Passage: Psalm 33
Speaker: Mitch Kim
Series: Core Values – Prayer
Seeking God’s Face In Praise
During the Boxer Rebellion, many mission compounds in China were destroyed. When Hudson Taylor was told of this, he quietly began to sing under his breath. The messenger, impatiently waiting for a directive, burst out, “How can you sing in a time like this?” Taylor replied, “It is because of times like this that I sing.” Praise is the anchor of prayer. Without praise our prayer drifts into anxiety-ridden brooding. We struggle to move past anxieties that consume our every thought. Yet when we praise, our prayer is anchored to the character of our God so that we cast all of our cares on Him. Since “praise befits the upright” (Ps 33:1–5), this praise anchors our prayer as we wait for and trust in the LORD (33:20–22). So why should we praise? Because the LORD orders the chaos (33:6–9), fulfills his plans (33:10–12), and delivers those who hope in Him (33:13–19).
First, we praise the LORD who orders the chaos (Ps 33:6–9). His word made the heavens and gathered the waters of the sea as a heap, putting the deep in storehouses. The waters of the sea and the deep were the sources of chaos and evil for the ancient Israelites, yet they did not fear the seas because the LORD gathers them. As a result, all the earth can fear the LORD and stand in awe of the One whose word brought order from the chaos in the world.
The LORD not only orders the chaos but fulfills his plans (Ps 33:10–12). Unlike the peoples and nations whose counsel is brought to nothing, the counsel of the LORD stands forever, so those who trust in the LORD are blessed. As we praise the LORD, we stop wasting our time in endless plotting and planning, and we learn to listen to the counsel of the LORD that stands forever.
Because the LORD fulfills his plans, we trust in him who delivers those who hope in Him (33:13–19). Our hope is not our great army, strength, or great might, but our hope is in the steadfast love of the LORD, for He can deliver our soul from death and keep us alive in famine!
So what? Psalm 33:20–22 provides a fitting conclusion to this Psalm of praise. We wait for the LORD with joy and trust, hoping in his steadfast love. As we praise the LORD who orders the chaos, fulfills his plans, and delivers those who hope in him, may our prayers be anchored with this hope as we wait for the LORD.