(The following texts highlighted in this color of blue is taken from

The Treasury of David by Charles Haddon Spurgeon)  "Excerpted text

Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.  Materials are reproduced

by permission."

Psalm 33



Title. This song of praise bears no title or indication of authorship; to teach

us, says Dickson, "to look upon Holy Scripture as altogether inspired of

God, and not put price upon it for the writers thereof."


Subject and Division. The praise of Jehovah is the subject of this sacred



  • The righteous are exhorted to praise Him, vs.1-3;
  • because of the excellency of His character, vs. 4-5;
  • and His majesty in creation, vs. 6-7.
  • Men are bidden to fear before Jehovah because His purposes

are accomplished in providence, vs. 8-11.

  • His people are proclaimed blessed, v. 12.
  • The omniscience and omnipotence of God, and His care for His

people are celebrated, in opposition to the weakness of an arm

of flesh, vs.13-19;

  • and the Psalm concludes with a fervent expression of confidence,

vs. 20-21,

  • and an earnest prayer, v. 22.



1  Rejoice in the Lord,” - Joy is the soul of praise. To delight ourselves

in God is most truly to extol Him, even if we let no notes of song proceed

from our lips. That God is, and that He is such a God, and our God, ours

for ever and ever, should wake within us an unceasing and overflowing joy.

To rejoice in temporal comforts is dangerous, to rejoice in self is foolish, to

rejoice in sin is fatal, but to rejoice in God is heavenly. He who would have

a double heaven must begin below to rejoice like those above - “O ye righteous:” –

This is peculiarly your duty, your obligations are greater, and your spiritual

nature more adapted to the work, be ye then first in the glad service. Even the

righteous are not always glad, and have need to be stirred up to enjoy their

privileges -“for praise is comely for the upright.” God has an eye to things

which are becoming. When saints wear their choral robes, they look fair in the

Lord's sight. A harp suits a blood washed hand. No jewel more ornamental to a

holy face than sacred praise. Praise is not comely from unpardoned

professional singers; it is like a jewel of gold in a swine's snout. Crooked

hearts make crooked music, but the upright are the Lord's delight. Praise is

the dress of saints in heaven, it is meet that they should fit it on below.


2  Praise the Lord with harp:” - Men need all the help they can get to

stir them up to praise. This is the lesson to be gathered from the use of

musical instruments under the old dispensation. Israel was at school, and

used childish things to help her to learn; but in these days, when Jesus gives

us spiritual manhood, we can make melody without strings and pipes. We

who do not believe these things to be expedient in worship, lest they

should mar its simplicity, do not affirm them to be unlawful, and if any

George Herbert or Martin Luther can worship God better by the aid of

Well-tuned instruments, who shall gainsay their right? We do not need them,

they would hinder than help our praise, but if others are otherwise minded,

are they not living in gospel liberty? - “sing unto Him” - This is the sweetest

and best of music. No instrument like the human voice. As a help to singing

the instrument is alone to be tolerated, for keys and strings do not praise the Lord.

“with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.” The Lord must have a

full octave, for all notes are His, and all music belongs to Him. Where

several pieces of music are mentioned, we are taught to praise God with all

the powers which we possess.


3  “Sing unto Him a new song;” - All songs of praise should be unto Him.

Singing for singing's sake is nothing worth; we must carry our tribute to

the King, and not cast it to the winds. Do most worshippers mind this? Our

faculties should be exercised when we are magnifying the Lord, so as not

to run in an old groove without thought; we ought to make every hymn of

praise a new song. To keep up the freshness of worship is a great thing,

and in private it is indispensable. Let us not present old worn out praise,

but put life, and soul, and heart, into every song, since we have new

mercies every day, and see new beauties in the work and word of our Lord.

“play skillfully” - It is wretched to hear God praised in a slovenly manner. He

deserves the best that we have. Every Christian should endeavor to sing

according to the rules of the art, so that he may keep time and tune with

the congregation. The sweetest tunes and the sweetest voices, with the

sweetest words, are all too little for the Lord our God; let us not offer Him

limping rhymes, set to harsh tunes, and growled out by discordant voices.

“with a loud noise.” Heartiness should be conspicuous in divine worship.

Well bred whispers are disreputable here. It is not that the Lord cannot

hear us, but that it is natural for great exultation to express itself in the

loudest manner. Men shout at the sight of their kings: shall we offer no

loud hosannahs to the Son of David?


4  “For the word of the Lord is right;” - His ordinances both natural, moral,

and spiritual, are right, (ch. 19:7-12) and especially His incarnate Word, who

is the Lord our righteousness. Whatever God has ordained must be good, and

just, and excellent. There are no anomalies in God's universe, except what

sin has made; His word of command made all things good. When we look

at His word of promise, and remember its faithfulness, what reasons have

we for joy and thankfulness! - “and all His works are done in truth.” His

work is the outflow of His word, and it is true to it. He neither doth nor saith

anything ill; in deed and speech He agrees with Himself and the purest truth.

There is no lie in God's word, and no sham in His works; in creation, providence,

and revelation, unalloyed truth abounds. (God is abundant in truth – Exodus

34:6 – CY -2010)  To act truth as well as to utter it is divine. Let not

children of God ever yield their principles in practice any more than in

heart. What a God we serve! The more we know of Him, the more our

better natures approve His surpassing excellence; even His afflicting works

are according to His truthful word.


"Why should I complain of want or distress,

Afflictions or pain? He told me no less;

The heirs of salvation, I know from His word,

Through much tribulation must follow their Lord."


God writes with a pen that never blots, speaks with a tongue that never

slips, acts with a hand which never fails. Bless His name.


5  “He loveth righteousness and judgment:” - The theory and practice of

right He intensely loves. He doth not only approve the true and the just, but

His inmost soul delights therein. The character of God is a sea, every drop

of which should become a wellhead of praise for His people. The

righteousness of Jesus is peculiarly dear to the Father, and for its sake He

takes pleasure in those to whom it is imputed. Sin, on the other hand, is

infinitely abhorrent to the Lord, and woe unto those who die in it; if He sees

no righteousness in them, He will deal righteously with them, and judgment

stern and final will be the result -  “the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Come hither, astronomers, geologists, naturalists, botanists, chemists, miners, yea,

all of you who study the works of God, for all your truthful stories confirm this

declaration. From the midge in the sunbeam to leviathan in the ocean all

creatures own the bounty of the Creator. Even the pathless desert blazes

with some undiscovered mercy, and the caverns of ocean conceal the

treasures of love. Earth might have been as full of terror as of grace, but

instead thereof it teems and overflows with kindness. He who cannot see it,

and yet lives in it as the fish lives in the water, deserves to die. If earth be

full of mercy, what must heaven be where goodness concentrates its



6  “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made;” - The angelic

heavens, the sidereal heavens, and the firmament or terrestrial heavens,

were all made to start into existence by a word; what if we say by the

Word, "For without Him was not anything made that is made." (John 1:3)

It is interesting to note the mention of the Spirit in the next clause,

“and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.”   The breath is the

same as is elsewhere rendered Spirit. Thus the three persons of the Godhead

unite in creating all things. How easy for the Lord to make the most

ponderous orbs, and the most glorious angels! A word, a breath could do

it. It is as easy for God to create the universe as for a man to breathe, nay,

far easier, for man breathes not independently, but borrows the breath in

his nostrils from his Maker. It may be gathered from this verse that the

constitution of all things is from the infinite wisdom, for His word may

mean His appointment and determination. A wise and merciful Word has

arranged, and a living Spirit sustains all the creation of Jehovah.


7  “He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap:” - The waters

were once scattered like corn strewn upon a threshing floor: they are now

collected in one spot as an heap. Who else could have gathered them into

one channel but their great Lord, at whose bidding the waters fled away?

The miracle of the Red Sea is repeated in nature day by day, for the sea

which now invades the shore under the impulse of sun and moon, would

soon devour the land if bounds were not maintained by the divine decree.

He layeth up the depth in storehouses.” The depths of the main are God's

great cellars and storerooms for the tempestuous element. Vast reservoirs

of water are secreted in the bowels of the earth, from which issue our

springs and wells of water. What a merciful provision for a pressing need?

May not the text also refer to the clouds, and the magazines of hail, and

snow, and rain, those treasures of merciful wealth for the fields of earth?

These aqueous masses are not piled away as in lumber rooms, but in

storehouses for future beneficial use. (Job 38:22-23)  - Abundant tenderness

is seen in the foresight of our heavenly Joseph, whose granaries are already

filled against earth's time of need. These stores might have been, as once

they were, the ammunition of vengeance, they are now a part of the commissariat

of mercy.


8  “Let all the earth fear the Lord:” -  Not only Jews, but Gentiles. The

psalmist was not a man blinded by national prejudice, he did not desire to

restrict the worship of Jehovah to the seed of Abraham. He looks for

homage even to far off nations. If they are not well enough instructed to be

able to praise, at least let them fear. There is an inferior kind of worship in

the trembling which involuntarily admits the boundless power of the

thundering God. A defiant blasphemer is out of place in a world covered

with tokens of the divine power and Godhead: the whole earth cannot

afford a spot congenial for the erection of a synagogue of Atheism, nor a

man in whom it is becoming to profane the name of God - “let all the

inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”  Let them forsake

their idols, and reverently regard the only living God. What is here placed

as a wish may also be read as a prophecy: the adoration of God will yet be

universal.  (“Even so, come Lord Jesus” – Revelation 22:20 – CY - 2010)


9  “For He spake, and it was done;” -  Creation was the fruit of a word.

Jehovah said, "Light be," and light was. The Lord's acts are sublime in their

ease and instantaneousness. "What a word is this?" This was the wondering

inquiry of old, and it may be ours to this day.  He commanded, and it stood fast.”

Out of nothing creation stood forth, and was confirmed in existence. The same

power which first uplifted, now makes the universe to abide; although we may not

observe it, there is as great a display of sublime power in confirming as in creating.

(Jesus Christ, the Son of God, upholds all things “by the word of His power”

Hebrews 1:3 – CY – 2010)  Happy is the man who has learned to lean his all upon

the sure word of Him who built the skies!


10  “The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought:” - While

His own will is done, He takes care to anticipate the willfulness of His

enemies. Before they come to action He vanquishes them in the council

chamber; and when, well armed with craft, they march to the assault, He

frustrates their knaveries, and makes their promising plots to end in

nothing. Not only the folly of the heathen, but their wisdom too, shall yield

to the power of the cross of Jesus: what a comfort is this to those who

have to labor where sophistry, and philosophy, falsely so called, are set in

opposition to the truth as it is in Jesus. “He maketh the devices of the people

of none effect.” Their persecutions, slanders, falsehoods, are like puff balls flung

against a granite wall—they produce no result at all; for the Lord overrules the evil,

and brings good out of it. The cause of God is never in danger: infernal craft is

outwitted by infinite wisdom, (I Corinthians 1:19-29) and Satanic malice held in

check by boundless power.


11  The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever,” -  He changes not His

purpose, His decree is not frustrated, His designs are accomplished. God has

a predestination according to the counsel of His will, and none of the

devices of His foes can thwart His decree for a moment. Men's purposes are

blown to and fro like the thread of the gossamer or the down of the thistle, but

the eternal purposes are firmer than the earth - “the thoughts of His heart to

all generations.”  Men come and go, sons follow their sires to the grave, but

the undisturbed mind of God moves on in unbroken serenity, producing

ordained results with unerring certainty.  No man can expect His will or

plan to be carried out from age to age; the wisdom of one period is the folly

of another, but the Lord's wisdom is always wise, and His designs run on from

century to century. His power to fulfill His purposes is by no means diminished by

the lapse of years. He who was absolute over Pharaoh in Egypt is not one whit the

less today the King of kings and Lord of lords; still do His chariot wheels roll

onward in imperial grandeur, none being for a moment able to resist His eternal will.


12  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord;”  Israel was happy in

the worship of the only true God. It was the blessedness of the chosen

nation to have received a revelation from Jehovah. While others groveled

before their idols, the chosen people were elevated by a spiritual religion

which introduced them to the invisible God, and led them to trust in Him.

All who confide in the Lord are blessed in the largest and deepest sense,

and none can reverse the blessing – “and the people whom He hath

chosen for His own inheritance.”  Election is at the bottom of it all. The

divine choice rules the day; none take Jehovah to be their God till He takes

them to be His people. What an ennobling choice this is! We are selected to

no mean estate, and for no ignoble purpose: we are made the peculiar domain

and delight of the Lord our God. Being so blessed, let us rejoice in our portion,

and show the world by our lives that we serve a glorious Master


13  The Lord looketh from heaven;” -  The Lord is represented as

dwelling above and looking down below; seeing all things, but peculiarly

observing and caring for those who trust in Him. It is one of our choicest

privileges to be always under our Father's eye, to be never out of sight of

our best Friend - “He beholdeth all the sons of men.”  All Adam's sons are

as well watched as was Adam himself, their lone progenitor in the garden. Ranging

from the frozen pole to the scorching equator, dwelling in hills and valleys, in huts

and palaces, alike doth the divine eye regard all the members of the family of man.


14  From the place of His habitation He looketh upon all the inhabitants of

the earth.”  Here the sentiment is repeated: it is worth repeating, and it needs repeating,

for man is most prone to forget it. As great men sit at their windows and watch the

crowd below, so doth the Lord; He gazes intently upon His responsible creatures,

and forgets nothing of what He sees.


15  He fashioneth their hearts alike;” -  By which is meant that all hearts

are equally fashioned by the Lord, kings' hearts as well as the hearts of

beggars. The text does not mean that all hearts are created originally alike

by God, such a statement would scarcely be true, since there is the utmost

variety in the constitutions and dispositions of men. All men equally owe

the possession of life to the Creator, and have therefore no reason to boast

themselves. What reason has the vessel to glorify itself in presence of the

potter?  “He considereth all their works.”  Not in vain doth God see men's

acts: He ponders and judges them. He reads the secret design in the outward

behavior, and resolves the apparent good into its real elements. This

consideration foretokens a judgment when the results of the divine

thoughts will be meted out in measures of happiness or woe. Consider thy

ways, O man, for God considereth them!


