What does Psalm 33:9 mean?
ESV: For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
NIV: For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
NASB: For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood firm.
CSB: For he spoke, and it came into being; he commanded, and it came into existence.
NLT: For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.
KJV: For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
NKJV: For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
Verse Commentary:
Once again, David refers to the Lord's creative speaking as the means by which everything was created (John 1:3). Theologians refer to God's creative work as ex nihilo, meaning out of nothing. He did not rely on the prior existence of some energy or material to create the heavens and the earth. The Lord "spoke" and everything came into existence. In the biblical context, this does not require literal words: audible syllables in some language. The power of God's "speech" is not a magic incantation, but the pure expression of His will. When God willed light to exist, light came to be (Genesis 1:3). The same is true of His other creative works (Genesis 1:6, 9, 11, 14).

Hebrews 11:3 states: "By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." Genesis 1:1 states: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." When God created all things, He established laws in nature that continue today. For example, the law of gravity operated in Old Testament times and continues today. If someone tries to ignore the law of gravity by jumping from a tall building, he will discover that the law applies, whether or not they approve. This is true of anything God chooses to enforce (Psalm 33:10; Job 42:2).
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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