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Read Psalm 33

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
    it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
    make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
    play skillfully, and shout for joy.

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
    he is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of his unfailing love.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
    he puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the people of the world revere him.
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.

Go Deeper

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.

Questions

  1. 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?
  2. How does thinking about the entire body of believers across the world as one nation under God change your way of thinking?
  3. 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?

Keep Digging

Read this quick post about being chosen by God.

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5 thoughts on “Psalm 33”

  1. What a glorious experience is corporate worship! We assemble to lift our voices in song, hear the Word taught and be bolstered in our faith to engage the lost, equip the saints & be empowered to serve in our communities. I do not take this privilege lightly! This morning I’m focusing on all the attributes given of our Lord, the one who rightly deserves all our praise: Trustworthy, righteous, just, loving, help, shield, faithful & holy. I will spend the rest of my days pursuing my Lord and rejoicing in him. How humbling that God continually pursues and pours out his love on us!

  2. The verse that stood out to me was verse 5. I read recently that the word “justice” in the earliest manuscripts and languages was translated “righteousness” once translated into the KJV, and most every English translation there after. While that perhaps seems like trivial information, it’s resulted in a very different interpretation by many readers. Righteousness, while not necessarily ONLY being, reads as a lofty, spiritual trait, while “justice” is understood to be fitting action/response in the here and now. One reads spiritual, while the other reads physical. One may read inward focused/escapist, while the other reads others focussed/boots on the ground.

    That’s what I love about verse 5. It’s has BOTH. The psalmist highlights God’s love of BOTH righteousness (right living between you and God) and justice (right living between you and your neighbor). Our righteous living ought to be manifested in our care for others, here and now.

  3. Psalm 33:12 is so precious to me: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.”

    Years ago, we had the privilege of sharing our adoption story on the HarrisCreek podcast I was asked the question, “how is adoption a picture of God’s love for us?”

    As an adoptive parent, I can testify that Elizabeth is “simply our daughter. And that entitles her to the love of this family, a place in this family, and a future inheritance from this family.”
    (You can here that story here – https://subspla.sh/qpp86w4)

    This is true for all of us in God’s family!

    “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

    There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.”
    ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭3:26, 28-29‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  4. Today is the first day for my wife and I to do this. What a great guide when not knowing where or how to start! I found it interesting that when referring to the Jesus that “he” and “him” were not capitalized “He” “Him”. If this is referencing Him shouldn’t it be capitalized? I know it’s not proper grammar for everyday person but I’ve always been under the impression that for Him it should be. Thoughts?

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