|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
33:12-22 All the motions and operations of the souls of men, which no mortals know but themselves, God knows better than they do. Their hearts, as well as their times, are all in his hand; he formed the spirit of each man within him. All the powers of the creature depend upon him, and are of no account, of no avail at all, without him. If we make God's favour sure towards us, then we need not fear whatever is against us. We are to give to him the glory of his special grace. All human devices for the salvation of our souls are vain; but the Lord's watchful eye is over those whose conscientious fear of his name proceeds from a believing hope in his mercy. In difficulties they shall be helped; in dangers they shall not receive any real damage. Those that fear God and his wrath, must hope in God and his mercy; for there is no flying from him, but by flying to him. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us; let us always have the comfort and benefit, not according to our merits, but according to the promise which thou hast in thy word given to us, and according to the faith thou hast by thy Spirit and grace wrought in us.
Verses 20-22. - A brief address of the people to God, arising out of what has been declared concerning his goodness (vers. 4, 5, 12-19) and his power (vers. 6-11), which constitute a call upon them for praise and adoration. Verse 20. - Our soul waiteth for the Lord (comp. Psalm 25:21; Psalm 62:1, 5; Psalm 130:5, 6, etc.). Confident in God's good will, and in his power to help us, we wait patiently and cheerfully for him to manifest himself in his own good time. He is our Help and our Shield. We trust in no one and nothing but him - not in armies (ver. 16), not in horses (ver. 17), not in our own strength (ver. 16). He alone is our dependence. (For the use of the metaphor "shield" for defence, see Psalm 5:12; Psalm 18:2; Psalm 28:7; Psalm 91:4; Psalm 119:114, etc.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Our soul waiteth for the Lord,.... This, and what follows, are the words of the church, expressing her expectation, faith, and joy, by reason of what is suggested in the preceding verses. She signifies her expectation of good by waiting for the Lord; either for his coming in the flesh, and salvation by him; for which the patriarchs, prophets, and all the Old Testament saints, waited, Genesis 49:18; and so the Targum paraphrases it, "our soul waiteth for the redemption of the Lord"; or for his spiritual coming, his appearance to them, and gracious presence with them, he having been for some time absent; and it is right and good so to do, and in the issue proves advantageous, Isaiah 8:17; and this being soul waiting, it denotes the heartiness, sincerity, and earnestness of it;
he is our help and our shield; the Lord is the help of his people in time of trouble, when none else is or can be; and he is a present one, and helps right early, and at the best season: and he is their shield, who encompasses them about with his love and favour, and keeps them by his power in the greatest safety; all which encourages their waiting upon him, and expectation of good things from him.
The Treasury of David
20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
"Our soul waiteth for the Lord." Here the godly avow their reliance upon him whom the Psalm extols. To wait is a great lesson. To be quiet in expectation, patient in hope, single in confidence, is one of the bright attainments of a Christian. Our soul, our life, must hang upon God; we are not to trust him with a few gewgaws, but with all we have and are. "He is our help and our shield." Our help in labour, our shield in danger. The Lord answereth all things to his people. He is their all in all. Note the three "ours" in the text. These holdfast words are precious. Personal possession makes the Christian man; all else is mere talk.
"For our hearts shall rejoice in him." The duty commended and commanded in the first verse is here presented to the Lord. We, who trust, cannot but be of a glad heart, our inmost nature must triumph in our faithful God. "Because we have trusted in his holy name." The root of faith in due time bears the flower of rejoicing. Doubts breed sorrow, confidence creates joy.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20-22. waiteth—in earnest expectation.
Psalm 33:20 Parallel Commentaries
Psalm 33:20 NIV
Psalm 33:20 NLT
Psalm 33:20 ESV
Psalm 33:20 NASB
Psalm 33:20 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible