Psalms 33

1 Good people, cheer God! Right-living people sound best when praising.
2 Use guitars to reinforce your Hallelujahs! Play his praise on a grand piano!
3 Invent your own new song to him; give him a trumpet fanfare.
4 For God's Word is solid to the core; everything he makes is sound inside and out.
5 He loves it when everything fits, when his world is in plumb-line true. Earth is drenched in God's affectionate satisfaction.
6 The skies were made by God's command; he breathed the word and the stars popped out.
7 He scooped Sea into his jug, put Ocean in his keg.
8 Earth-creatures, bow before God; world-dwellers - down on your knees!
9 Here's why: he spoke and there it was, in place the moment he said so.
10 God takes the wind out of Babel pretense, he shoots down the world's power-schemes.
11 God's plan for the world stands up, all his designs are made to last.
12 Blessed is the country with God for God; blessed are the people he's put in his will.
13 From high in the skies God looks around, he sees all Adam's brood.
14 From where he sits he overlooks all us earth-dwellers.
15 He has shaped each person in turn; now he watches everything we do.
16 No king succeeds with a big army alone, no warrior wins by brute strength.
17 Horsepower is not the answer; no one gets by on muscle alone.
18 Watch this: God's eye is on those who respect him, the ones who are looking for his love.
19 He's ready to come to their rescue in bad times; in lean times he keeps body and soul together.
20 We're depending on God; he's everything we need.
21 What's more, our hearts brim with joy since we've taken for our own his holy name.
22 Love us, God, with all you've got - that's what we're depending on.

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Psalms 33 Commentary

Chapter 33

God to be praised. (1-11) His people encouraged by his power. (12-22)

Verses 1-11 Holy joy is the heart and soul of praise, and that is here pressed upon the righteous. Thankful praise is the breath and language of holy joy. Religious songs are proper expressions of thankful praise. Every endowment we possess, should be employed with all our skill and earnestness in God's service. His promises are all wise and good. His word is right, and therefore we are only in the right when we agree with it. His works are all done in truth. He is the righteous Lord, therefore loveth righteousness. What a pity it is that this earth, which is so full of the proofs and instances of God's goodness, should be so empty of his praises; and that of the multitudes who live upon his bounty, there are so few who live to his glory! What the Lord does, he does to purpose; it stands fast. He overrules all the counsels of men, and makes them serve his counsels; even that is fulfilled, which to us is most surprising, the eternal counsel of God, nor can any thing prevent its coming to pass.

Verses 12-22 All the motions and operations of the souls of men, which no mortals know but themselves, God knows better than they do. Their hearts, as well as their times, are all in his hand; he formed the spirit of each man within him. All the powers of the creature depend upon him, and are of no account, of no avail at all, without him. If we make God's favour sure towards us, then we need not fear whatever is against us. We are to give to him the glory of his special grace. All human devices for the salvation of our souls are vain; but the Lord's watchful eye is over those whose conscientious fear of his name proceeds from a believing hope in his mercy. In difficulties they shall be helped; in dangers they shall not receive any real damage. Those that fear God and his wrath, must hope in God and his mercy; for there is no flying from him, but by flying to him. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us; let us always have the comfort and benefit, not according to our merits, but according to the promise which thou hast in thy word given to us, and according to the faith thou hast by thy Spirit and grace wrought in us.

Chapter Summary


Though this psalm has no title to it, it seems to be a psalm of David, from the style and matter of it; and indeed begins with the same words with which the preceding psalm is ended. Theodoret is of opinion it was written by David as a prophecy concerning Hezekiah, as a song to be sung by the people after the destruction of the Assyrian army.

Psalms 33 Commentaries

Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.