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Psalm 33

Rachel Mason

1 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.

Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!

Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

For the word of the Lord is upright,

and all his work is done in faithfulness.

He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,

and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
he puts the deeps in storehouses.

Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!

For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;

he frustrates the plans of the peoples.

11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;

14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,

15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.

16 The king is not saved by his great army;

a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.

17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,

on those who hope in his steadfast love,

19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.

21 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.

22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

Psalm 33 offers a contrast in power: the power of the Lord and our human power. The power of the Lord is explained first and is described as infinitely more powerful.
The images of verses 6-9 are awe-inspiring, especially as we slow down to picture each one. These verses compare to Genesis chapters 1 and 2, God as Creator. He breathed, and the Earth was made, as was everything in it. He breathed the stars into being (v. 6) - and yet, His creation of us is even more intimate. When you doubt your worth or your significance, when you doubt if you are loved, remember that the Creator of those stars that fill you with wonder crafted you specifically. 
We admire the ocean for its power and beauty. Its waves can easily overpower us, and yet God gathers the oceans into jars.
All of these comparisons, like Jesus' parables, help us use the world to picture the power of a God who cannot be grasped by our human mind. 
If you are uncertain about the paths or plan God has for you, look at verse 11, "the plans of the Lord stand firm forever."remembering that the God who is making these promises is the same one who breathed the stars in being and holds the seas in a jar. He also sees all mankind (including you, and your loved ones) (v. 13, 14), creates the hearts of all, and knows everything everyone does (v. 15).
Now, the futility of the power of man is described in verses 16-17. The king, warrior, and horse have great strength and status, but none of them are saved by this. 
Instead, as the psalmist concludes (v. 20-22), our hope can only be in the Lord; He alone can be our help and our shield. 
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