Our Common Prayerbook 33 – 1

The world is God’s, and that’s the standpoint of the entire Bible. For a host of reasons, then, we are summoned to give praise to God, and Psalm 33 — one of the prayers in our common prayerbook — is a great example of how our theological apprehension that the world is God’s can change our perspective and also lead us to praise God.

Notice how the psalmist begins Psalm 33:1-3:

33:1 You godly ones, shout for joy because of the Lord! It is appropriate for the morally upright to offer him praise.

33:2 Give thanks to the Lord with the harp! Sing to him to the accompaniment of a ten-stringed instrument! 33:3 Sing to him a new song! Play skillfully as you shout out your praises to him!

Those who are “godly” can shout for joy to the Lord; those who are morally right can praise God. They will do these things because this is what the godly and the upright do.

And the psalmist exhorts them to use their instruments and everything they’ve got that can make noise and music; they are to let everything turn its sound toward God in praise.

33:1 You godly ones, shout for joy because of the Lord!

It is appropriate for the morally upright to offer him praise.

33:2 Give thanks to the Lord with the harp!

Sing to him to the accompaniment of a ten-stringed instrument!

33:3 Sing to him a new song!

Play skillfully as you shout out your praises to him!

33:4 For the Lord’s decrees are just,

and everything he does is fair.

33:5 The Lord promotes equity and justice;

the Lord’s faithfulness extends throughout the earth.

33:6 By the Lord’s decree the heavens were made;

by a mere word from his mouth all the stars in the sky were created.

33:7 He piles up the water of the sea;

he puts the oceans in storehouses.

33:8 Let the whole earth fear the Lord!

Let all who live in the world stand in awe of him!

33:9 For he spoke, and it came into existence,

he issued the decree, and it stood firm.

33:10 The Lord frustrates the decisions of the nations;

he nullifies the plans of the peoples.

33:11 The Lord’s decisions stand forever;

his plans abide throughout the ages.

33:12 How blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,

the people whom he has chosen to be his special possession.

33:13 The Lord watches from heaven;

he sees all people.

33:14 From the place where he lives he looks carefully

at all the earth’s inhabitants.

33:15 He is the one who forms every human heart,

and takes note of all their actions.

33:16 No king is delivered by his vast army;

a warrior is not saved by his great might.

33:17 A horse disappoints those who trust in it for victory;

despite its great strength, it cannot deliver.

33:18 Look, the Lord takes notice of his loyal followers,

those who wait for him to demonstrate his faithfulness

33:19 by saving their lives from death

and sustaining them during times of famine.

33:20 We wait for the Lord;

he is our deliverer and shield.

33:21 For our hearts rejoice in him,

for we trust in his holy name.

33:22 May we experience your faithfulness, O Lord,

for we wait for you.

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