Psalm 33

33:1 Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.

33:2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.

33:3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

33:5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

33:6 [cf. Gen. 1:6-8, 14-16 re: second day of creation] By the word [not by exhausting and extended labor] of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them [the stars] by the breath of his mouth.

33:7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap [God put the oceans in their ordered place]: he layeth up the depth in storehouses [river-beds and sea-beds that contain vast volumes of water].

33:8 Let all the earth fear [“tremble before” (HCSB); an act of reverent worship] the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe [synonymous with trembling before the Lord] of him.

33:9 For [note the reason for reverent worship…] he spake, and it [the universe and everything in it] was done [to come into being]; he commanded [authoritative expression], and it stood fast [“came into existence” (HCSB) out of nothing (ex nihilo)].

33:10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen [cf. Ps. 2:1-6; human counsel that tries to frustrate God’s sovereign designs but leads only to destruction] to nought [to frustrate]: he maketh the devices [plans] of the people of none effect [to thwart].

33:11 The counsel of the LORD [as opposed to the “counsel of the heathen” (33:10)] standeth for ever [has preeminence and permanence], the thoughts [plans] of his heart to all generations.

33:12 Blessed [or happy; a condition of life that only comes when one is guided by wisdom (cf. Ps. 1)] is the nation [in this context, Israel; by broader application, can refer to any nation or individual who exalts God and lives according to His Word] whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen [this Heb. verb only used in OT with reference to Israel; cf. Ex. 19:4-6; Deut. 7:6] for his own inheritance [to receive the benefits of an inheritance].

33:13 [note anthropomorphic language attributing to God human characteristics…] The LORD looketh from heaven [an unobstructed view]; he beholdeth [to observe] all the sons of men [everyone].

33:14 From the place of his habitation he looketh [God is all-seeing and all-knowing; He is aware of all that goes on; He never sleeps nor is distracted] upon all [without exception] the inhabitants of the earth.

33:15 He [God alone] fashioneth [to craft, like a skilled artist; cf. Jer. 18:1-6] their hearts [the essence of a person] alike; he considereth all their works [what people do and how and why they do it].

33:16 There is no king [a powerful person] saved [made secure] by the multitude of an host [army; military prowess]: a mighty man [warrior] is not delivered by much [great] strength [cf. Samson (Judg. 16:20-21)].

33:17 An horse [used in cavalry and chariotry units] is a vain thing [false hope] for safety [cf. Ps. 20:7; cf. Pharaoh’s army (Ex. 14:28)]: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.

33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

33:19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

33:20 Our soul waiteth [difficult to do; requires patient trust; eager expectation; believing that God is about to act in response to a need and in answer to prayer] for the LORD: he is our help [a ready resource; refers to offensive activity] and our shield [protection; refers to defensive activity].

33:21 For our heart [rejoicing is an activity of the heart] shall rejoice in him, because [reason for rejoicing…] we have trusted [to put oneself completely and unreservedly in God’s hands] in his holy name [refers to the person of God].

33:22 Let thy mercy [faithful love], O LORD, be upon us [both the psalmist and the community of faith], according as we hope [to wait with absolute confidence] in thee.

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