Psalm 33 - The Power of Praise

Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the LORD with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.

Psalm 33 is a powerful reminder of the greatness of God and an invitation to praise him with all our hearts. Some of us wonder why we need to praise God. Does God need it? Praising God isn’t for God’s benefit; it is for ours! Here are a few reasons that might encourage you to praise God more than you might be doing.

One, the Bible commands it. As the Psalmist says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). This is because “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom” (Psalms 145:3).

Two, it is how we should enter the presence of God. The blood of Jesus tore the veil that separated us from God, allowing us access to him, but we should — as the Psalmist says — “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4).

Three, we feel the presence of God strongly through praise. As the Psalmist says, “God is enthroned on the praises of his people” (Psalm 22:3). When we praise God passionately, we feel his presence more intensely.

Four, and this may seem strange, but praise promotes productivity. The Psalmist says, “May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us” (Psalm 67:5-6). Blessings flow from the throne room of God in response to praise.

Five, praise frees us from despair. God has given us “a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3), and when we praise God — loudly and confidently — despair flees. The enemy flees as well because if there is one thing he cannot stand, it is God being praised.

And, finally, a bonus reason. Praise breaks the chains of bondage. One day when Paul and Silas were imprisoned and put in chains, they began praising God. Scripture says there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. The prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” (Acts 16:26).

So, praise the Lord!