We have stated that Psalm 33 is a primer, an elementary study in and portrait of congregational worship and praise.
We have seen the worship leader’s invitation to the congregation to “rejoice in the Lord” (33:1) and to praise Him in song and musical instruments (33:2-4). We continue our study of Psalm 33, asking you to notice the primary focus of this hymn of worship and praise is the character and divine personality of the LORD.
Psalm 33:5-19 is a statement affirming the character of the LORD Who is worthy to be praised. The LORD loves righteousness and justice and His grace and mercy fills the earth (33:5).
Psalm 33:5 – “He [the LORD] loveth [delights in; to have affection for] righteousness [justice] and judgment [right]: the earth [land] is full [filled; overflow] of the goodness [mercy; kindness] of the LORD.”
1) The LORD is omnipotent; He is Creator and LORD of His creation (33:6-9).
Psalm 33:6-9 – By the word of the LORD were the heavens made [created] ; and all the host of them by the breath [wind; Spirit] of His mouth [command]. 7 He gathereth [collect] the waters of the sea together as an heap [wave]: He layeth up [deliver; give; make] the depth [abyss; deep place] in storehouses [treasure]. 8 Let all the earth fear [revere; stand in awe] the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe [fear] of Him. 9 For He spake [command], and it was done; He commanded [charged; appointed], and it stood fast [stayed; stand still].
2) The LORD is omniscient and human wisdom and philosophy pales as foolish before Him (33:10-11).
Psalm 33:10 – The LORD bringeth the counsel [purpose; plan] of the heathen [Gentile nations] to nought [break; crush]: He maketh [discourages; disallows] the devices [ purpose; cunning] of the people of none effect [discourage; refuse].
3) The WORD of the Lord is immutable and His thoughts and plans unchanging (33:11).
Psalm 33:11 – The counsel [purpose; plan] of the LORD standeth [and keeps standing] for ever, the thoughts [purpose; imaginations; cunning; design] of His heart [mind] to all generations [ages].
An interlude of praise and a blessed reminder of God’s grace extended to Israel and any nation that follows the LORD (33:12).
Psalm 33:12 – Blessed [happy] is the nation [people] whose God is the LORD; and the people [tribe] whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance [heritage; possession].
God blessed ancient Israel, not because the people deserved it, but because He chose the lineage of Abraham and his son Isaac as the lineage of the promised Messiah\Redeemer. The blessing of God is not limited to Israel, but extended to any nation that would choose the God of heaven as LORD.
4) The LORD is sovereign of His creation. He is vigilant and knows the thoughts, plans and plots that lie within the heart of men (33:13-15).
Psalm 33:13-15 – The LORD looketh [behold; consider; regard] from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men. 14 From the place [abode; dwelling] of His habitation He looketh [looks intently; stares] upon all the inhabitants of the earth. 15 He fashioneth [forms; makes; determines; molds] their hearts [mind; will; affections] alike; He considereth [understands; discerns] all their works [acts; labor; deeds].
5) The LORD is sovereign of the nations and no king or ruler can say he is strong or victorious apart from Him (33:16-17).
Psalm 33:16-17 – There is no king saved [delivered; defended] by the multitude [great] of an host [army]: a mighty man [strong; valiant; hero] is not delivered [recover; preserved; rescued] by much strength [power; might]. 17 An horse is a vain thing [unreliable] for safety [salvation; deliverance]: neither shall he deliver [esca[er; get away; preserve] any by his great strength [power].
“Without Him nothing comes to pass; but through Him everything takes place. The victory of the king, and the safety of the warrior, are not their own works. Their great military power and bodily strength can accomplish nothing without God, Who can also be mighty in the feeble.” [Keil and Delitzsch Commentary; Volume 5: Psalms]
6) The LORD promises His sovereign, providential care for all who fear and revere Him (33:18-19).
Psalm 33:18-19 – Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear [revere] Him, upon them that hope [wait; trust; wait with expectation] in His mercy [loving-kindness; steadfast love; mercy and grace]; 19 To deliver [recover; defend; preserve] their soul from death [ruin], and to keep them alive in famine [hunger].
Having heeded the worship leader’s call to praise the LORD and rehearsed the divine attributes of the LORD, the congregation closes the psalm with a doxology that is both a prayer and confession of their faith in the LORD (33:20-22).
Psalm 33:20-22 – Our soul waiteth [tarries; long for] for the LORD: He is our help and our shield [defender; defense]. 21 For our heart [mind; understanding; seat of our affections] shall rejoice [be glad; cheer] in Him, because we have trusted [be bold; confident] in His holy name [character]. 22 Let thy mercy [loving-kindness; steadfast love; mercy and grace], O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope [wait; tarry; be patient] in thee.
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith