What does Psalm 33:8 mean?
ESV: Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
NIV: Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him.
NASB: Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
CSB: Let the whole earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
NLT: Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him.
KJV: Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
NKJV: Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
Verse Commentary:
Because God is righteous, just, loving, and all-powerful, all the inhabitants of earth should stand in awe of Him. "Fear" of God is not tied to panic or terror, though those who hate and despise God have good reasons to dread His judgment (Hebrews 10:30–31; Revelation 20:11–15). Those who love God "fear" Him in a context of reverence, awe, and humility. This perspective is the foundation of proper knowledge of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7; 3:1–8).

Psalm 95 parallels Psalm 33's call for joyful praise and reverence; both evoke God's greatness and creative power. Verse 1 summons worshipers to sing with joy to the Lord (Psalm 95:1). Verse 3 describes "a great God, and a great King above all gods" (Psalm 95:3). Verse 5 echoes Psalm 33:7 by affirming, "The sea is his, for he made it" (Psalm 95:5).

Although many psalms and other Scriptures call for reverent worship of God, many refuse to acknowledge Him as the only wise and loving God (Jeremiah 35:15; Romans 1:18–32). Numerous people even deny the existence of the One who created all things, including themselves (Psalm 14:1). Even those who claim to believe in God often defy His will in their lives (Titus 1:16). However, someday every knee must bow before Jesus, the Son of God, and confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10–11).
Verse Context:
Psalm 33:4–19 records David's reasons to praise the Lord. They include praise for God's Word, His creative power, His sovereignty over the nations, His all-seeing vision, His faithful works, and His deliverance of His people.
Chapter Summary:
David summons the worshipers of Israel to be joyful as they praise God. The psalm celebrates God's creative power, sovereignty, and faithfulness. Rather than relying on earthly strength, the Lord's people can trust in His omnipotent power. This results in a collective praise for God and His unfailing love for those who trust and hope in Him.
Chapter Context:
The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, attributes this psalm to David. It is a psalm that encourages worshipers to praise the Lord. It may have been written after Israel experienced a victory over an enemy. Because the verbs in this psalm are plural, it features the worship leader's call to worship and the worshipers' response.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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