Praise God for Creation

Ps 33:1-9

SS Lesson for 01/01/2017


Devotional Scripture: Ps 146


Overview and Key Verse of the Lesson

The lesson urges us to Praise God for Creation. The study's aim is to show that all that God has created needs to praise Him. The study's application is to understand that we should center our lives around praising our Creator and appreciating what He has created.

                                                                (Adapted from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary)


Key Verse: Ps 33:6

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.


Commentary from The Bible Knowledge Commentary

The psalmist called on the righteous to praise the Lord because His Word is dependable and His work righteous. Those who trust in Him are assured that He will fulfill His promises to them and consummate His work of salvation. This psalm is a hymn of praise. It may have resulted from a national victory, but there is no evidence to specify which victory. The Hebrew has no superscription; the Septuagint, however, ascribes the psalm to David.


33:1-3. These verses include the psalmist’s call to praise, in which he summoned the righteous to rejoice in the Lord because it is fitting. Praise is the natural response of God’s people for receiving His benefits. But their praise should be spontaneous and fresh—new mercies demand new songs (cf. a new song in 40:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1). It should also be done well or skillfully. The best talent that a person has should be offered in praising Him.


33:4-5. The reason for praise, detailed throughout this psalm, is summarized in these verses. The Lord’s Word and work (all He does) are dependable, and the Lord is righteous and loyal (ḥesed̠, unfailing love; cf. vv. 18, 22).


33:6-11. These verses develop the thought in verse 4 that His Word and work are reliable. First the psalmist spoke of the power of the word of the Lord in Creation (vv. 6-9). Because God spoke, Creation came into existence. What God decrees, happens. Therefore all peoples of the world should worship Him. Then the psalmist spoke of the power of the Lord in history (vv. 10-11). God’s plans foil the plans of the wicked nations (cf. 2:1-6). His purposes are sustained, no matter what people endeavor to do. Surely a God with such powerful words and works should be praised.


33:12-19. These verses develop the idea that the Lord is righteous, just (cf. v. 4a), and loyal (cf. v. 5b). Verse 12 expresses the psalmist’s joy over being part of God’s elect people, recipients of His loyal love. (On Israel as God’s inheritance, see comments on 28:9.) The psalmist then stated that God sees all people from His exalted position in heaven (His dwelling place; cf. 2 Chron. 6:21, 30, 33, 39; 30:27). He sees even their inner thoughts (Ps. 33:13-15). God does not save the self-confident (vv. 6-17). Those who look to a king, or human strength, or a horse cannot find deliverance (cf. 20:7). Rather the Lord saves and preserves those who trust and hope in Him (33:18-19; cf. “hope” in vv. 20, 22 and unfailing love in vv. 5, 22). This is the lot of Israel, the blessed... nation (v. 12).


33:20-22. The conclusion of the psalm is a reassertion of faith in the Lord. God’s people demonstrate their faith in three ways. First, they wait in hope (cf. 25:5, 21; 39:7; 62:5; 71:5) for deliverance from the Lord as their Help (cf. 30:10; 40:17; 46:1; 54:4; 63:7; 70:5; 115:9-11; 146:5) and Shield. Second, they rejoice in Him whom they trust (33:21). Third, they pray for His unfailing love (ḥesed̠; cf. vv. 5, 18) to rest on them. So they are confident (hope) He will consummate His program of salvation.


