The Steadfast Love of the Lord
Do you ever feel insignificant, unnoticed, or like your words and works aren’t significant contributions? Have you ever thought, “Does anyone love me?” or “Does anyone even care where I am and what I am doing?” If so, you likely know what it’s like to trust in “a false hope for salvation” (Ps. 33:17). Perhaps you have bought into the lie that appearance and achievement can save you. Maybe you have believed fitness and thinness are the ways to a better you. It may be that you have sought out relationships, only to find that you demanded much more than they could offer. Alcohol, social media, binge eating, and compulsive shopping may have been comforting for a moment, but it wasn’t long before these left you empty. If we are ever to turn away from false hopes for salvation, we need to know where to turn. This is where Psalm 33 helps the person who has forgotten how to “shout for joy” and “sing to him [the Lord] a new song” (vv. 1, 3). It takes our eyes off ourselves, and focuses them on the word and works of the Lord, and His counsel and kingship, all of which display His steadfast love.
The Word and Works of the Lord
In Psalm 33 David leads God’s people in worship of the Creator and Redeemer, “Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous!” (Ps. 33:1). He exhorts them to marvel anew at who God is, “He loves righteousness and justice” (v. 5), and at all He has done, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made…he spoke, and it came to be” (v. 6, 9). Praise is the overflow of hearts that have been touched by God’s love. Marvel is the response of the mind touched by His word. And handiwork that reflects the Creator’s creativity is the response of the hands, “play skillfully on the strings” (v. 3). Awestruck wonder at the one living and true God should be a daily occurrence, not a seldom one, “let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!” (v. 8).
“All things were made through him [Christ]” (John 1:3; see also Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2), who is the living word of God. The Scriptures reveal Him to us (Luke 24:44-47). If we are to worship the Lord rightly, we must know the written word of God. Too often we neglect to diligently read and study the very pages that show us the person and work of Christ. Let us not grow weary in saturating ourselves in Scripture; it is living water to our weak and weary souls, and leads us to “sing to him a new song” (Ps. 33:3).
The Counsel and Kingship of the Lord
The eternal kingship of the Lord is a great security in the midst of enmity. Though it may appear the counsel of the ungodly is winning, it is the Lord’s counsel that is sure and secure, “the plans of his heart” stand firm “to all generations” (Ps. 33:11). Out of these generations He has plucked a “people whom he has chosen as his heritage!” (v. 12). Therefore, we need not fear because the Lord is near.
Often it appears that the things of this world provide strength and hope, but “the war horse is a false hope for salvation” (v. 17). It is the Lord’s strength and power that brings deliverance, “that he may deliver their soul from death” (v. 19). Far from a king who is distant, the Lord is the keeper of His people and is intimately acquainted with them, “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him” (v. 18). With such a helper and protector, the person who fears the Lord has every reason to stand firm in Him as we wait with hope for His plans and purposes to unfold, “Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield” (v. 20). In the waiting, His “steadfast love” is upon us (v. 22).
God the Father “chose us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Eph. 1:4). Christ “became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:31). After He ascended into heaven He sent His “Spirit of truth” to “guide” us “into all the truth” (John 16:13). Though we are often tempted by the devil, the world, and our own flesh to hope in the things of this world, the Bible is clear that our hope is only secure when it is anchored in the Lord, “our help and our shield” (Ps. 33:20). We have a Father who loves us so much that “even the hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matt. 10:30). His plans and purposes for our lives cannot be thwarted. Our hearts can be glad in Him because He is the covenant Lord who keeps His promises to a thousand generations.
If you feel insignificant, unnoticed, or unloved today, and you are seeking false hopes of salvation, stop. Be encouraged that “the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD” (Ps. 33:5), His eye is on you (v. 18), and He is your “help and…shield” (v. 20). Because of His word and works, and His counsel and kingship, your heart can be glad in Him, you can trust in His holy name, and you can hope in Him (vv. 21-22).
Sarah Ivill (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) is a Reformed author, wife, homeschooling mom, Bible study teacher, and conference speaker who lives in Matthews, North Carolina, and is a member of Christ Covenant Church (PCA). To learn more, please visit www.sarahivill.com.