16  There is no king saved by the multitude of an host:” Mortal power

is a fiction, and those who trust in it are dupes. Serried ranks of armed men

have failed to maintain an empire, or even to save their monarch's life when

a decree from the court of heaven has gone forth for the empire's

overthrow. The all seeing God preserves the poorest of His people when

they are alone and friendless, but ten thousand armed men cannot ensure

safety to him whom God leaves to destruction - “a mighty man is not delivered

by much strength.”  So far from guarding others, the valiant veteran is not able to

deliver himself. When his time comes to die, neither the force of his arms nor

the speed of his legs can save him. The weakest believer dwells safely under

the shadow of Jehovah's throne, while the most mighty sinner is in peril every hour.

Why do we talk so much of our armies and our heroes?  The Lord alone has

strength, and let Him alone have praise.


17  An horse is a vain thing for safety:”  Military strength among the

Orientals lay much in horses and scythed chariots, but the psalmist calls

them a lie, a deceitful confidence. Surely the knight upon his gallant steed

may be safe, either by valor or by flight? Not so, his horse shall bear him

into danger or crush him with its fall - “neither shall he deliver any by his

great strength.”  Thus the strongest defenses are less than nothing when most

needed. God only is to be trusted and adored. Sennacherib with all his calvary is

not a match for one angel of the Lord (II Kings 19:35-37), Pharaoh's horses and

chariots found it vain to pursue the Lord's anointed (Exodus 14:27-31), and so

shall all the leaguered might of earth and hell find themselves utterly defeated when

they rise against the Lord and His chosen.


18  Behold,” - For this is a greater wonder than hosts and horses, a surer

confidence than chariots or shields - “the eye of the Lord is upon them that

fear Him,” -  That eye of peculiar care is their glory and defense. None can take

them at unawares, for the celestial watcher foresees the designs of their enemies,

and provides against them.  They who fear God need not fear anything else;

 let them fix their eye of faith on Him, and His eye of love will always rest upon them.

upon them that hope in His mercy;” - This one would think to be a small

evidence of grace, and yet it is a valid one. Humble hope shall have its share as well

as courageous faith. Say, my soul, is not this an encouragement to thee? Dost thou not

hope in the mercy of God in Christ Jesus? Then the Father's eye is as much upon

thee as upon the elder born of the family. These gentle words, like soft bread, are meant

for babes in grace, who need infant's food.


19  To deliver their soul from death,” -  The Lord's hand goes with His

eye; He sovereignly preserves those whom He graciously observes. Rescues

and restorations hedge about the lives of the saints; death cannot touch

them till the King signs His warrant and gives him leave, and even then His

touch is not so much mortal as immortal; He doth not so much kill us as kill

our mortality.  (Isaiah 25:6-8; I Corinthians 15:54) - “and to keep them alive

in famine. Gaunt famine knows its master. God has meal and oil for His Elijahs

somewhere (I Kings 17:9-16). "Verily thou shalt be fed" (ch. 37:3) is a

divine provision for the man of faith. The Preserver of men will not suffer

the soul of the righteous to famish. Power in human hands is outmatched

by famine, but God is good at a pinch, and proves His bounty under the

most straitened circumstances. Believer, wait upon thy God in temporals.

His eye is upon thee, and His hand will not long delay.


20  Our soul waiteth for the Lord:” - Here the godly avow their reliance

upon Him whom the Psalm extols. To wait is a great lesson. To be quiet in

expectation, patient in hope, single in confidence, is one of the bright

attainments of a Christian. Our soul, our life, must hang upon God; we are

not to trust Him with a few gewgaws, but with all we have and are.  “He is our

help and our shield.”  Our help in labor, our shield in danger. The

Lord answereth all things to His people. He is their all in all. Note the three

"ours" in the text. These holdfast words are precious. Personal possession

makes the Christian man; all else is mere talk.


21  For our hearts shall rejoice in Him,” - The duty commended and

commanded in the first verse is here presented to the Lord. We, who trust,

cannot but be of a glad heart, our inmost nature must triumph in our faithful God.

“Because we have trusted in His holy name.” The root of faith in due time

bears the flower of rejoicing. Doubts breed sorrow, confidence creates joy.


22  Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.”

Here is a large and comprehensive prayer to close with. It is an appeal for mercy,

which even joyful believers need; and it is sought for in a proportion which the Lord

has sanctioned. "According to your faith be it unto you" (Matthew 9:29);  is the

Master's word, and He will not fall short of the scale which He has Himself selected.

Yet, Master, do more than this when hope is faint, and bless us far above what we

ask or even think.  (Ephesians 3:20)




"Excerpted text Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.

Materials are reproduced by permission."


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