Commentary from The Bible Expositor and Illuminator

Psalm 33 is a psalm of praise. It calls for musical instruments to be played and for worshippers to sing. The object of the praise is the word of God, particularly the power of His spoken word. God is extolled for His power to speak and create out of nothing. We can see that Psalm 33:6 has two clauses that are mirror images of each other; scholars call it "synonymous parallelism." Each clause is asserting the same thing: all the heavens—the vast universe above us—came into being through the power of God's spoken word. As we contemplate this glorious truth, we are led into the realm of praise to our great Creator. There is an interesting circle of truth to be gleaned from this text. First of all, God spoke and created the heavens above. These heavens and all that God brought into existence by His power then give back to the great Creator the praise that is due Him. So God spoke His word, and His creation responds back to Him! And we, His people, join in on this circle of praise. Thus, all creation renders praise to God. Truly, everything that is made is made for the glory of God. We live today in what many call the "me generation." Not too many people think this is a good thing. The "me generation" is considered selfish, shortsighted, self-indulgent, and ungodly. People in our society tend to think primarily of themselves and their interests and have a dim view of serving others and embracing community. It is not good for society, and it is not good for the church. What is the cure for this disease? Certainly a big part of it would be praise—a greater God-ward focus. This text leads us back to consider how God is the center of all creation. If we can begin our theology with God at the center—understanding the greatness of God's power and that His word began it all—then perhaps we will rebuild our lives around Him instead of ourselves. This text urges us to see that all things flow from God and all things must flow back to God. He must fill our minds, our hearts, and our lives. Without the "breath of his mouth," we have nothing and are nothing. Theology begins with the presence and power of God, and it flows down to us, His humble creatures, who are duty-bound to give Him praise. Praise is not just singing a praise song at church. It is the acknowledgment that God is the center of life, that we owe our being and life to His creative power. He must be acknowledged first of all. And then when we find our way back to Him, or rather, when God rescues us through the cross of Christ, we become a people who worship and serve Him forever. The Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Confession had it right when in response to its question, "What is the chief end of man?" it answered, "to glorify God and to enjoy him forever." Our lives must be swallowed up in the knowledge of God, which leads to a life of service and praise. Maybe what our generation needs is more of God—more teaching, more preaching, and more heartfelt study of Him. By God's grace this can become the means of spiritual growth, and praise then becomes the natural outflow of our lives.


Lesson Introduction and Background

From the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

Psalm 33:20-22, include the elements of waiting on the Lord, acknowledging his protection, rejoicing and trusting in him, and anticipating his love and mercy. All such elements can play an important part in unifying the congregation to the purpose of worship. We must not forget that we have come to worship, and skilled worship leaders issue this call clearly. Our lesson today is from the first nine verses of this same psalm. Although the words were penned over 2,000 years ago, the purposes of and necessity for worship have not changed. If we let it, Psalm 33 can enliven and focus both our corporate and personal worship.


The psalmists composed their works for specific purposes, and sometimes the purpose and identity of the author is revealed in a psalm’s superscription. For example, the superscription of Psalm 51 refers to that psalm as “of David … after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.” What follows is David’s repentance for that sinful episode. If you have a Bible in an electronic format, you may find it interesting to discover these superscriptions to be tagged as “verse zero” of the psalm that follows. Many psalms, however, lack a superscription, and Psalm 33 is one of those. In these cases, we must look within the psalm itself to get an idea of how the Israelites originally used it. Psalm 33 bears no statement of authorship, but a reasonable guess is that David wrote it. One piece of evidence to support this theory is that the last verse of Psalm 32 and the first verse of Psalm 33 are worded very similarly, with the superscription of Psalm 32 attributing that composition to David. Regarding purpose, one theory is that Psalm 33 was used in public assemblies to thank God for a good harvest. In an era when 98 percent of the people made their living by agrarian means in rural settings, the effects of good and bad harvests were felt immediately by nearly everyone. While a national celebration of a good harvest may seem odd to those of the modern Western world, where only 2 percent of people live on farms, such a celebration was quite fitting for the ancients (compare Psalm 65:9; 67:6; 85:12; contrast Jeremiah 8:13). Giving thanks to God is the essence of worship. When we are aware of and grateful for the blessings of adequate provisions for life, it should be natural to direct our gratitude to God.


Major Theme Analysis

(Scriptural Text from the New King James Version; cross-references from the NIV)

Praising God with Music (Psalms 33:1-3)


1 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.

2 Praise the Lord with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.

3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.


