Psalm 33 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Psalm 33)

Verse 2

[2] Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.

Harp, … — These instruments were used in the publick worship of God in the tabernacle.

Verse 3

[3] Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

A new song — Renewed or continued from day to day.

Verse 4

[4] For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

The word — All God's counsels and commands are wise, and just, and good.

His works — All his works of providence agree with his word, and are the accomplishment of his promises or threatenings.

Verse 5

[5] He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

Goodness — He not only doth no man wrong, but he is kind and merciful to all men.

Verse 6

[6] By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

The word — God made this admirable structure of the heavens, and all its glorious stars; not with great pains and time, but with one single word.

Host — The angels: or the stars.

Verse 7

[7] He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.

Store-houses — Either in the clouds, or in the bowels of the earth.

Verse 10

[10] The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.

The Lord — Thus he passes from the work of creation, to the works of providence, and from the instances of his power, in senseless and irrational creatures, to his power in over-ruling the thoughts and wills, and actions of men, whether single or united.

Verse 11

[11] The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

The Counsel — All his purposes and designs are always successful.

Verse 13

[13] The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.

All men — Although he hath a relation to Israel, yet he hath a general care over all mankind, all whose hearts and ways he observes.

Verse 15

[15] He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.

Fashioneth — Having said that God sees and observes all men, he now adds, that he rules and governs them; yea, even the hearts which are most unmanageable, he disposes and inclines according to the counsel of his will.

Alike — Or, equally, one as well as another: whether they be Jews or Gentiles, princes or peasants; all are alike subject to his jurisdiction.

Their works — Both outward and inward, all the workings of their minds and actions, and all their endeavours and actions.

Verse 16

[16] There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.

No king — He instances in these, as the most uncontrollable persons in the world, and most confident of themselves. By which he strongly proves his general proposition, of God's powerful providence over all men.

By an host — But only by God's providence, who disposes of victory and success, as he pleases, and that frequently to the weakest side.

Verse 17

[17] An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.

An horse — Though he be strong and fit for battle, or for flight, if need requires. And so this is put for all warlike provisions.

Vain things — Heb. a lie; because it promises that help and safety which it cannot give.

Verse 18

[18] Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

The eye — Whosoever therefore would have safety, must expect it only from the watchful eye, and almighty hand of God.

That fear — These are the chief objects of his care and favour.

Hope — That place their hope and trust, and happiness, not in any creature, but only in God, and in his mercy and blessings.