Read Psalm 33:12-22
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.
What does it take to get you worked up enough to shout or sing?
For what specific reasons did the psalm writer praise God?
What character traits did the psalm writer ascribe to the Lord?
What role does the Lord play in the events of earth? (Psalm 33:5-19)
Why was the psalm writer confident of God’s protection? (Psalm 33:12-19)
How is the Lord involved in the lives of His people? (Psalm 33:13-15, Psalm 33:18-19)
What happens to those who rely on their own strength? (Psalm 33:16-17)
What conclusion does this psalm make about self-reliance? (Psalm 33:16-19)
How does the Lord treat those who trust in Him instead of in themselves? (Psalm 33:18-19)
What decision did the psalm writer make? (Psalm 33:20-22)
What do you think our attitude toward our goals and plans reveals about our view of God?
What does this psalm say about the reliability of our plans?
What plan of yours can you commit to the Lord in prayer?
What words of encouragement or instruction can you give to someone else concerning his or her future?
“Psalm 33. No king is saved by the size of his army
This hymn calls on the congregation to sing a victory hymn (a new song) to the Lord. He is the God who brings order out of disorder, controls the chaos in the act of creation and also defeats Israel’s historical enemies. The majority of the psalm speaks to the congregation about God, but the final verse turns to God to ask him to continue his loving relationship with his people…………
33:12–15. God sees all
However, there is one exception among the nations: the nation God chose for his inheritance, which of course is Israel (Exod. 19:3–6; Deut. 7:7–11). No other nation, ancient or modern, fits this category. Today, God’s people are not a nation state, but rather the church. And we must keep in mind that God’s choice of Israel was not just to bless them, but to bring a blessing to all the nations through Israel (Gen. 12:1–3). Indeed, verses 13–15 move quickly from the beatitude on Israel to recognition that God watches over all his people. He is concerned about their inner life (the hearts of all) and their actions (everything they do).
33:20–22. Waiting for the Lord
God’s people can live in confidence even in the midst of attack, because he can provide protection (as their help and shield, the latter clearly a military metaphor of protection). Such trust leads to praise. The final verse is the first to address God directly, as the psalmist requests that God’s unfailing love (or loyalty; ḥesed) be with them.
The psalm celebrates God as the Creator who brings order to disorder (the waters) and is the decisive force in the battle against his people’s enemies. Thus, the psalm is a strong statement about God’s sovereignty over unruly forces. New Testament readers of this psalm live in the midst of conflict, but it is better characterized as spiritual warfare. Even so, like the psalmist (and David facing Goliath; see 1 Sam. 17:45–47), Christians understand that their protection comes from God himself (Eph. 6:10–20).
Verse 6 celebrates creation by proclaiming, By the word of the LORD the heavens were made. John 1:1–3 speaks of Jesus as the Word: ‘Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made.’”
Longman, Tremper, III. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Ed. David G. Firth. Vol. 15–16. Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2014. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries.
Heavenly father, we thank you for all the good that you have shown us from before we were even born. Continue to multiply your mercies upon us, keep us always in awe of you and your loving care for us. Cause us to walk in your praise and protect us from all enemies, both visible and invisible, through Christ, our Savior. Amen.