Praise to the Almighty Creator…
“The sovereignty of God is that golden sceptre in his hand by which he will make all bow, either by his word or by his works, by his mercies or by his judgements.”
— Thomas Brooks
Unbroken and incessant praise should characterize the lives of God’s people.
At the heart of this worship should be a clear declaration of God’s sovereignty over everything.
In this song of thanksgiving, the psalmist called upon the righteous to sing to the Lord for His absolute control over all the earth.
Specifically, he had in mind God’s rule over all the Gentile nations.
A specific occasion unknown to us prompted the writing of this psalm, one in which God delivered Israel from the threat of an invading nation.
Perhaps it was written following a great national victory like what Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20) or Hezekiah (2 Kgs. 19) experienced over an encroaching nation.
Whatever the historical background, this psalm is an anonymous hymn of praise, one of only four psalms in Book I (Pss. 1-41) without a superscription.
The other untitled psalms are 1, 2, and 10.
This psalm is perfectly symmetrical, beginning with a three-verse introduction (vv. 1-3) and climaxing with a three-verse conclusion (vv. 20-22).
The main body is divided into two equal sections of eight verses each (vv. 4-11,12-19).
The twenty-two verses of the psalm, it has been suggested, were determined by the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
The psalmist calls upon the righteous to praise the Lord for His mighty Word, perfect attributes, and faithful deeds.
(vv. 1-2) The call to worship goes out to Israel in the first seven verses, then to the Gentiles as well in verse 8.
Praise is so beautiful and so compelling that the sweetest and finest possible instrumental accompaniment should be utilized—the harp and an instrument of ten strings.
(v. 3) The new song is the song of redemption. It follows the forgiveness of sins (Ps. 32) and belongs to all who have been cleansed by the precious blood of Christ.
But this song will be sung in a very special way by redeemed Israel at the outset of the Millennium (Rev. 14:3).
The new song celebrates the Word of the LORD and all His work.
His Words are absolutely true and righteous, unchanging and trustworthy.
All His works are done in faithfulness.
This is seen in creation—“seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night” (Gen. 8:22).
It is seen in providence. “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
And it is seen in redemption—“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
(v. 5) God is not only upright and faithful, upholding righteousness and justice, but the evidences of the goodness of the LORD are everywhere.
The greatness of God is seen in that He created the heavens and their starry host by no greater expenditure of energy than by speaking the energizing Word.
Just this easily did He confine the oceans within appointed limits.
Some see these two utterances as a poetic veiled reference to Israel as the stars of the heavens (Gen. 15:5) and to the Gentile nations as the raging seas, bottled up at last by the Lord Jesus at His Second Advent.
(v. 8-9) In any case, God is so great that all mankind should reverence Him and show Him the deepest respect.
His Word was the sound energy which became matter.
By His command all creation came into being.
(v. 10-11) Throughout human history the ungodly nations have collaborated to thwart God and to ruin His people.
But, as Burns said,
“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley,” or, as we would say, they often go haywire!
God ultimately frustrates the cleverest plots hatched by His opponents. And nothing can hinder the accomplishment of His purposes.
He will always have the last word, and whatever He plans will come to pass.
(v. 11) “The LORD’s plans stand firm forever.”
Are you frustrated by inconsistencies you see in others, or even in yourself?
God is completely trustworthy—His intentions never change.
The Bible promises that good and perfect gifts come to us from the Creator who never changes (James 1:17).
When you wonder if there is anyone you can trust, remember that God is completely consistent.
Let Him counsel you, and then rely on His plans for your life.
(vv. 12-15) Only those people who align themselves with God and His revealed plans will know the fullness of His inheritance.
As God carries out His plans, it is with the full knowledge of our lives, circumstances, and needs.
From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind.
From His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth.
With penetrating gaze God observes every person on the earth.
No one escapes His perfect vision (cp. Heb. 4:13).
God who forms the hearts of all rules over all things in accordance with His own sovereign purposes.
So the pathway of our blessing lies in cooperating with God.
Happy is the nation that acknowledges Jehovah as its God. This is the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
(vv. 14-18) God’s watching over us has two dimensions:
(1) He sees and understands our thoughts and motives.
The psalmist explains here that God made the human heart and therefore completely understands people.
John the apostle said that Jesus knew exactly what human nature was like, so no one can fool God (John 2:23-25).
(2) God watches over us with love and protection.
Knowing this should help us prioritize getting in tune with Him each day.
God knows what we are doing, and He guides us toward the right path if we listen to Him.
