Reflections of the Psalms

Posted on: September 21st, 2014

One of the beauties of the psalms is that we can share in the experiences and emotions of David and the other writers as they faced life and its problems. Despair, repentance, anger, trust, and joy – all of these are reflected in the writings of the Book of Psalms. Psalm 32 almost gushed with joy and happiness. Psalm 33 is also a “happy psalm”, but there is a significant difference.

Psalm 33 reflects a calmer happiness than Psalm 32. In Psalm 32, David was filled with the joyful knowledge that his sins were pardoned. The reality of that psalm was fulfilled with the coming of the new age or new covenant established in Jesus Christ. If Psalm 32 is joy based upon enthusiasm, Psalm 33 is joy based upon knowledge. There is a steadiness and a certainty that comes with knowledge. Both enthusiasm and knowledge are good, but sound knowledge results in permanence and strength.

When two people are first married, their love involves a great deal of enthusiasm and happiness in being in a new relationship. As that marriage continues and matures, like it is supposed to, the initial enthusiasm and infatuation changes and becomes a love that is deeper, richer, stronger, and longer lasting. The love that comes from maturity is the one that overcomes problems and weathers the storms that all face. Psalm 33 pictures that kind of love and happiness.

The psalm is full of passages that project strong faith and assurance. “For the word of the LORD is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness.” Sometimes it is hard for a person to identify which action is right or wrong. A decision is made, and then later, it becomes apparent that it was not the right decision. But the word of the Lord is always true. Customs and laws may change, but the Lord does not change. “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.”

Many books have been written about how people are not dealing with the tremendous changes that are occurring in this country and in the world. But again, there is the assurance that God made the heavens and the world. No matter what changes occur in this world, God’s plan and promises are sure. David wrote, “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations”.

Have you ever heard, “I just don’t know what will become of me?’ or ‘What’s the use! We’ll destroy ourselves or be forgotten anyway!’” There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty in this world. At time, the existence of life itself seems to hang in the balance. People look at children or grandchildren and wonder if there will be a future for them. In the face of all the uncertainty, the Lord’s plans and purposes stand like a rock. The world will change and shift. It will be full of danger. But, if a person is a Christian, and continues in the Lord, there should be no fear.

Yes, the actions and threats of the world will affect people. But in the greater scheme of things, no plans or actions or nations or leaders will succeed. In verse 10 David wrote, “The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.” In this country today, there are forces that are in direct opposition to God’s Word and His Plan. Their actions are futile. David makes this even clearer in verses 16-17, “The king is not saved by a mighty army; a warrior is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory; nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength.” Worldly power and abuse will not prevail. What influence do great, godless nations, empires, and kingdoms of the past have today? The answer is – None.

In contrast, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance”. Peter described the church as a “holy nation”. Christians are a nation of people that have been infinitely blessed by God the Father. Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places belongs to those who are joined to Jesus Christ. The world rejects, judges, and condemns those that have accepted the Lord, but the important thing to remember is that THE LORD has BLESSED His people.

Few experiences are as bad as feeling like you are completely alone. Ironically, it seems like the more people there are, the worse the loneliness can become. Reflect upon these words of the psalm, “But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love…” With the Lord, no Christian is truly alone. The most powerful, loving being of all creation and eternity is PERSONALLY interested in every single Christian that has ever lived or will live. What a blessing and joy! The world cries out in loneliness and despair, but with Christ every person can have companionship.

Feel the calm joy that fills this psalm! Share in the assurance and calmness of the psalmist. Isn’t it great to be alive today in the Lord? Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Jim Shelburn