In a chaotic world, Psalm 33 serves as a reminder that God is in control and that He is worthy of our praise. This Psalm reminds us that the word of the LORD is upright, the counsel of the LORD stands forever, and the LORD sees all things. The proper response, according to the Psalmist is for His people to hope in the LORD.
Shout for joy in the LORD (1-3)
The Psalmist tells us to shout for joy in the LORD. In spite of what may be happening in your life, it is befitting for the upright to praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD. He is who He says He is and He does what He says He will do. The LORD delights in our worship and loves to hear His followers praise Him, especially in song. When we sing songs of praise, let us consider that God is listening and enjoying.
The word of the LORD is upright (4-9)
We are given a reason to shout for joy in verses 4-9: the word of the LORD is upright. In Hebrew poetry (like this Psalm), referencing a person’s name is a way to speak of the person. Jesus says in His Model Prayer, “Hallowed be Thy Name” (Matt 6:9). The LORD’s word is upright. His ways are not crooked, but are morally right. Everything the LORD does and tells us to do is good regardless of what our culture says. The LORD is faithful and He loves righteousness and justice. In fact, the earth is filled with His steadfast love.
The Psalmist next reminds us to consider the fact that the LORD created all things. Everything that exists does so because of Him. He is strong and mighty. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made. We should consider this and fear the LORD. Let us stand in awe of Him because He not only brought everything into being but makes it stand firm. Colossians 1:16 says the following about Christ: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”
The counsel of the LORD stands forever (10-12)
Verses 10-12 provide another reason to shout for joy: He is the source of all wisdom. Despite how wise the nations consider themselves to be, the LORD brings their counsel to nothing. In other words, He frustrates the plans of the peoples. This is good because the counsel of the nations lead to ruin and misery. The LORD graciously frustrates their plans and brings them to nothing.
It is not the nation’s counsel that stands forever, but the LORD’s counsel. He is the fountain of all knowledge and wisdom. This is important because a nation is only blessed if their God is the LORD. In other words, a nation is blessed when they are submitting to the counsel of the LORD and not following the counsel of the nations. A blessed nation is one that is currently submitting to the LORD. Tragically, many nations have submitted to the LORD in the past but stopped to their ruin.
The LORD looks down from heaven (13-19)
Verses 13-19 provide another reason to shout for joy in the LORD: He is aware of all things. Nothing that we do is hidden from the LORD. He sees all things and observes all deeds. The LORD created us and alone can sustain us. We are encouraged to submit to Him and refuse to trust in our missiles, submarines and armies. Woe to the nation that thinks it is safe when it refuses to heed the counsel of the LORD and instead trusts in its army. The eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him. For those who hope in His steadfast love, He will deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.
Conclusion: Hope in the LORD (20-22)
We are initially called to shout for joy in the LORD, now in conclusion we are called to wait for Him. Waiting signals trust. He is our help and our shield. We will only find true joy in Him and our heart is glad through trusting in His holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
Questions for Reflection
- According to verses 1-3, how should we approach the LORD?
- What do verses 4-9 say about the word of the Lord and what He does?
- What do verses 10-12 say about the counsel of the Lord?
- According to verses 13-19, w hat does the LORD see and know?
- According to verses 20-22, why should we hope in the LORD?