Read Psalm 33
1 Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4 For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
After imploring the righteous to participate in their fitting worship and calling to remembrance the God who created the world with His breath, the psalmist centers on God’s counsel. He writes, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen for his heritage.” This verse may elicit a range of initial emotions depending on the reader. We could feel pride in thinking we are the nation whose God is the LORD. We may feel sorrow or a longing to be a part of such a nation. Or our initial reaction could be jealousy or anger. Wherever we find ourselves, God has good news for us.
God chose to reveal His character to the world through His relationship with the nation of Israel, Abraham’s descendants. He chose them not because they were mighty or great in number but because He loved them and because of His oath made to Abraham to bless him and make him a great nation (Deuteronomy 7:7-8, Genesis 12:2-3). He chose them to be the vehicle through which the world would come to know of His steadfast love. Israel is God’s chosen nation, and through the work of Jesus Christ, we have been grafted into the promises and the family (Romans 11:17-21). Peter writes to a mixed audience in 1 Peter 2:9. He states, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” So, if we have put our faith in Jesus Christ, we are the nation whose God is the LORD, regardless of our physical location or any worldly documentation. In Christ, we are God’s chosen inheritance. Ephesians 1:18 describes those bought by the blood of Jesus as His “glorious inheritance!” As His chosen people, we have a call to represent Him to the world around us. The earth is full of His steadfast love, and we get to share the name of that love, Jesus Christ.
Throughout Scripture, we see that being chosen and giving praise go hand in hand. As soon as we cease praising, we lose sight of our source of joy, strength, wisdom, and hope. We start looking to created things to fill the void in our hearts that only the Creator truly can. Psalm 33:15 reminds us that God fashions the heart of man. He not only knows what we need, but He is what we need. It doesn’t make sense for the people of God to grumble about the fallen condition of the world. What “befits” the people of God are hearts that continue to compose new songs of the wondrous works of the LORD in and around us, even as we hope in Him.
- If we have been chosen by God, our praise and adoration of Him points others to Him. How much time do you spend drawing attention to the steadfast love of Jesus that abounds before us everyday? Are our words heavy with praise or grumbling?
- How does thinking about the entire body of believers across the world as one nation under God change your way of thinking?
- In the ESV translation, Psalm 33 is titled The steadfast love of the Lord. What are some areas in your life where you can spend time thanking God for His steadfast love?