can be easily lost when overwhelmed with all evil that pervades many of the nations on planet earth—and its spread is increasing daily. The fact is that God is ever in control, and His plan is being worked out and will one day destroy evil from off planet earth.
Isaiah 46:9–10 “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure….”
This verse also made me think of another verse from Isaiah that talks about how the LORD frustrates the evil of men as well as nations.
Isaiah 44:25 “That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish….”
Psalms 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Counsel and thoughts both make reference to God’s word, and His word will never fail; its truth will forever stand firm.
Psalms 119:89 “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
1 Peter 1:24–25 “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.”
Matthew 24:34–35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Spurgeon: “Men come and go, sons follow their sires to the grave, but the undisturbed mind of God moves on in unbroken serenity, producing ordained results with unerring certainty. No man can expect his will or plan to be carried out from age to age; the wisdom of one period is the folly of another, but the Lord's wisdom is always wise, and his designs run on from century to century.”
Psalms 33:12 ¶ Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Oh that the people of America understood this truth! The nation that chooses to honor God as LORD, the One to whom they are accountable and is Sovereign over all, is blessed. Israel is the specific reference of the psalmist as the nation God chose as His own among the nations.
Deuteronomy 14:2 “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”
However, we as Christians represent a chosen people set apart among the nations as well. He has set us apart to do what Israel failed to do—to show forth the praises of God.
1 Peter 2:6–10 “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded…. ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
Sadly, in general, we seem to be following the same path of failure as did Israel.
Psalms 33:13 The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
Psalms 33:14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
Psalms 33:15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
The composer reminds us that the LORD is omniscient; as He looks from His dwelling place in heaven, He is aware of ALL the inhabitants of the earth—each and every one of us. It is He that formed our hearts, and He understands all the whys and wherefores of all that we do.
Psalms 33:16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
Psalms 33:17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
Psalms 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
Psalms 33:19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
The psalmist is basically saying that the greatest army, the strongest men, nor the most powerful tools of war can save a king. They might protect him for a while, but they are all fallible. Only the LORD can provide complete protection and provision for those that fear Him with reverence and awe and place their complete faith in Him as their Savior. Nothing can touch the man or woman of God that He does not allow for His own purpose for good.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Psalms 33:20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.
Psalms 33:21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
Speaking for all men of faith, the psalmist declares that we trust in the LORD as our help and shield, our protector. This is the reason that our hearts rejoice. His name represents all that He is. There is no other “god” like Him; there is no other Savior. That truth is emphasized over and over in the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah 43:11 “I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.”
Isaiah 45:5 “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me….”
Isaiah 45:21 “there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.”
Isaiah 46:9 “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me….”
Psalms 33:22 Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
The song closed with a plea for the LORD to show mercy (lovingkindness and favor) to His people because they have placed their faith in Him.