Read: Psalm 33:1 – 5
The biblically correct question to ask regarding Psalm 33 is “what should the church’s message be to the nation in order that the nation might be blessed of God?” The first principle is that blessing comes to those who praise God and thank Him.
Think about it: For what are we supposed to praise and thank God, according to this Psalm? How is our nation doing in this regard? How am I doing?
Prayer: Thank God for His word, His works, His justice, and His lovingkindness.
Read: Psalm 33:6 – 7; Romans 1:18 – 25
The relationship of God to the nation of Israel is unique as far as nations are concerned; its only parallel is the relationship God has with the church. Yet, because God does not change, we can reasonably assume that what He expected of Israel and the church in bible times, He still expects of nations and the church today. One thing God expects is to be acknowledged as Creator. The Creator is, by virtue of the creative act, also the Owner of what He has made. He can do what He likes with it.
Think about it: Does our nation acknowledge God as Creator? What are some possible results, personally and nationally, for rejecting the idea of God as Creator? Do I recognize God’s ownership of my life?
Prayer: For unbelievers to recognize that a universe that has design implies a Designer; to acknowledge God’s ownership of my life.
Read: Psalm 33:8 – 11; Numbers 23:19; Psalm 2
God expects us to stand in awe of Him. The bible calls this “the fear of the Lord,” and it is an attitude not only of respect, but also of being overwhelmed with the majesty and power of God. God does what He pleases; He nullifies the plots and schemes of the nations.
Think about it: If I am afraid of my government, or of other nations, what does that imply about my concept of God? How can a nation express “fear of the Lord” in its policies? Do I fear the Lord?
Prayer: Thank God for His sovereignty over all the nations, including our own. Thank God for His power over all the circumstances of my life.
Read: Psalm 33:13 – 15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25:31 – 46
God will call both individuals and nations to account for their behavior. Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats refers specifically to the accountability of nations.
Think about it: For what does Jesus say nations will be called to account? What kind of national policies is God looking for? What are the implications for my personal politics?
Prayer: Pray for our nation to have enlightened leadership and policies of compassion; pray for a more compassionate heart for myself.
Read: Psalm 33:16 – 17; Psalm 20:7; Deuteronomy 20:1
God did not want Israel to trust in military strength or alliances with other nations. The most direct application of this is not to the military policy of our nation, but to the way the church thinks about its relationship to the political powers of this world.
Think About It: Have there been times when the church has armed itself and made alliances with worldly powers? What resulted from such alliances? What are the implications of God’s call to Israel and the church to trust in Him and not in military strength for our nation?
Prayer: For greater reliance on God’s grace, less on my own strength.
Read: Psalm 33:18 – 22; Romans 1:16
The church’s message to our nation must be the Gospel, first and foremost. God’s salvation first of all delivers us from the fires of hell; but it also extends to providing escape from the evils of this world.
Think about it: How is the church in general doing in proclaiming the Gospel to our nation? Is my church doing its part? Am I doing my part?
Prayer: For the church to see clearly its primary mission of proclaiming the Gospel; for the success of our mission; for revival in our nation.
Read: Psalm 48
David’s enthusiasm for Zion, a term for Jerusalem, is best applied to Christians as encouragement to love the church. However, we can also see a parallel to love for our country. Augustine suggested that all good things are to be enjoyed as a means of enjoying God, not as ends in themselves. The blessings provided by our nation can be a means of glorifying God.
Think about it: What are some of the blessings of my nation that can help me to enjoy God? Have I made love for my country an end in itself, so that patriotism has gotten in the way of my commitment to Christ? Have I failed to appreciate how God has blessed me through my American citizenship?
Prayer: Thank God for the freedom we enjoy to practice our faith as we feel that God is leading us. Pray for the leaders of our country.