Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Scripture Passage

      Psalm - Chapter 33 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. You are the LORD's people. Obey him and celebrate! He deserves your praise.
    2. Praise the LORD with harps! Use harps with ten strings to make music for him.
    3. Sing a new song. Shout! Play beautiful music.
    4. The LORD is truthful; he can be trusted.
    5. He loves justice and fairness, and he is kind to everyone everywhere on earth.
    6. The LORD made the heavens and everything in them by his word.
    7. He scooped up the ocean and stored the water.
    8. Everyone in this world should worship and honor the LORD!
    9. As soon as he spoke the world was created; at his command, the earth was formed.
    10. The LORD destroys the plans and spoils the schemes of the nations.
    11. But what the LORD has planned will stand forever. His thoughts never change.
    12. The LORD blesses each nation that worships only him. He blesses his chosen ones.
    13. The LORD looks at the world
    14. from his throne in heaven, and he watches us all.
    15. The LORD gave us each a mind, and nothing we do can be hidden from him.
    16. Mighty armies alone cannot win wars for a king; great strength by itself cannot keep a soldier safe.
    17. In war the strength of a horse cannot be trusted to take you to safety.
    18. But the LORD watches over all who honor him and trust his kindness.
    19. He protects them from death and starvation.
    20. We depend on you, LORD, to help and protect us.
    21. You make our hearts glad because we trust you, the only God.
    22. Be kind and bless us! We depend on you.

Psalms - Chapter 33

Entered: November 05, 2008
This psalm encourages everyone to praise the Lord for His word is right and His work is trustworthy. This encouragement seems to come, not from a specific occasion, but rather from a period of time over which David has learned to depend on the Lord. After calling for everyone to praise the Lord because of His unfailing love, he establishes the Lord's ability to take care of us. It was the Lord who made the heavens by His word and gathered the waters of the sea. He spoke all of this into being. The Lord thwarts the counsel of nations but His counsel stands forever. Consider this. A king is not saved by the size or strength of his army or the number of horses he has. These are false hopes and provide no escape. The king must depend on the Lord to deliver him and his people. Wait on the Lord, David says, for He is our help and shield. Therefore, rejoice in the Lord for we put our hope in Him.

Entered: December 11, 2013

Psalm 33 does not come out of a time of trouble but rather a time of blessing. It calls on Israel first and then the whole earth to praise God because He is praiseworthy.

The psalm points to certain attributes of God in its call to praise:

  • "The word of the Lord is right, and all His work is trustworthy." (33:4)
  • "He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the LORD's unfailing love." (33:5)
  • "The heavens were made by the word of the LORD, and all the stars, by the breath of His mouth." (33:6)
  • "He gathers the waters of the sea into a heap; He puts the depths into storehouses." (33:7)

These are God's attributes in creation, but the psalm continues with His attributes in regard to the people He has created:

  • "The LORD frustrates the counsel of the nations; He thwarts the plans of the peoples. (33:10)
  • "The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation." (33:11)

It is God's plans and not our own that will succeed. God thwarts our plans made apart from Him, but His plans stand forever from generation to generation. Therefore, we do best to adopt His plans as our plans. "Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord." In other words, happy are those who have adopted God's plans as their own. When we depend on our own plans, more and more is required to succeed. This is the case with kings and their armies. They plan for large armies with horses and chariots thinking this will be their victory. But with the Lord these are not necessary to succeed. Depending on large armies with horses is a false hope, but not so with the Lord.

The psalmist concludes then, that "We wait for the Lord; He is our help and shield." (33:20) He will place his hope in the only One who is sure to deliver - that is the Lord.