Word, Plans, Eye and Power

Psalm 33

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 33


Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.


Jesus said, "All power is mine, in heaven and on earth.

I will always be with you". (Part of Matthew 28: 18-20)

Psalm 33

v1   Shout to the LORD, everyone that is righteous.

v2   Praise the LORD with a harp.
  Make music for him with a lyre that has 10 strings.

v3   Sing to him a new song.
  Make beautiful music with a trumpet.

v4   Do this because the LORD says what is right.
  Everything that he does is good.

v5   He loves all that is right and fair.
  The world is full of his kind love.

v6   The word of the LORD made the skies.
  The breath of his mouth made the stars.

v7   He put the waters of the sea together in a bottle.
  He hid the deep seas in a safe place.

v8   Let everyone that lives in the earth be afraid of the LORD.
  Let all the people of the world fall down in front of him.

v9   Do this because he spoke and it happened.
  At his word everything became fixed in its place.

v10   Governments make plans, but the LORD checks them.
  He does not let people do everything that they want to do.

v11   The plans that the LORD makes will always happen.
  His ideas will always be with us.

v12   The people that have the LORD as their God will be very happy.
  They are the people that he chose to be his own.

v13   The LORD looks down from heaven.
  He sees every man, woman and child.

v14   From where he lives he can see every person that lives on the earth.

v15   He made every separate person.
  He knows everything that they do.

v16   A great army will not save a king.
  A soldier does not win because he is strong.

v17   A horse will not always give you help to win, even if it is very strong.

v18   Look, the eye of the LORD is on the people that are afraid of him.
  It is on the people that trust in his kind love.

v19   He will save them from death and from famine.

v20   We will trust in the LORD.
  He will send us help, and he will be our shield.

v21   We are singing happy songs for the LORD.
  We are trusting in his holy name.

v22   LORD, we want you to send to us your kind love.
  LORD we are trusting in you.

Word list

harp, lyre and trumpet ~ musical instruments; look below

breath ~ the air that we take into our bodies

checks ~ looks at and stops if necessary

famine ~ not enough food to eat

Musical Instruments

People make music with these. You make some with metal. An example is the trumpet. You blow into it to make the sound. You make others from wood and strings. An example is the harp. It has 9 strings. You pull the strings to make the sound. The lyre is like a harp. The one in the psalm has 10 strings. Now we use guitars, not harps and lyres. Guitars have 4, 6 or 12 strings.

The Story of Psalm 33

Someone wrote Psalm 33 to say 4 important things:

1.  God made everything. He did it by his WORD. This means that when he said something it immediately happened. Examples include the skies, stars and seas (verses 6 – 9)

2.  Men make PLANS. God does not always let them happen (verses13 - 15)

3.  God’s EYE sees everybody, and what they do. (verses 13 – 15)

4.  God is all-POWERful. Armies are strong, but God is stronger (verses16 -17).

What Psalm 33 means

Verses 1 – 3: The word "shout" also means "sing" in Hebrew. Only God can make people righteous. It happens when he forgives them. "Forgive" means "GIVE our sin to Jesus to carry AWAY". Sin is doing wrong things. The psalm tells people to praise God with harp, lute and trumpet. Today we would probably use guitar, piano and trumpet. We can use any musical instrument to praise God.

Verses 4 – 9: This part tells us that God made everything by his word. "The breath of his mouth" means "his word". "Full of his kind love" means "the good things that he made". "In a bottle" probably means "in one place".

Verses 10 – 17: This part tells us that God is the authority on earth. In verse 12 "the people that he chose" means the Jews. Since Jesus came to the earth it also means Christians. Verses 16-17 means that armies will not save a country if God has other plans. We do not use horses in our armies today. We use tanks and planes . . . but God is still stronger.

Verses 18 – 22: In this part "kind love" means "the good things that God does for us". We must trust God if we are to enjoy his kind love.

Something to do

Make a song to praise the Lord. Use words from the psalm. Psalm 33:5, or Psalm 33:20-22 would make a good song. Get some friends with musical instruments to make music with you.


© 2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words)

January 2001

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