St. John’s University, Collegivelle, MN, 56231 2006
Tuesday, June 23
By: Linda Mason
1 Release your heart’s joy in sweet music to the Eternal.
When the upright passionately sing glory-filled songs to Him, everything is in its right place.
2 Worship the Eternal with your instruments, strings offering their praise;
write awe-filled songs to Him on the 10-stringed harp.
3 Sing to Him a new song;
play each the best way you can, and don’t be afraid to be bold with your joyful feelings.
4 For the word of the Eternal is perfect and true;
His actions are always faithful and right.
5 He loves virtue and equity;
the Eternal’s love fills the whole earth.
6 The unfathomable cosmos came into being at the word of the Eternal’s imagination,
a solitary voice in the endless darkness.
The breath of His mouth whispered the sea of stars into existence.
7 He gathers in every drop of every ocean as in a jar,
securing the ocean depths as His watery treasure.
8 Let all people stand in awe of the Eternal;
let every man, woman and child live in wonder of Him.
9 For He spoke, and all things came into being.
A single command from His lips and all creation obeyed and stood its ground.
10 The Eternal cripples the schemes of the other nations;
He impedes the plans of rival peoples.
11 The Eternal’s purposes will last to the end of time;
the thoughts of His heart will awaken and stir all generations.
12 The nation whose True God is the Eternal is truly blessed;
fortunate are all whom He chooses to inherit His legacy.
13. The Eternal peers down from heaven
and watches all of humanity;
14 He observes every soul from His divine residence.
15 He has formed every human heart, breathing life into every human spirit;
He knows the deeds of each person, inside and out.
16 A king is not delivered by the might of his army.
Even the strongest warrior is not saved by his own strength.
17 A horse is not the way to victory;
its great strength cannot rescue.
18 Listen, the eye of the Eternal is upon those who live in awe of Him,
those who hope in His steadfast love,
19 That He may save them from the darkness of the grave
and be kept alive during the lean seasons.
20 We live with hope in the Eternal. We wait for Him.
For He is our Divine Help and Impenetrable Shield.
21 Our hearts erupt with joy in Him
because we trust His holy name.
22 O Eternal, drench us with Your endless love,
even now as we wait for You.
Sometimes the Psalms are a mystery to me. I have a hard time figuring out all the nuances. I like this version of Psalm 33 from the Voice Bible. When I worked at the Education Service Center in San Antonio, I had a friend who went very early to her church every Thursday morning to do what she called “adoration.” I often asked her about what she did/said while she was there for two hours. Answers were usually a combination of Bible reading, praying, litanies’ and meditation. I probably haven’t talked to her in ten years and out of the blue, she sent me a card about two weeks ago. The card was just a simple “thinking-of-you” type card. I was amazed that she thought of me and that she took the time to send me a card. Of course, I got out my old directory, called the number listed for her and she answered! We had a great time catching up on family, etc and I told her that I often thought of her Thursday morning commitment. She responded that up until the Covid-19 virus, she was still going every Thursday. While I am awed by her consistency, it made me think that praising God ought to be an everyday affair.
This Psalm is a praise psalm. The Psalmist furnishes us with all kinds of reasons why we should praise God: the creative power of God, His wisdom and care, His great love and grace and His salvation. I think the basis for our praise has to be trust. Often, I try to do things on my own (and sometimes they work) and I forget to praise God for everything. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of being self-sufficient. When the Psalmist reminds us to sing a new song, I think the meaning is wrapped in new mercies and new blessings. We can certainly thank God every day for those. In a small frame by the coffee pot in my house (which is where everyone goes first thing in the morning), is this reminder: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.” I need a reminder to do just that, trust. When I think I know what to do and when I don’t know what to do, turning to God is always a good idea. Worship and praise are natural bookends for conversations with God. Recognizing His creation, His power and wisdom and His love are always good starting points of adoration. One commentary (Horne) said, “Although the Psalmist lists several instruments and adjectives for how to praise, the most important instrument is the heart.”
I’m not sure how I acquired the following prayer; I like it and have it taped to my desk as a reminder:
God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies grey and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to your honor and glory. Augustine