Psalm 33 – Who is the word of the Lord?

Psalm 33 says that the righteous, or God’s people, should shout for joy in the Lord. They praise Him, give thanks to Him, and sing to Him. Why?

First, because the “word of the Lord” is upright, faithful, righteous, and just. All of these are aspects of God’s steadfast love, which fills the earth.

Second, because the “word of the Lord” made the heavens and their hosts and gathers the water of the sea (think of the second day of creation and the Red Sea).

Consider that phrase the “word of the Lord.” What is it? Or, rather who is it?

John 1:1-3 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

When you read the “word of the Lord” in the Old Testament your mind should instantly turn to Jesus. Jesus is the word of the Lord. Jesus is God’s word. God’s word is a person. The Bible is not God’s word. The Bible calls itself the scriptures, and Jesus, God’s word, says that the scriptures bear witness, or give a testimony, of Him. The scriptures point to Him, the giver of Life, but in the scriptures themselves there is not life. Rather, life, eternal life, is found in the true and living word, Jesus Christ. Jesus says this himself in John 5. The distinction between the scriptures and the Word of the Lord is an important one and can be seen all throughout the Bible.

As we just read in John 1, the Word, this word of the Lord, is God. So, the psalmist writes that all the earth should fear and stand in awe of Him.

So, Psalm 33:10-12 says, “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!”

In the first sentence, God is speaking of all the nations of the earth, whether we think of that as people groups or nations like we have today. But, in the last sentence, when the psalmist writes “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” he’s not speaking of a nation with borders as we think of nations today. He’s speaking of the “nation” of people that are believers in Christ, members of His body, citizens of His kingdom. Remember from yesterday what Peter wrote in his first epistle – we, God’s people, are sojourners and strangers in the earth, moving about from nation to nation, kingdom to people. 1 Peter 2:10 says, “once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people,” which echoes Psalm 102:18 that says, “let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people not yet born will praise the Lord.”

God looks down from heaven on this people. His eye beholds this people that fear Him. What does He see? Psalm 33:16-17 says that God sees a people where “the king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope of salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.” God’s nation, God’s people, does not trust in war, military power, or the carnal weapons of this world. Rather there hope is in the steadfast love of the word of the Lord, Jesus, because He delivers them and keeps them alive.

In light of all this, it seems clear that Christians have no desire for or need of war. War comes from the lust of your flesh. Fighting that way makes you a friend of the world, which is enmity with God. See James 4.

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