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Psalm 33

The Greatness and Goodness of God

1

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous.

Praise befits the upright.

2

Praise 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 all their host by the breath of his mouth.

7

He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle;

he put 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 thoughts of his heart to all generations.

12

Happy 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 humankind.

14

From where he sits enthroned he watches

all the inhabitants of the earth—

15

he who fashions the hearts of them all,

and observes all their deeds.

16

A king is not saved by his great army;

a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.

17

The war horse is a vain hope for victory,

and by its great might it cannot save.

 

18

Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,

on those who hope in his steadfast love,

19

to deliver their soul from death,

and to keep them alive in famine.

 

20

Our soul waits for the Lord;

he is our help and shield.

21

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.


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Ps 33:1-22. A call to lively and joyous praise to God for His glorious attributes and works, as displayed in creation, and His general and special providence, in view of which, the Psalmist, for all the pious, professes trust and joy and invokes God's mercy.

1-3. The sentiment falls in with Ps 32:11 (compare 1Co 14:15). The instruments (Ps 92:3; 144:9) do not exclude the voice.

3. a new song—fresh, adapted to the occasion (Ps 40:3; 96:1).

play skilfully—(Compare 1Sa 16:17).

4-9. Reasons for praise: first, God's truth, faithfulness, and mercy, generally; then, His creative power which all must honor.

6. In "word" and "breath"—or, "spirit," there may be an allusion to the Son (Joh 1:1) and Holy Spirit.

9. he spake—literally, "said."

it was—The addition of "done" weakens the sense (compare Ge 1:3-10).

10, 11. In God's providence He thwarts men's purposes and executes His own.

heathen—literally, "nations."

12-19. The inference from the foregoing in Ps 33:12 is illustrated by God's special providence, underlying which is His minute knowledge of all men.

13. looketh—intently (Isa 14:16).

15. fashioneth—or, "forms," and hence knows and controls (Pr 21:1).

alike—without exception.

considereth—or, "understands"; God knows men's motives.

16, 17. Men's usual reliances in their greatest exigencies are, in themselves, useless.

17. On the war horse (compare Job 39:19-25).

a vain thing—a lie, which deceives us.

18, 19. Contrasted is God's guidance and power to save from the greatest earthly evil and its most painful precursor, and hence from all.

20-22. waiteth—in earnest expectation.

21. his holy name—(Compare Ps 5:12; 22:22; 30:4). Our faith measures mercy (Mt 9:29); and if of grace, it is no more of debt (Ro 11:6).




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