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.