Psalm 33 Explanation, Hope in Love

Psalm 33 contains the term chesed three times. His first affirmation has a creational content – it is with this love – as with the glory of God – that the earth is full (Psalm 33: 5). In reality, this psalm presents a theology very close to the priestly one of the first chapters of Genesis, namely creation by word.

The link between God and man seems very thin, it is a tenuous vocal connection. Here we speak only of the sky and its hosts, not of man and animals. How can God’s love also fill the life of this sublunary world?

Yet there is a certain relationship between the spiritual forces that dwell in the heavens and the physical creatures that populate the earth. This specularity between the celestial world and the terrestrial world, this influence that the higher realities exert on the inhabitants of the world, has always been called providence.

Providence is that the world is placed under the control of benign, loving powers. Our psalm is expressed in these terms:

From the place where he sits (JHWH)
super sees (hishghiach)
all the inhabitants of the earth (Psalm 33:14).

The psalm, therefore, presents us with a real look from above, supervision, which in Hebrew is the technical term for providence – hashgachà (note that the root sh-g-ch is very rare in biblical Hebrew ( only three recurrences).

More than a creational psalm, this is a providential psalm, so much so that immediately afterward it says that God shapes the hearts of men together. What does it mean that he molds them together?

Apparently, it would seem that God created all men at once, since all men, however different from each other, were created according to the same model, conforming to the same image. But it could also mean that he continues to keep together – providentially – that human reality so complex, so disordered, which is the life of the world.
The psalm specifies how:

Here, JHWH’s look
it is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his love for him (Psalm 33:18).

If on God’s part, there is a look at the things of this world, this is a fact that arouses hope in man. And perhaps it is precisely the name of hope that we can still give to the not easily definable notion of divine providence.

We hope for God’s love because he continues to take care of us. But perhaps the opposite is even more true, God cares about us to the extent that we ourselves continue to hope in his love for him.

Be your love on us, JHWH,
as we hope in you (Psalm 33:22).

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