(vv. 16-17) The image of a warhorse represents military strength.
Because God rules and overrules every nation, leaders should never put their trust in their physical power.
Military might is not the basis for our hope.
Our hope is in God and His gracious offer to save us if we will trust in Him.
(vv. 18-19) This is not an ironclad guarantee that all believers will be delivered from death and starvation.
Thousands of Christian believers have been beaten to death, whipped, fed to lions, or executed (Romans 8:35-36; Hebrews 11:32-40).
God can (and often miraculously does) deliver His followers from pain and death; sometimes, though, for purposes known only to Him, He chooses not to.
When faced with this harsh reality, we must focus on the wise judgments of God.
The writer of this psalm was pleading for God’s watchful care and protection.
In times of crisis, we can place our hope in God.
(vv. 20-22) Whatever the circumstances, the people responded in faith to what they had heard in this call to rejoice.
The phrase We wait in hope for the LORD reaffirms their confident commitment to the Lord.
This they can do because He is our help (cp. 20:6) and our shield (cp. 3:3).
In this God the people trust (Heb. batach, “to attach oneself, depending upon”) because He is in control.
The psalm ends with a petition by the people, May your unfailing love rest upon us,
O LORD. He would sustain and support them through every crisis as they put their hope in Him.
Such hope is well-placed and will never disappoint the believer.
Max Lucado’s LifeLessons:
In Psalm 33, we can delight with the psalmist in a God who not only created everything, but whose plan for this world will stand forever.
Praise God whose plans stand forever and who triumphed over Satan at the cross.
Remember, Satan cannot penetrate the walls of the Great House of God.
Is it still hard to imagine how your struggle could lead to any good?
Still hard to conceive how your disease or debt or death could be a tool for anything worthwhile?
If so, then I’ve got one final example.
While not wanting to minimize your struggle, I must say yours is a cakewalk compared to this one.
A sinless Savior was covered with sin.
The author of life was placed in the cave of death.
Satan’s victory appeared sure.
Finally, the devil had scored on the right end of the court. And not only had he scored, he’d slam-dunked the MVP and left Him lying on the floor.
The devil had blown it with everyone from Sara to Peter, but this time he’d done it right.
The whole world had seen it.
The victory dance had already begun.
But all of a sudden there was a light in the tomb and a rumbling of the rock; then Friday’s tragedy emerged as Sunday’s Savior, and even Satan knew he’d been had.
He’d been a tool in the hand of the gardener. All the time he thought he was defeating heaven, he was helping heaven.
God wanted to prove His power over sin and death, and that’s exactly what He did.
And guess who helped Him do it?
Once again Satan’s lay-up becomes a foul-up.
Only this time, he didn’t give heaven some points, he gave heaven the championship game.
(From The Great House of God by Max Lucado)
Where are you struggling right now?
Is there some area in your life where you are experiencing defeat?
Remember the Cross and God’s ultimate victory over Satan, sin, and death.
Turn defeat into victory by praising and thanking God and trusting in Him.
As it is with the nations of the world, so it is in each of our individual lives, that God holds it ALL in the palm of His hands
“My times are in Your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.”
Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
Tuesday July 5, 2022
RESTORATION OF A NATION!
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”
— Psalms 33:12
Throughout the United States yesterday, everyone celebrated the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence — a document through which leaders of the colonies in the New World broke free from the King of England.
The declaration begins:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
While revisionist historians are working hard to remove any trace of Christian/Biblical ideals from the foundations of America, today’s celebration finds its basis in a foundational document which appeals to the authority of a Divine Creator, one whom most of the founding fathers fully believed to have been the author and main subject of the Holy Bible, and who was the guarantor of certain “inalienable rights”.
So the Fourth of July – more than just a celebration of independence, ought also to be a day which recognizes God’s participation in the nation’s birth.
I’ve read and heard all kinds of advice about how America ought to be transformed, while a simple recognition of God’s covenant offer to a nation goes ignored.
The words found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 could be claimed and applied to any nation, but particularly one whose foundational documents and institutions have drawn their inspiration substantially from Biblical monotheism.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
IF we truly want to see healing brought to any nation, then this conditional covenant is for US and the restoration of our land will require our part in the covenant: humility, prayer and repentance, so that God can forgive our sin and heal our land!
True restoration and healing only comes through true repentance and God’s grace!
With so much work to be done — may restoration begin with us!
Your family in the Lord with much agape love,
George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Come join the Adventure!