In Isolation Thoughts 2

PSALM 33

A RELATIONSHIP OF JOY and

HOPE AND TRUST ARE REWARDED

We were going to look at this Psalm in two sections as the title indicates, but I have put them together in this study. The introduction to the two main themes of Who is God and Who has a relationship begins with a call to worship in v 1-3. This puts the reader in the right frame of mind to consider the deep truths that follow. What is the basis of the worship?

  • It is directed to the Lord and the instruction demands that it is joyful. It is essential that the focus is in the right direction, away from self and towards God.
  • Who does the worship? The call is two-fold, the righteous and the upright, though the two are complimentary as the person who is in a right relationship with the Lord will also be upright. An essential requirement is an individual relationship which exists between the worshipper and the worshipped.
  • How should the worship be conducted? Here the indication is that it needs to be music and song, combining an instrument played with skill and the human voice. It is praise to God, for God and about God. There is also the development of the worship, it is calling for a ‘new song’, which implies a growing relationship and new experiences which require thanks and praise.

The Psalmist then moves on to look at the two main themes, God, His existence and power and Man, his relationship with God. There is a great contrast evident here between the two natures of the principal focus, an eternal all-powerful creator God who despite this supremacy demonstrates it in love for His creation and the weak, self-dependant man whose weakness is his downfall but is saved by a relationship with the Almighty God.

 

The Lord is:

  • Faithful and true. He is eternally consistent in all aspects, in his word and deeds.
  • His desire is for righteousness and justice, here the implication is that man fails to meet his standard. But he has love which is revealed to mankind all the time. Man fails and changes at a whim, but God is unchangeable and steadfast, like an immovable rock.
  • He demonstrates all that he is by:
    • He spoke and creation came into being, there was no other power that could do this, it happened instantly, God said and it was, no suggestion of evolution and its theory of gradual change and development.
    • Look at the order of creation, heavens were made, followed by the stars that are in the heavens, the seas were gathered together to form the oceans, which left the dry land, or the earth, separate for man to inhabit.
  • God then calls on his creation to respond to him, to observe what he has done by simply giving the command. As we explore and contemplate the universe, we are lost in wonder and praise that such a creation could be put in place. Man’s attempts to explore it, only finds that it extends beyond his expectation and is fraught with danger and failure.  Yet all that is found fits together in a perfection that man’s mind can only dream of, it is beyond his expectation or imagination.
  • Man’s futility is seen and compounded by the power of God. His plans fail so often because they are driven by his own sinful nature. In comparison, the Lord is seen to have absolute control over his creation, even making provision for the salvation of the rebellious nature of man. The Lord’s plans are complete and eternal, whereas man’s change in a moment as he rethinks his actions. God does not rethink, his plan is in place, is perfect and does not need to change.

 

In v 12 onwards, the emphasis of the Psalm moves from God to his creation, man. Despite this change, it is impossible for God not to be seen as part of the scene as there is a relationship between creator and his creation. So how is this relationship defined?

  • The first aspect is that a blessing come to the person who ‘fears’ the Lord. This is not fright, but a respect and recognition of who God is and His nature. There is also the concept of an inheritance, something that is passed on by choice. God chose to make himself available to have a relationship with man.
  • Then we see that God is protective of the person in the relationship, all-seeing eye shows a continual monitoring of his creation from his dwelling place, heaven.
  • Man is reminded that he was formed by God and all his actions are scrutinised and measured against the eternal and holy standard of God.
  • Just when mankind is beginning to find his feet, his strength is put into perspective when compared with God.
    • The size of army is irrelevant. Think of how many battles have been won by a numerically inferior force.
    • Individuals are seen as having strength, but it is not sufficient in the issue of the day.
    • Dependency on horses, or support facilities, is seen as a vain hope when facing opposition. All man’s efforts are seen as futile when he only has confidence in his own abilities,
  • But having seen all his efforts as failure, then comes the answer, the true hope that delivers.
    • The Lord is in control, so trust in Him will bring salvation.
    • The love of the Lord does not end at any time.
    • Hope in the Lord is eternal, it is not just a wish hope, but a certainty.
    • In all circumstances, trust in the Lord will bring results. Whether in earthly matter, like famine or death, the Lord is a shield and help in all situations.
    • There does need, however, to be a personal commitment to the Lord for the trust to be realised. There needs to be an outward expression of the joy that the relationship brings to the inner heart of man.

The Psalm ends with a call to the Lord to continue to bless His people, those whose hope is founded in Him and all that is expressed by the manifestation of His love. A love that was eternally expressed at Calvary.


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