World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
33. Psalm 33
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
2Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
3Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
4For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.
5He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
6By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
7He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
8Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
11The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
13The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
14From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
16There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
17An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
18Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
19To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
20Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.
21For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
22Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
17. A horse is a deceitful thing for safety. In this verse, the Psalmist, by the figure synecdoche under the name of horse, is to be understood as meaning any kind of help. The sense is, that in general those who conceive that their life is well protected by earthly means, are commonly disappointed at the very crisis of danger, and are miserably beguiled to their utter undoing, so that God therein clearly shows them their folly. It is true, that kings are not armed with the sword in vain, nor is the use of horses superfluous, nor are the treasures and resources which God furnishes to defend men’s lives unnecessary, provided a right method of employing them be observed. But as the greater part of men the more they are surrounded with human defences, withdraw themselves the farther from God, and by a false imagination persuade themselves that they are in a haven safe from all disturbance, God acts most justly in disappointing this madness. This is the reason why his gifts often pass away without effect, because the world, by separating them from the giver, is also justly deprived of his blessing.