This psalm is a song of praise to God. I read somewhere that to praise means to confess in the form of a declaration. So when we praise God we confess that we trust and believe Him by declaring who He is and what He has done. Simply saying “Praise God,” over and over again is a call to praise Him, but isn’t actually praise itself. As you read this psalm, notice how the author praises God, what is declared about God and what He’s done.
No author is assigned to Psalm 33. The author is unknown (except by God!). And one other tidbit: this is the first psalm in which musical instruments are mentioned.
Notice the last verse of Psalm 32, “ Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
And Psalm 33 begins, “Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! For praise is beautiful for the upright.”
It picks up right where the previous psalm left off – with rejoicing! And if we want to be beautiful and becoming (that word beautiful is also translated “becoming” or “comely”) then we will “wear” praises to God.
So the psalm begins with an injunction for us to praise God, to shout joyfully to Him, to sing praises to Him, to make melodies to Him on musical instruments. And the rest of the psalm confesses aloud truths about God and so demonstrates to us how to praise Him. I would love to hear this put to music.
What are some truths about God that are declared or confessed here? Why is He worthy of songs of praise?
Here’s what I came up with:
His word is right and truthful.
He loves righteousness and justice.
The world itself displays His goodness.
He is Creator: He spoke and the heavens and earth were made.
He is Sustainer: He keeps the oceans gathered together. (I love the figurative language in verse 7!)
When He commands something it happens.
God is greater than the greatest of the nations.
Nations may have big plans, but God can make them of no effect.
Nations come and go, but God’s counsel is forever.
God is in charge! He is sovereign over all.
His people are blessed.
God is not surprised by what happens here on earth. He sees everyone and has fashioned each heart individually. He understands and considers what people do.
People shouldn’t place their hopes in a mighty army or in powerful weapons.
God watches over those who revere Him, those who place their hope in His mercy.
He delivers their souls from death.
He feeds their hearts in dry times.
This is who God is! So our souls wait for Him, our help and shield.
And our hearts rejoice in Him. We trust and hope in His mercy.
As I read and pondered this psalm I was filled with the heart understanding that God is sovereign and good and so worth my praise.
I want to be a woman who praises God. I am convinced that there is a connection between praise and trust. I hope you, too, will realize more and more that you want to confess your trust in God by declaring truths about Him to yourself and others - that you will PRAISE GOD!
So practice today. Try one of these two things:
Read this psalm to yourself a few times and the last time stand up, read it out loud and SHOUT the phrases that were most meaningful to you. I mean it! That phrase “sing for joy” in v. 1 can also be translated “shout for joy.” So what in this psalm makes you rejoice? Shout it!
Write your own psalm of praise to God. In it confess your trust in Him by declaring some truths about who He is and what He has done. Then read it (pray it!) out loud.