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Awestruck

9/18 – Our Hope is in the Lord (Psalm 33)

 

Introduction — Here the psalmist (most likely David) begins with another call to worship. He urges the righteous ones to sing for joy in the Lord, to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to the Lord. David wants them all to give their all to the Lord, to give Him their best. David marvels at the powerful word of the Lord. Because the Lord’s word is creative and mighty, all the people of the earth should stand in awe of Him. The Lord directs the nations. The Lord is over all people. Yet, not everyone looks to the Lord for hope. David is well aware that a mighty army does not save a king. Great strength does not deliver a warrior. A horse is a false hope for victory. But the Lord is the mighty and strength and victory for all those who hope in Him. “Look,” David pleads, “the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His faithful love.” David sees that their true hope for rescue is from the Lord. The Lord is their help and shield. The Lord is their hope. So, they hope in, they wait for the Lord. How about us? Do we hope in the Lord? Do we eagerly and patiently wait for Him? Do we move away from false places of hope? Do we draw closer to the Lord? Do we delight in Him? Do we praise Him? Do we thank Him? Do we give our all to Him?

 

Those who hope in the Lord really do have a new outlook on life. They sing for joy in the Lord. They sing praises to the Lord. They see the greatness of the Lord. They know faithful love from the Lord. They delight in the Lord. They stand in awe of the Lord. Those who hope in the Lord really do have a new outlook on life.

 

For the word of the Lord is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness. (4)

 

Our hope is in the word of the Lord. (1-12)

8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 9 For He spoke,

and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

 

Comments: With bubbling exuberance, David calls the righteous to worship. He urges the upright to praise the Lord, to sing for joy in the Lord, and to give thanks to the Lord. David wants their worship to be excellent. Why? The Lord is worthy. His word is worthy. The word of the Lord is perfect and true (4).  The word of the Lord is powerful and creative (6). The word of the Lord is purposeful and unshakable (9). The word of the Lord is personal (11). By His word, the Lord confounds the proud (10). By His word, the Lord guides and blesses (11). By His word, the Lord calls the people whom He chooses for His own inheritance (12).

Questions: How about us? Do we worship the Lord with excellence? Do we stand in awe of Him? Do we listen to the mighty word of the Lord? Do we delight in hearing His word? Do we praise the Lord for His mighty word? Do we pay attention to His word? Do we seek to live by His word? Do we put our hope in His word? Illustration: Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.  We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” ~ John 6:68-69

 

Application: Since our hope is in the word of the Lord, let’s stand in awe of Him.  Let’s delight to hear His word. Let’s marvel at His word. Let’s obey His word. Let’s keep hoping in the word of the Lord.

 

Our hope is in the work of the Lord. (13-22)

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness, 19 to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine.

 

Comments: With faithful insight, David lists the mighty work of the Lord. The Lord’s work is abundant, full of faith, full of justice, and full of love (4, 5). Like the word of the Lord, the work of the Lord is personal (13). The Lord sees every one of the sons of men (13). He fashions them and understands them all (15). Too, great armies, great strength, and great resources do not thwart the work of the Lord. In fact, the Lord rescues those who fear Him, who put their hope in Him. The Lord is their help and shield. And their heart rejoices in Him. They trust Him. They hope in who He is and all that He does. Questions: How about us? Do we hope in the Lord? Do we see the wonder of the life He gives? Do we marvel at the love He shows? Do we rejoice in Him? Do we trust Him? Do we wait for Him? Do we hope in the work of the Lord? Illustration: This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.” ~ John 17:3-4 

 

Application: Since our hope is in the work of the Lord, let’s stand in awe of Him.  Let’s delight to see His work. Let’s marvel at His work on the cross. Let’s proclaim His work of rescue to folks near and far. Let’s keep hoping in the work of the Lord.

 

Word Study for Psalm 33

1 praise (tehillah—glory; praise; praise song; praiseworthy; renown; a hymn; deeds that are praiseworthy)

4 word (dabar—word; matter; speech; discourse; promise; treatise; account; statement; message)

4 upright (yasar—straight; level; smooth; right; righteous; correct; fitting)

5 loves (ahab—to desire; to breathe after; to delight; to have an affection for; dearly love)

8 fear (yare—revere; to tremble; to shudder; be in awe of; be awesome; honor; be in dread; stand in awe)

10 nullifies (pur—to break; frustrate; destroy; crush; bring to naught; utterly take; crumble; shatter)

12 chosen (bahar—to examine; to prove; to try; to select; desire; prefer)

