Psalm 33:12
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
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Psalm 33:12. Blessed is the nation, &c. — Seeing the Lord is so great and glorious in wisdom, and power, and goodness, as has been just observed; inasmuch as they must needs be very miserable who are either strangers or enemies to him; so thrice happy are the people of Israel, who, though they be despised by the Gentiles, are chosen by this almighty God to be his peculiar portion, friends and servants.

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.Blessed is the nation - For the meaning of the word "blessed," see the notes at Psalm 1:1. The idea here is, that the nation referred to is happy, or that its condition is desirable. What is true of a nation is also as true of an individual.

Whose God is the Lord - Whose God is Yahweh - for so this is in the original Hebrew. That is, the nation which worships Yahweh, and is under his protection. This is evidently said to distinguish such a nation from those which worshipped false gods or idols. Such a nation is blessed or happy, because:

(a) He is a real God, the true God, and not an imagination or fiction;

(b) because His laws are just and good, and their observance will always tend to promote the public welfare and prosperity;

(c) because His protection will be vouchsafed to such a nation; and

(d) because His worship, and the influence of His religion, will tend to diffuse virtue, intelligence, purity, and truth, over a land, and thus will promote its welfare.

And the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance - Chosen to be "His;" or, His portion. The primary reference here is undoubtedly to the Hebrew people, called his "inheritance:" Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 9:26; Deuteronomy 32:9; Psalm 74:2; Psalm 78:62, Psalm 78:71; or "heritage," Psalm 94:5; Jeremiah 12:7, Jeremiah 12:9; but what is here affirmed of that people is true also of all other people who worship the true God.

12-19. The inference from the foregoing in Ps 33:12 is illustrated by God's special providence, underlying which is His minute knowledge of all men.12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." Israel was happy in the worship of the only true God. It was the blessedness of the chosen nation to have received a revelation from Jehovah. While others grovelled before their idols, the chosen people were elevated by a spiritual religion which introduced them to the invisible God, and led them to trust in him. All who confide in the Lord are blessed in the largest and deepest sense, and none can reverse the blessing. "And the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." Election is at the bottom of it all. The divine choice rules the day; none take Jehovah to be their God till he takes them to be his people. What an ennobling choice this is! We are selected to no mean estate, and for no ignoble purpose: we are made the peculiar domain and delight of the Lord our God. Being so blessed, let us rejoice in our portion, and show the world by our lives that we serve a glorious Master.

Seeing the Lord is so great and glorious in wisdom, and power, and goodness, as hath been hitherto said, as they must needs be very miserable who are strangers or enemies to him; so thrice happy is that people of Israel, who, though they be despised by the Gentiles, are chosen by this Almighty God, to be his peculiar portion, and friends, and servants.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,.... Who have an interest in such a wonder working God, both in creation and in providence, and especially in grace: which, though it may have a principal regard to the nation of Israel, whose God he was in a very distinguishing manner, yet must not be limited to them; for he is the God of the Gentiles also: this nation is the chosen generation, the holy nation and peculiar people, both among Jews and Gentiles; and the Lord is the God of these; not only as the God of nature and providence, but as the God of all grace; who must be happy, since he is their portion and exceeding great reward; nor shall they want any good thing, nor need they fear any evil; they are on the heart of God, and cannot be separated from his love; they are engraven on the palms of his hands, and shall be helped, strengthened, and upheld with the right hand of his righteousness; all things work together for their good; and this God of theirs will be their God and guide unto death; they may expect every needful good thing now, and all glory and happiness hereafter;

and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance; not Israel only, but the Gentiles also; not all mankind, but a peculiar people, whom the Lord has chosen out of the world to be his possession, and who are his jewels and peculiar treasure; these are happy, being the Lord's portion, and the lot of his inheritance; and he chooses an inheritance for them, adopts and begets them unto it, and makes them meet to be partakers of it.

Blessed is the nation whose {h} God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

(h) He shows that all our happiness stands in this, that the Lord is our God.

