What does Psalms 33 mean?
Chapter Commentary:
The psalm opens with a call on the collected worshippers of Israel. The psalmist, likely David, appeals for joyful praise of God. The opening verses refer to "a new song," which carries more than one meaning. In a literal sense, "new songs" are expressions of each generation's personal experience of God's goodness. Creating original songs to honor God is a way of praising and worshipping Him. The "new song" also implies a refreshed, ever-present sense of the Lord. David includes references to musical instruments in this call for praise (Psalm 33:1–3).

For most of the psalm, the psalmist extols God's justice, creative power, omnipotent sovereignty, and omniscient love for His people. God's power is demonstrated in His creative speech: by simply expressing His desire, He can form something from nothing. No earthly power can thwart God's will. As much as any country or culture tries to overthrow God, He cannot be defeated. Those who rely on worldly power are doomed to failure, while reliance on God is the path to eternal salvation (Psalm 33:4–19).

The end of this song is a collective shout of praise. To "wait" on the Lord implies a patient, attentive interest in His will. That requires trust, which is the essence of biblical faith. The people led by the psalmist sing their intent to rely on God and to eagerly expect His powerful work in their lives (Psalm 33:20–22).
Verse Context:
Psalm 33:1–3 calls upon the Lord's righteous people to delight in Him. They should praise God and be thankful to Him. The psalmist calls God's worshippers to use music and singing. Their praise should come so naturally that it is spontaneous.
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.
Psalm 33:20–22 completes David's song with an expression of faith in the Lord. The congregation and choir, having recounted the many reasons to praise the Lord, confess their peace, hope, and trust in God. They ask Him to place His steadfast love upon them.
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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