15 fashions (yoser—to form; fashion; create; shape; forge; a potter; an artist; plan)

16 saved (yasa—deliver; help; be victorious; to set free; to be spacious)

16 mighty (rob—quantity; wealth; abundance; multitude; greatness; great number)

16 delivered (nasal—to be spared; to pull out; to draw out; to escape; rescue)

17 false hope (seqer—breach of faith; lie; deception; falsehood; fraud; vanity; uselessness)

18 hope (yahal—wait for; expect; linger; hope in; hope for; await eagerly)

18 lovingkindness (hesed—goodness; kindness; faithful love; covenant love; loyalty; zeal; desire)

20 waits (hakah—to be patient; to tarry; to delay)

20 help (ezer—strength; might; aid; support; assistant; helper)

 

Application for Psalm 33

Let’s sing for joy in the Lord.

Let’s give thanks to the Lord.
Let’s celebrate the greatness of the Lord.

Let’s praise the Lord with excellence.

Let’s stand in awe of the Lord.

Let’s hope in the Lord.
Let’s trust in His holy name.

Let’s rejoice in Him.

 

Gospel Connections for Psalm 33

Jesus is Lord.  Jesus is worthy of our praise. Jesus is worthy of our songs. Jesus is worthy of our best efforts. Jesus’ word is upright. Jesus work is faithful. Jesus loves righteousness and justice. The earth is full of the faithful love of Jesus. By His word, Jesus made all creation. Let all the earth stand in awe of Jesus. Jesus has all authority. Jesus knows the hearts of all men. Jesus understands all their works. Jesus is our strength. Jesus is our hope. Jesus is our help. Jesus is our shield. Jesus is the source of life and light and love. Jesus is our perfect hope. He rescues us from death. He gives us new life. Our soul waits for Him. Our hearts rejoice in Him. We trust in Him. We hope in Him.

 

Thoughts and Quotes for Psalm 33

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless. ~ G.K. Chesterton

 

We should ask God to increase our hope when it is small, awaken it when it is dormant, confirm it when it is wavering, strengthen it when it is weak, and raise it up when it is overthrown. ~ John Calvin

 

In joined hands there is still some token of hope, in the clinched fist none. ~ Victor Hugo, The Toilers of the Sea

 

Optimism is a wish without warrant; Christian hope is a certainty, guaranteed by God himself. Optimism reflects ignorance as to whether good things will ever actually come. Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life, and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth, on the basis of God's own commitment, that the best is yet to come. ~ J.I. Packer

 

Let the Lord your God be your hope – seek for nothing else from Him, but let Him Himself be your hope. There are people who hope from Him riches or perishable and transitory honors. In short they hope to get from God things which are not God Himself. ~ Augustine

 

 

Norman Vincent Peale once told of a trip he took to Jamaica. In the hallway of his hotel hung an old map of the island. Looking at the map, he noticed some faint words written across an uninhabited portion of the island: "The Land of Look-Behind."

 

Peale asked the hotel owner if he knew what those words meant. He explained:

"In the days of slavery, runaways from the sugar plantations sometimes escaped into that lonely and barren territory. They were often pursued by slave owners or other authorities with guns and dogs. The fugitive slaves were always on the run, always looking over their shoulders."

So that was where the term came from: The Land of Look-Behind. 

"I never forgot that melancholy term, because my years of counseling people have led me to believe that many of them are living in their own private Land of Look-Behind. They are the ones who dwell endlessly on past mistakes, who let fears generated by old failures rob them of success, who refuse to accept God's promises of forgiveness of sins. 

"When a person lives in the Land of Look-Behind, he or she is really excluding hope from his or her life. They are also making it almost impossible for faith to operate. How can faith make an entry into a mind that has lost the buoyancy of hope?"

~ Norman Vincent Peale, "The Stupendous Power of Hope," Plus magazine, May 1995.

 

 

 

 You don't forget the face of the person who was your last hope. ~ Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

 

 

Where there is no vision, there is no hope. ~ George Washington Carver

 

 

 

Hope founded upon a human being, a man-made philosophy, or any institution is always misplaced . . . because these things are unreliable and fleeting. ~ Charles Stanley

 

 

 

I did nothing to deserve God’s love. In fact, I was living as an orphan, without hope. Yet, God chose to pursue a relationship with me, and through the death of His Son, Jesus, I was adopted into God’s family. ~ Steven Curtis Chapman

 

 

 

Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don't. You are in good company . . . You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope. 

~ John Piper