Music that rejoices (1)

Rejoicing using music because of recovery by God (1 Chron 15:16)

16 David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.

Rejoicing using music because of God’s salvation (Ps 95:1)

95 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Rejoicing using music because it is prescribed (Ezra 3:10)

10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David king of Israel.

Rejoicing using music because of God’s strength (Ps 81:1)

1 Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob!


Music through instruments (2)

Instruments that accompany and are in unison (2 Chron 5:13)

13 The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: "He is good; his love endures forever." Then the temple of the Lord was filled with a cloud,

Instruments that go before singers (Ps 68:25)

25 In front are the singers, after them the musicians; with them are the maidens playing tambourines.

Instruments used for dedication music (Neh 12:27)

27 At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres.

Instruments that are used to announce people who shout before God (Ps 98:6)

6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn —  shout for joy before the Lord, the King.


Music in songs (3)

Songs of thanksgiving (Ps 95:2)

2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Songs of God’s wonderful acts (Ps 105:2)

2 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.

Songs of praise (James 5:13)

13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.

Songs that glorify God’s Holy Name (1 Chron 16:9-10)

9 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.


Praising God for His Word, Righteousness and Goodness (Psalms 33:4-5)


4 For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth.

5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.


Word (4)

Praising God for His righteous Word (Ps 119:164)

164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws.

Praising God because others are zealous for God's word (Acts 21:20)

20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law.

Praising God because of hearing God's word (Acts 13:48)

48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

Praise God for the goodness of His word (Heb 6:5)

5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age,


Righteousness (5)

Praise God for His righteousness with thanksgiving (Ps 7:17)

17 I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

Praise God for His righteousness in the gospel (Rom 1:17)

17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Praise God for His righteousness that bring life to all men (Rom 5:18)

18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

Praise God for the righteousness He gave through His Son (2 Cor 5:21)

21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


Goodness (5)

Praise God for His goodness for those who fear Him (Ps 31:19)

19 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.

Praise God for His calling of us out of His goodness (2 Peter 1:3)

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Praise God for His abundant goodness (Ps 145:7)

7 They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

Praise God for His goodness that endures forever (Ps 107:1)

107 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.


Praising God fir His Creative Power (Psalms 33:6-9)


6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.

7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses.

8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.

9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.


Creation of the heavens (6)

Praise God because the heavens He created declare His glory (Psalm 19:1)

19 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Praise God because the heavens He created declare the work of His Hands (Ps 8:3-4)

3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,  4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

Praise God because the heavens He created declare His power (Ps 150:1)

150 Praise the Lord.  Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise God for planning and creating a new heaven and earth (2 Peter 3:13)

13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.


Creation of the waters (7)

Praise God for the creations out of water (2 Peter 3:5-6)

5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

Praise God for the boundaries of waters (Jer 5:22)

22 Should you not fear me?" declares the Lord. "Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.

Praise God for gathering the waters He created (Ps 33:7)

7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses.

Praise God for His control of the waters He created (Mark 4:39-41)

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" 41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"


Creation of the earth (8)

Praise God because He did not create the earth to be empty (Isa 45:18)

18 For this is what the Lord says —  he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited —  he says: "I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Praise God for creating and establishing the boundaries of the earth (Ps 74:17)

17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.

Praise God for creating the earth through His wisdom (Prov 3:19)

19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place;

Praise God for creating the earth because He owns it and everything on it (Ps 24:1)

24 The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;

Praise God for creating the earth and giving Jesus all authority over it (Matt 28:18)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.