12. Blessed] Or, happy; see note on Psalm 1:1. This ‘beatitude’ is based on Deuteronomy 33:29; cp. Deuteronomy 4:6-8. The first line of the verse recurs (with some variations) in Psalm 144:15; with the second cp. Psalm 28:9.

12–19. From the nations the Psalmist turns to the chosen people. Jehovah’s care for Israel constitutes His special claim on their praise. Happy the nation which is the particular object of the choice and care of the omniscient observer of men.

Verses 12-19. - Further reasons for praising God are now assigned, the recitation of them being itself a sort of praise.

1. God has Blessed especially one nation - the nation now called upon to praise him (ver. 12).

2. His providence and care are extended over all mankind (vers. 13, 14).

3. His gracious influences are poured out on the hearts of all (ver. 15).

4. He is the sole Protector and Deliverer of men from danger and death (vers. 16-19). Verse 12. - Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (comp. Psalm 144:15). In other words, "Blessed is the people of Israel." Other nations did not know God as Jehovah - the Self-existent One - or, indeed, as a general rule, recognize any one and only God. And the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The intrusion of the word "and" is unfortunate. One "nation" or "people" only is spoken of, viz. the Hebrews. They are "blessed" in two respects: first, because they know God as Jehovah; and secondly, because he has chosen them out of all the nations of the earth to be his "peculiar people" (see Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2; 1 Kings 8:53; Psalm 135:4, etc.). Psalm 33:12Hence the call to praise God is supported (2) by a setting forth of that which His people possess in Him. This portion of the song is like a paraphrase of the אשׁרי in Deuteronomy 33:29. The theme in Psalm 33:12 is proved in Psalm 33:13 by the fact, that Jahve is the omniscient Ruler, because He is the Creator of men, without whose knowledge nothing is undertaken either secretly or openly, and especially if against His people. Then in Psalm 33:16 it is supported by the fact, that His people have in Jahve a stronger defence than the greatest worldly power would be. Jahve is called the fashioner of all the hearts of men, as in Zechariah 12:1, cf. Proverbs 24:12, as being their Maker. As such He is also the observer of all the works of men; for His is acquainted with their origin in the laboratory of the heart, which He as Creator has formed. Hupfeld takes יחד as an equalisation (pariter ac) of the two appositions; but then it ought to be וּמבין (cf. Psalm 49:3, Psalm 49:11). The lxx correctly renders it καταμόνας, singillatim. It is also needless to translate it, as Hupfeld does: He who formed, qui finxit; for the hearts of men were not from the very first created all at one time, but the primeval impartation of spirit-life is continued at every birth in some mysterious way. God is the Father of spirits, Hebrews 12:9. For this very reason everything that exists, even to the most hidden thing, is encompassed by His omniscience and omnipotence. He exercises an omniscient control over all things, and makes all things subservient to the designs of His plan of the universe, which, so far as His people are concerned, is the plan of salvation. Without Him nothing comes to pass; but through Him everything takes place. The victory of the king, and the safety of the warrior, are not their own works. Their great military power and bodily strength can accomplish nothing without God, who can also be mighty in the feeble. Even for purposes of victory (תּשׁוּעה, cf. ישׁוּעה, Psalm 21:2) the war-horse is שׁקר, i.e., a thing that promises much, but can in reality do nothing; it is not its great strength, by which it enables the trooper to escape (ימלּט). "The horse," says Solomon in Proverbs 21:31, "is equipped for the day of battle, but התּשׁוּעה לה, Jahve's is the victory," He giveth it to whomsoever He will. The ultimate ends of all things that come to pass are in His hands, and - as Psalm 33:18. say, directing special attention to this important truth by הנּה - the eye of this God, that is to say the final aim of His government of the world, is directed towards them that fear Him, is pointed at them that hope in His mercy (למיחלים). In Psalm 33:19, the object, לחסדּו, is expanded by way of example. From His mercy or loving-kindness, not from any acts of their own, conscious of their limited condition and feebleness, they look for protection in the midst of the greatest peril, and for the preservation of their life in famine. Psalm 20:8 is very similar; but the one passage sounds as independent as the other.
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