Daily Family Worship

Psalm 33: A Psalm of Rejoicing

by | Apr 22, 2024

psalm 33

This composition is a remarkable thanksgiving, where the Psalmist calls upon all the saints to rejoice and give praises unto the Lord for preserving His Church so wonderfully in the midst of the world. As she is in the midst of the kingdom of the devil, she is exposed to so many evils and perils on every side! Hence it is very fitting that we should give thanks unto God, Who never forsakes those who love Him, even when they are tossed back and forth on waves of temptation. Even when they are in the most perilous situations, He does not allow them to become overwhelmed.

David here teaches us that the Lord created the heavens and the whole universe by His spoken Word. “He spake, and they were made” (verse 9). Obviously, then, He is omnipotent; nothing is difficult for Him. Therefore, He is certainly able to deliver His own sons and daughters from death and hell. But that is not all, for His goodness and His truth are exceedingly great and infinite. He hears those who are afflicted, and He is always present with them in the hour of temptation. As David says in another Psalm, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart.” Therefore, He is not only willing to help and relieve those who are Godly, but He does so in the same loving manner in which a father tenderly helps his children. He is our life, our salvation, our shield, our defense, our eternal strength, and our everlasting salvation and consolation. He is our eternal and infinite good against all the evils that can come upon us. So David proclaims – with great fullness of expression – this unequalled wisdom and power of God! He speaks of how He has, in His hand, all the hearts and thoughts of all men, kings, and rulers throughout the whole world. He turns them and orders them, just as He pleases; He governs and overrules all their deliberations and counsels, and directs them all according to His own mind and pleasure. “The Lord,” says David, “bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought” (verse 10). In other words, He wonderfully breaks off and disappoints the counsels of the worldly wise. He suddenly defeats all the attacks of the enemies against His people and His Church – no matter how sure those wicked persons are of their success. Our God turns all their destruction upon the heads of the enemies themselves so that they cannot perform their wicked plans, nor can they accomplish the mischief which they plot against the righteous. Instead, they receive their just deserts; for they themselves fall into the pits which they have digged, and there they perish and rot.

This is no small consolation to those who fear and love the Lord, as they live and suffer amidst all the bitterness and Satanic cruelty which the tyrants of this world exercise against them. These awful persons fearfully threaten that they will spill the blood of God’s children unless they deny Christ and His Gospel. They make no end of their threats; for they seem to be certain that their terrible curses are enough to frighten even God Himself, and to hurl King Jesus down from the throne of His majesty. But they are willingly ignorant of the fact that – in reality – He holds every one of their thoughts and imaginations in His own power! Even the very breath in their nostrils is subject to His control. And very often, these evil servants of the devil are subverted and destroyed before they have even accomplished their malicious designs! Only meditate upon all the examples of this since the beginning of the world. What became of all the counsels of the people of Sodom against Lot? Where is that great terror of the world, the Assyrian king Sennacherib? What has become of all the other bitter enemies of the Word of God, even in our own times?

In light of these thoughts, we may surely join our voices with the Psalmist’s and exclaim, “Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name!” (verses 20-21) And we may also make use of the priceless little prayer with which this composition ends: “Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee!” (verse 22) We can never sufficiently admire the beauty and comprehensiveness of this prayer. It is a prayer of faith; and it includes almost every petition that can be offered, because it turns the eye to Jesus as the mercy that is promised and looked for (Luke 1:72). It forms the richest conclusion to the whole song. We may live and die in the full enjoyment of His great covenant-blessing. And do we not owe Him a debt of praise? Our Lord Jesus Himself is the Mercy that was promised! We bless Him, in His first coming, for all His finished work of redemption; and we desire to live and die in the full assurance and expectation of His second coming, when we shall go home to live with Him and enjoy Him forever!

Thank You, Lord Jesus, that even though we are poor and needy, yet You think upon us and take notice of us! You graciously stooped from Your throne and came down from heaven to redeem us. Praises to Your name! Amen.  

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