Creation with power (9)

God manifested His creative power by creating the universe (Gen 1:3)

3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

God manifested His creative power by establishing the world (Prov 8:27-29)

27 I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, 28 when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, 29 when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

God manifested His creative power by establishing the world (Ps 24:1-2)

24 The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.

God manifested His creative power by using His wisdom and understanding (Jer 10:12)

12 But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.

God manifested His creative power because He is the Almighty God (Amos 4:13)

13 He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth — the Lord God Almighty is his name.


Conclusion and Other Thoughts

Commentary Thoughts from Steven Cole

Psalm 33 was written to those addressed as “righteous ones” and “the upright” (v. 1). That is, it is written to those who know God personally and who are seeking to please Him by living obedient lives. But even these people need to be exhorted to “sing for joy in the Lord” (v. 1), to “give thanks to the Lord” and “sing praises to Him” (v. 2). The psalm tells us that…

The key to a thankful, worshiping heart is to rely completely on the Lord.

We don’t know who wrote this psalm. It is sandwiched between two psalms of David, so perhaps he wrote it. David certainly had learned the lesson that the psalm communicates. David was a man of praise and thanksgiving because the Lord had put him in so many situations where every prop was knocked out from under him, forcing him to trust in God alone for deliverance. When God did deliver him, he was flooded with thankfulness and praise.

The psalm begins with an exuberant call to praise God in song and with musical instruments (vv. 1-3). Then, the psalmist gives the reason to praise God (vv. 4-5), because of His word and His work. Then verses 6-12 develop the theme of God’s word as seen in His creation (vv. 6-9) and in His counsel (vv. 10-12). Verses 13-22 then develop the other theme of how God works. He does not work through man’s strength or schemes (vv. 13-17), but rather through those who fear and trust in Him (vv. 18-19). The psalm ends with a final affirmation of trust in the Lord (vv. 20-22).

If the key to a thankful, worshiping heart is to rely completely on the Lord, then the question arises, “How do I learn to rely completely on the Lord?” This is developed in the two main sections of the psalm:

1. We learn to rely completely on the Lord by recognizing the power of His word (33:6-12).

The psalmist is referring primarily to God’s spoken word, but it applies no less to His written word.

A. The power of God’s word is seen in His creation (33:6-9).

John Calvin (Calvin’s Commentaries [Baker], on Ps. 33, p. 542) insightfully points out that the psalmist brings before us God’s creation of the world, because until we believe that He created all that is, we won’t believe that the world is controlled by His wisdom and power. In other words, believing that God created the world also leads us to the truth of His providence in ruling the world, which the psalmist develops in verses 10-12. This relates directly to our believing that He controls the circumstances of our lives, working everything together for good for us according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). So to develop a thankful, worshiping heart, we must bow in awe before the Lord as we realize His immense power in speaking the universe into existence (Ps. 33:8-9).

The immensity of the universe is staggering! This week I was listening to the “Star Date” feature on NPR. They said that astronomers are discovering vast regions of space that are completely empty. One such space is a billion light years across. That is 10,000 times greater than the distance across our Milky Way galaxy! And there are billions of huge galaxies like our Milky Way! Truly, with David (Ps. 8:3-4) we can exclaim, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for Him?”

God didn’t have to struggle and strain to create the universe. Rather, He did it by His bare word (v. 6). As Genesis 1 records (eight times), God said, “Let there be…” and it happened! As our psalm puts it (33:9), “He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” Creation is a miracle of God’s power. He created everything out of nothing by His word alone. As with all miracles, you cannot prove it; you must accept it by faith in God (Heb. 11:3). But the only alternative is that nothing produced everything, or that matter has always existed, but in some miraculous manner by sheer chance alone it came to have the intricately ordered form that we now observe. Which view takes more faith?

The psalmist then goes on to consider the oceans (Ps. 33:7). God “gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses.” The only ocean that the psalmist may have seen would have been the Mediterranean Sea, or perhaps the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aqaba. He would not have known that the world’s oceans cover two-thirds of the earth’s surface. The Pacific Ocean alone covers almost 64 million square miles at an average depth of over 14,000 feet, with its greatest depth almost 36,000 feet! If you’ve ever flown over it or sailed it, you know that it is huge! But the psalmist pictures God as piling the water together as a farmer would pile a heap of grain in a barn. This could be a reference to God’s stacking up the waters of the Red Sea when He brought Israel safely through, or it may be a poetic description of God keeping the mighty oceans within their boundaries.

