Psalm 33 (June 8, 2011)

[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. (Psalm 33 ESV)

God Does What He Wants (10-12)

A second reason the psalmist gives for celebratory worship (1-3) is the providence of God, or the idea that God does what he wants in the universe and he is indeed in control of everything, using it all for his own glory. Look at these verses and cross-reference them with the evening news.

“The Lord brings the counsel of the  nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.” No matter how smart we think we are, no matter how mighty we may appear, the king of the universe merely looks at the earth and it trembles. God’s providence extends to the ends of the earth and to the minute details of our puny little efforts at greatness.

Notice in verse 12 that God chooses a people for his heritage. We don’t vote on who he takes. He is speaking mainly of Israel here, as his chosen nation, but we learn in the New Testament (John 15; Romans 9-11; Ephesians 2) that God has grafted Gentiles into a Jewish tree. We are a part of the kingdom of God! Rejoice!

Hope in the Psalms

While looking at headlines and hearing election rhetoric and political spin is wearisome, take heart, Christian. Look to Psalm 33 and remind yourself that even if all the kingdoms of the world fall, you are a citizen in a kingdom not made with hands, an eternal kingdom, ruled by Christ, filled with the glory of God. It is the only kingdom that will stand. It is the only kingdom that matters. I encourage you to seek first that kingdom and the righteousness of Christ imputed to you by the power of the gospel in the Holy Spirit.


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