Psalm 33:4-5 (NIVUK)
4 For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. 5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. 6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. 9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
As a parent it can be really vexing when your child in answer to every instruction comes back with the question “Why?”. So the conversation goes something like this. Come in now. Why? Because it’s time for bed. Why? Because it’s late. Why? Because you need to go to bed. But why? Because I said so!!!!! That usually settles the matter. As a society we are more apt to question authority than our parents’ generation, so we are more like our kids than we imagine. Here though, in the Psalm the author calls us to praise and then gives the reasons immediately and he must have had Presbyterian roots (I jest of course) since there are three.
The first is his word which reveals his nature and achieves his will, verses 4-9. That word reveals the moral character of God. Right and true means upright, and the dictionary definition of the word is righteous, strictly honourable and honest. His character also governs his actions, he is faithful in all he does. Others may fail, others may fall away, others may be selfish and be untrue but the Lord is nothing if he is not faithful to himself, his character and the promises he makes such that the Psalmist writes, the whole earth is full of his unfailing love. We in turn, as those created in God’s image have a sense of what is right, a sense of fair play, a sense of justice even if we don’t always live by and display those qualities in our own behaviour.
The word of the Lord has also power to achieve his will verses 6-9. He speaks and breathes existence and life into the universe around us. This creative work of God is so plainly visible to all humanity, clear enough to make us search for God that the psalmist in verse 8 calls for the peoples to revere the Lord.
Open your eyes look around you, our sense of right and wrong, our wonder at the universe, the delight we take in creation, these things all point to the nature and power of God who created them and calls us to join the praise.