But either way, when you consider the grandeur of the heavens and of the oceans, the conclusion is (33:8-9): “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast.” There is no way to harmonize or reconcile this text with the view that the universe and life on earth came about by random chance over billions of years. Nor is there room for the view that God guided the process of evolution over billions of years. Rather, God spoke and it was done instantly! The obvious application is that we should fall on our faces before such a powerful Creator. Who are we to vaunt ourselves in pride against Him?

The apostle Paul applies the doctrine of creation to our salvation. After saying (2 Cor. 4:4) that Satan “has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,” he adds (2 Cor. 4:6), “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” In other words, if you know Jesus Christ as Savior, it was not your doing. You were in utter spiritual darkness; furthermore, you loved it (John 3:19)! Just as He spoke the sun into existence, even so God spoke light into your dark heart.

You may be thinking, “But didn’t I have to choose to believe in Christ?” Yes, of course you did. But the question is, “How were you able to choose to believe in Christ?” The Bible is clear, if you have believed in Christ as Savior and Lord, it is because God first opened your blind eyes to see. That is the only doctrine of salvation that causes us to humble ourselves in awe before the Creator.

But the human race is prone to pride. We band ourselves together in nations and assemble powerful armies to conquer kingdoms and control our destiny. So the psalmist goes on to show…

B. The power of God’s word is seen in His counsel (33:10-12).

“The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.” Contrast these words with the proud words of poet William Ernest Henley, “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” God says, “No, you’re not!”

A story is told of a newly-elected politician who had just arrived in Washington, D.C. He was visiting at the home of one of the ranking Senators. The two men stood looking out over the Potomac River as an old, rotten log floated by. The older Senator said, “This city is like that log out there.” “How’s that?” asked the younger man. The Senator replied, “Well, there are probably hundreds of bugs, ants, and other critters on that old log as it floats down the river. And I imagine that every one of them thinks that he’s steering it.”

Proud man thinks that he is steering the course of history. But the Bible is clear that God sets up and takes down the most powerful kings in history for His own sovereign purposes. Whether it was Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, or Artaxerxes, God used them to further His purposes for His chosen people. Of course, none of those men knew God or were seeking to follow God. They were making decisions that they thought would further their own agendas. But behind the scenes, God providentially used their decisions to further His agenda. They were responsible for their decisions and they will answer to God for those decisions. And yet God used those decisions to implement His own counsel and plans.

We see this plainly illustrated in the most important event in human history, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This was Satan’s and proud man’s most serious attempt to cast off God’s rule. Yet in Acts 4:27-28 the early church prays, “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.” These self-centered, proud rulers were responsible for crucifying the Lord’s Anointed One. And yet, in so doing they inadvertently carried out God’s eternal plan of redemption. God nullified and frustrated their plans and established His plan.

The power of God’s word as seen in His counsel is further stated in verse 12: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.” This refers to Israel, whom God chose as distinct from all other peoples to be His people (Deut. 7:7-8). Although they were often disobedient and rebellious, He used them to bring the Savior into the world. As I understand Romans 11, although God has set them aside for these past 20 centuries because they crucified the Savior, He will yet graciously bring a widespread revival among the Jews, to the praise of the glory of His grace. Meanwhile we (the church) are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (1 Pet. 2:9). The reason that any of us are a part of God’s people is His sovereign choice of us.

So the point of verses 6-12 is that we will learn to rely completely on the Lord when we see the power of His word as seen in His creation and in His counsel or His sovereign plan. Because His word stands against all opposition, we can confidently rely on Him.

