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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.

13. Jehovah looked down from heaven. The Psalmist still proceeds with the same doctrine, namely, that human affairs are not tossed hither and thither fortuitously, but that God secretly guides and directs all that we see taking place. Now he here commends God’s inspection of all things, that we on our part may learn to behold, and to contemplate with the eye of faith, his invisible providence. There are, no doubt, evident proofs of it continually before our eyes; but the great majority of men, notwithstanding, see nothing of them, and, in their blindness, imagine that all things are under the conduct of a blind fortune. Nay, the more plenteously and abundantly that he sheds his goodness upon us, the less do we raise our thoughts to him, but preposterously settle them down immovably on the external circumstances which surround us. The prophet here rebukes this base conduct, because no greater affront can be offered to God than to shut him up in heaven in a state of idleness. This is the same as if he were to lie buried in a grave. What kind of life would God’s life be, if he neither saw nor took care of any thing? Under the term throne, too, the sacred writer shows, from what is implied in it, what an absurd infatuation it is to divest God of thought and understanding. He gives us to understand by this word, that heaven is not a palace in which God remains idle and indulges in pleasures, as the Epicureans dream, but a royal court, from which he exercises his government over all parts of the world. If he has erected his throne, therefore, in the sanctuary of heaven, in order to govern the universe, it follows that he in no wise neglects the affairs of earth, but governs them with the highest reason and wisdom.


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