Summary: When we look around at our nation and our culture it is easy to become discouraged and bummed out. But in these two psalms we see reasons for rejoicing no matter what life throws our way.
Psalm 33 is a “descriptive praise” psalm. These types of psalms have two main elements: a call to worship and a cause for worship. In this case, the psalmist’s cause to worship God is that He is the creator of the earth and is sovereign over it and all of the nations—despite what the leaders of those nations and their armies might think! So as we look at this psalm let’s see that sovereignty over creation, over history, over the nations, and over each of us individually.
1 – 3
At the beginning here the psalmist is making a call to those who belong to God to rejoice in Him. And as the praise goes forth he realizes how wonderful it is for those that are God’s to bring praise to Him. I know what he means. It is really an incredible thing to gather together as the body of Christ and corporately bring praise and adoration to the Most High God. Don’t underestimate it and don’t withdraw from it. Become a part of what will be an eternal lifting up!
Further, the encouragement is made to 1) use musical instruments to adorn that praise and 2) use your experiences, or Scripture, to create new songs of praise. You too can be a worship song composer. It may be that only you and the Lord ever hear the song—but that’s okay.
4 – 5
This is the first cause for praise: God’s word. This can also be the revelation of God—we’ll see this more as we see God revealed in His creation. You can trust what God does. It may not make sense to you and it may run counter to human default values, but it is right and trustworthy. Though verse 5 is so true, it may seem that as you look around you don’t see the earth full of God’s unfailing love. But it is. Whenever you see the gospel preached and a broken heart come into relationship with Jesus Christ that is God’s love shining through the darkness. Sometimes we dwell on the darkness, but as Paul said:
Philippians 4:8-9 Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.
We also see God’s love through His creation (verses 6 – 9, and His sovereignty, verses 10-19)
6 – 9
Verses 6 and 7 recite what we see in Genesis where God spoke and the universe came into existence. This kind of power is unparalleled. It ought to cause us to tremble! The creation is God’s spoken mind. Science believes that the universe and all matter came into existence as kind of a cosmic accident—a big bang, not a big God. But interestingly, the more physicists study how things work on a sub-atomic level, the less like an accident it seems. Scientists are now starting to realize that at its very basic level, the universe if really just math—kind of E=MC2 but much more complicated. In fact, one famous physicist says that the universe is just a very good concept. That fits within the Biblical narrative. God thought up the creation and it came to pass.
10 – 12
God gave humans free will, but though they think they can thumb their noses at God, His ultimate plan of creation, fall, redemption, and renovation will not be thwarted. That should give us a good perspective on the state of ours or any nation. Though a nation may seem to move away from God—nothing can stop God’s plan of salvation. Verse 12 speaks of Israel as God’s chosen nation, but we also are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
13 – 17
I guess the point of verses 13 through 17 might be to say that though leaders think they have great power, in the end each of us must decide whether we will be in relationship with God. God is involved in history and in each person’s life. No power can overcome God. We each must be ready to given an account of our life to Him.
18 – 19
If you are in relationship with God through His Messiah, He not only shapes your heart but has a specific and focused part in your life. When you belong to God He has a special mission for you and a place prepared for you which He will bring you to.
2 Corinthians 1:10-11 He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and He will deliver us; we have placed our hope in Him that He will deliver us again.