                           (Adapted from URL:


Concluding Thoughts from the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

Churches today carefully plan and rehearse their worship times. This is designed to bring believers before the throne of God in a spirit of praise. Such elements undergird today’s text as well. The psalmist’s desire for skill as various elements of musical expression interact implies planning for a large community’s time of worship. Underlying this focus, however, is a broader picture of what worship is. God is not to be awe-inspiring only for an hour or two on Sunday morning; he is eternally and always so. A weekend gathering of believers might be a high point in our worship, but it should not be the only worship experience. We can worship when we see God’s activity in a gentle rain or a thundering storm. We can worship him when we view a glorious sunset or a clear, starry night. We can worship when we gaze into the eyes of a newborn baby. We can worship when we calm our hearts for sleep or when we awaken fresh for a new day. We can worship when we remember the many blessings God has laid in the pathways of our lives, or when we consider the many things he has in store for us in the future (see Ecclesiastes 3:11). One implication of all these possibilities is that our worship should not be confined to a sanctuary or worship center in a building. By lifting our “worship awareness” to a higher level, we find endless things that point our hearts to the Lord, the maker of the heavens and the earth and the provider of our daily needs.


Concluding Thoughts from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary

Have you ever read a psalm quickly, glanced over it, and determined that it was not really relevant to you because it was all about praising God? This may not be something you want to admit, but we have all done it. Sometimes in life we are looking for a word of comfort, and the last thing we want to be told to do is to praise God. However, when the Psalms say "Praise the Lord," it is not a suggestion. It is a command. Despite how our circumstances, trials, or tribulations may speak to our hearts, God is worthy of all our praise.


I often take long car rides, and there is nothing better than when a favorite song plays on the radio. All of a sudden my mood lightens, the volume goes up, and I attempt to maintain the tune at the top of my lungs. It did not matter how I was feeling the moment before the song came on because once it started playing, my outlook shifted. Music is a powerful force. This is why the psalmist commanded us to praise the Lord with instruments. Music can capture a mood in a way that makes words unnecessary. I love lyrics, and I do not enjoy much music that is devoid of them. But what do we do when there are no words? We should sing a new song to the Lord! Make up your own words. Make up your own tune. Sometimes we just need to express to our Creator how we are feeling in a song. It might not be a song you would want anyone else to hear. No matter. It is not for public consumption; it is for the Lord. So sing it out with all the gusto you can muster! He will delight in your offering.


God is faithful. God is incapable of deceit. The words of the Lord are true; there is no error in them. "All his works are done in truth." In other words, everything that the Lord does supports the words that He has spoken. Think about your favorite fruit, you favorite flower, an adorable puppy or kitten. Think about your best friend a soul mate. Now ponder this: God created them all. The goodness of the Lord fills the earth. He loves righteousness and justice. God hates unfairness and will eventually right every wrong.


The psalmist took a moment to remember that the very land that he was standing on was created solely by the word of the Lord. God opened His mouth, formed words, and gave them voice. This is the process; by which all things were created. We all have moments in which we need to be reminded of God's work in creation. Here is why: God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If something was created when God spoke, then when God speaks to us now, we know He has power to create again. If we need something to shift in our lives, if we need assistance, if we need healing, or whatever it is that we are in need of—we just need God to speak it into existence. Why? "For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast" (Ps. 33:9). The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives within us. When we give voice to His Word (the Bible), that same creative power begins to work in our lives. God's word is true. It never returns void.


Practical Points from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary

1.      Praising God not only brings blessing; it attracts the sinner to God as well (Ps. 33:1; 67:5-7)

2.      Singers and musicians are ministers of God and should use everything at their disposal to bring Him praise (33:2-3)

3.      Uprightness and truth are defining qualities of all that God does (Ps. 33:4; cf. Num. 23:19; Rom. 3:4)

4.      Righteousness and justice are virtues that God loves (Ps. 33:5; cf. 2 Tim. 4:8)

5.      God creates according to His divine will (Ps. 33:6)

6.      The earth and all its resources belong to the Lord (vs. 7)

7.      God's awesome power should cause all to reverence Him (vss. 8-9)