Psalm 33 (Part 1) – Praise with a Purpose

Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Psalm 33 is a hymn about praise, and about God who is praised. As we focus on God’s character and actions, it will give us confidence to place our trust and hope in him.

A Call to Praise

The opening words of the Psalm call on the people of God to praise God.

All you that are righteous,
shout for joy for what the Lord has done;
praise him, all you that obey him.
Give thanks to the Lord with harps,
sing to him with stringed instruments.
Sing a new song to him,
play the harp with skill, and shout for joy!
(Psalm 33.1-3)

Shouts of joy, musical instruments, and new songs are to be used in the praise of God. People who live with God in an obedient personal relationship are most likely to be those who give him praise and thanksgiving.

When we praise God, we declare what we know about all of his attributes. The remainder of the Psalm provides many reasons for us to be filled with praise and thanksgiving to God.

Reasons for Praise

The next verses begin the list of reasons to praise God that fill this Psalm by considering his words and his works.

The words of the Lord are true,
and all his works are dependable.
The Lord loves what is righteous and just;
his constant love fills the earth.
(Psalm 33.4-5)

God’s word is true and creative. He speaks and the universe comes into existence (Genesis 1). His every word is true and falsehood or deception is completely outside of his nature. Paul can firmly state that God “cannot lie” (Titus 1.2).

God loves what is right and just. His never ending love fills the earth.

Praise God’s Majesty in Creation

Through God’s word, his majestic work, the universe, was created.

The Lord created the heavens by his command,
the sun, moon, and stars by his spoken word.
He gathered all the seas into one place;
he shut up the ocean depths in storerooms.
(Psalm 33.6-7)

When the Psalms were written, other religions worshiped the sun and the heavenly bodies. They also saw the oceans as gods that competed for supremacy with other gods.

The Hebrew faith rightly ascribed power to God, who created the sun, moon, stars and oceans. He used his powerful word to create and demonstrated his lordship over all.

Praise has a purpose. We are in a personal relationship with this magnificent Creator, because of his constant love and grace. We can turn to him in trust and hope.

The vision of God we receive through praise will help us see the abundant logic and wisdom of Jesus’ direction. He said, “Be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things” (Matthew 6.33).

Praise God’s Majesty in History

Praise gives people who trust their lives to God confidence in the face of the shifting tides of history.

Worship the Lord, all the earth!
Honor him, all peoples of the world!
When he spoke, the world was created;
at his command everything appeared.
The Lord frustrates the purposes of the nations;
he keeps them from carrying out their plans.
But his plans endure forever;
his purposes last eternally.
(Psalm 33.8-11)

Don’t miss the phrase, “at his command everything appeared” (verse 9). If God commands the entire universe into being, he has no difficulty imposing his will over the nations.

God has every ability to frustrate the plans of nations in order to bring about his purposes for humanity.

Hannah Arendt in her book on totalitarianism described a nation as a “business with a gun.” She chronicled massive self-interest that is the fabric of all nations.

In contrast, God’s purposes are characterized by true and faithful words, plus his constant love that fills the earth.

Henry Blackaby counsels people to find out where God is working and then to join him. He says that our highest calling is to discover God’s will and to do it.

Praise acts like the North Star. As we fill our lives with praise, our fears will be directed to trust. Praise will correct despair and turn it to hope. Praise will enable courageous action to be faithful to God and to him alone.

May We Pray for You?

Maywood Baptist Church has a prayer team who will be honored to pray for you. Please email me at bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. I will pray for you and share your request with the team.

2 Comments

  1. I read yesterday’s article but did not have time to comment until this morning – and how appropriate the song I shared to transition us right into Psalm 33!

    Verses 20-22 remind us of our joy:
    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.

    And yes, there is another song resonating in my mind this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

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