Psalm 33: Praise Befits the Upright
The idea of praise is not foreign to our culture. The back cover of every new book is littered with praises for the author and his or her work. On any given day of the week stadiums are crowded with roaring fans, praising the athletic prowess of their teams or swooning over their favorite bands. Even our homes are filled with praise, from congratulating a toddler for using the potty to thanking a spouse for making a meal. And yet strangely, the one Person who deserves our praise infinitely beyond anyone else is regularly deprived of it in our lives and culture, either by dismissing his power, denying his rightful rule, or depending upon ourselves for what we need in life. Not only does Psalm 33 tell us that this is tragically inappropriate, it shows us why.
According to Psalm 33, praise is the appropriate behavior of God’s people, and the proper response of everyone who walks on this earth. It is particularly fitting for the “upright”—those who believe in and belong to God—to make much of him by describing what he’s like and declaring what he’s done (vv. 1-3). Verses 4-5 anchor this in God’s incomparable character, word, and work. But all who traverse this earth owe their affection and allegiance to him, for he alone is the all-powerful Creator (vv. 6-9) and sovereign and merciful King of the universe (vv. 10-19). His rule is supreme, comprehensive, and sufficient for his people, as he demonstrated unmistakably by accomplishing his eternal purposes through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ.
And as our hearts are captured with a fresh reverence for God and caught up in his praise, we are moved to trust him more deeply and wait on him more patiently, rather than looking to the things of this decaying world for our hope (vv. 20-22).
The LORD our Creator and King is uniquely and supremely worthy of our praise. Join us this Sunday (Aug. 14) as we reflect upon and respond to this truth at Westgate Church in Boston’s MetroWest.
Update: You can find the sermon manuscript here: Psalm 33 Westgate 8.14.11