In the first five verses of Psalm 33, David exhorts us to worship and honor God. He encourages us to sing, praise, and adore Him with all we have. Why? The rest of the Psalm explains how much God deserves our praise.
I think some people have struggles with praising and worshipping God. Some of us struggle to understand how we feel about God. That’s because we don’t know Him enough. If we think about it in human terms, we wouldn’t praise someone we really don’t know, would we? I mean, we fall into the trap of praising famous people because we see their highlights. Then again, we are just as quick to condemn them once we read a scandalous news report. Do we treat God like a celebrity? Do we only worship Him when a neat video or headline grabs our attention? Do we likewise question God and get angry at Him when something bad happens? If our shortsighted praise and worship of God comes and goes like the waves of the sea, we clearly need to get to know Him better.
What if we are too timid to try to sing or make a “joyful noise” unto the Lord? In verse 3 David says, “play skillfully with a shout of joy.” Think of it this way: God created you with a voice which you and others may think is out of tune, but to Him it is a joyful song. Ever hear the cackle of a crow sitting outside your window? God finds pleasure when this creature “sings”. Bang on a trash can, pluck a few strings, yell at the top of your lungs as kooky song you just made up off the top of your head. It brings joy to the Lord when you express your joy in Him. He doesn’t care what you think it sounds like.
When I was a kid, I was REALLY into music. My parents got me all sorts of band equipment: namely a guitar and microphone. I would memorize and lip sync so many songs and almost every week I had a new masterpiece to show off to my family. Sometimes, I would try to write my own songs or (gulp) sing the songs myself. Looking back, I can admit I sounded horrible, but my parents applauded every performance. It wasn’t about my mastery of the instruments or the pitch of my voice. It was about my willingness to play and sing despite my inadequacies. David says that “praise is becoming to the upright.” It is proper for those who love the Lord to praise Him.
Now I want to encourage you to read through the psalm again, specifically verses 6-22. After each line, thank God for His awesomeness. Praise Him for what He has done and what He continues to do. Shout for joy, make a noise, sing a new song…give Him the praise He deserves. When we praise Him, we are righteous.