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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.

5. He loveth righteousness and judgment. This is a confirmation of the preceding verse, and intimates to us that God of his own nature loves righteousness and equity. It therefore follows, that froward affections cannot hurry him, after the manner of men, to evil devices. At first sight, indeed, this appears but a common commendation of God, and of small importance, because all confess that he observes the most perfect rule of righteousness in all his works. Why then, may some one say, has a new song just been spoken of, as if it had been about some unusual matter? We answer, in the first place, because it is too obvious how wickedly a great part of the world shut their eyes to God’s righteousness, while they either carelessly overlook innumerable proofs of his providence, or imagine that they happen by chance. But there is often a worse fault than this; namely, that if our wishes are not gratified, we instantly murmur against God’s righteousness; and although the maxim, “God doeth all things righteously,” is in every man’s mouth, yet scarcely one in a hundred firmly believes it in his heart, otherwise, as soon as this truth is pronounced, “Thus it pleaseth God,” every man would obediently submit himself to God’s will. Now, as men in adversity are with the utmost difficulty brought to this point - to acknowledge that God is just, and as, in prosperity, they soon fall from the acknowledgement of it, it is not to be wondered at that the prophet, in order to persuade men that God is an upright governor, affirms that he loveth righteousness. Whoever, therefore, has thoroughly embraced this doctrine, let him know that he has profited much.

Others explain this to mean, that God loveth righteousness in men. This, indeed, is true; but it is far from the sense of the text, because the design of the Holy Spirit here is to maintain the glory of God in opposition to the poison of ungodliness, which is deeply seated in many hearts. In the second clause of the verse, the Psalmist commends another part of God’s excellence, namely, that the earth is full of his goodness The righteousness of God ought justly to incite us to praise him, but his goodness is a more powerful motive; because, the more experience which any man has of his beneficence and mercy, the more strongly is he influenced to worship him. Farther, the discourse is still concerning all the benefits of God which he scatters over the whole human race. These, the inspired writer declares, meet us wherever we turn our eyes.


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