Read Part 1 by clicking hereI read Psalm 33 the other day as I was pondering material for a devotional at a church luncheon. Several things stuck out to me, especially in this season where Thanksgiving is fresh on our minds. Considering the angst in the general public regarding our President’s executive order on immigration, amongst other things, I’m compelled to share these thoughts with you. There are things like this that happen every single day, throughout the world, that can take our eyes off of the Lord, if we let it. This brief series of thoughts from Psalm 33 are helpful reminders to me and I hope they are encouraging to you, too.
From Psalm 33
The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples. (v. 10)
No matter what governments plan or inter-governmental organizations like the U.N. might scheme the Lord frustrates their plans. Ultimately, their plans are fruitless. There are gains at times; it might, at times, seem like they are making progress. Psalm 33, verse 10, though tells us that in the end “the counsel of the nations” will come “to nothing.”
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations. (v. 11)
In contrast to the plans of the nations in verse 10, Psalm 33, verse 11 encourages us by telling us that the Lord’s plan will last – it will endure – it will “stand forever”. The promises in God’s Word should anchor our hearts, our minds; it should guard and guide our emotions. When we hear the news in the world or read the headlines in our Facebook or Twitter feeds, the promises in the Bible, like this verse, should calm and quiet our souls.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! (v. 12)
This is not addressing modern nation-states. We, as Americans, can’t claim this as a promise for our country. On the other hand, as God’s people – those who are submitted to his Lordship and obedient to His revealed will, given to us in His Word – can rest assured that we are blessed. Psalm 94:14 reminds us that He will never forsake us. The simple truth is God will provide the actual needs we have (not necessarily our wants, desires, and preferences), or He will call us home – our eternal home, with him, forever (Philippians 1:21).
13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds. (vv. 13-15)
It is tempting to despair that there is no justice for those who are oppressed, when we see what is happening in the world. It is tempting to wonder when the recompense will come for all the evil deeds done each and every day. This passage (verses 13-15) put us in our place; they remind us of God’s rightful place and authority and ability. He is the one who sees all that is done. He observes all the deeds done each and every day. It should also sober us to remember that He sees our deeds too. Be careful – guard your heart from wanting the wicked to finally get what is coming to them. Instead, praise God for his mercy and faithfulness. Praise God that he is long-suffering – not willing that any should perish. (Psalm 145:8; 2 Peter 3:9)
In Part 3 we’ll see what we should trust in and what we should not trust in, and where our hope should be.