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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.

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Verses 1–11

Holy joy is the heart and soul of praise, and that is here pressed upon the righteous. Thankful praise is the breath and language of holy joy. Religious songs are proper expressions of thankful praise. Every endowment we possess, should be employed with all our skill and earnestness in God's service. His promises are all wise and good. His word is right, and therefore we are only in the right when we agree with it. His works are all done in truth. He is the righteous Lord, therefore loveth righteousness. What a pity it is that this earth, which is so full of the proofs and instances of God's goodness, should be so empty of his praises; and that of the multitudes who live upon his bounty, there are so few who live to his glory! What the Lord does, he does to purpose; it stands fast. He overrules all the counsels of men, and makes them serve his counsels; even that is fulfilled, which to us is most surprising, the eternal counsel of God, nor can any thing prevent its coming to pass.

Verses 12–22

All the motions and operations of the souls of men, which no mortals know but themselves, God knows better than they do. Their hearts, as well as their times, are all in his hand; he formed the spirit of each man within him. All the powers of the creature depend upon him, and are of no account, of no avail at all, without him. If we make God's favour sure towards us, then we need not fear whatever is against us. We are to give to him the glory of his special grace. All human devices for the salvation of our souls are vain; but the Lord's watchful eye is over those whose conscientious fear of his name proceeds from a believing hope in his mercy. In difficulties they shall be helped; in dangers they shall not receive any real damage. Those that fear God and his wrath, must hope in God and his mercy; for there is no flying from him, but by flying to him. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us; let us always have the comfort and benefit, not according to our merits, but according to the promise which thou hast in thy word given to us, and according to the faith thou hast by thy Spirit and grace wrought in us.




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