Reading: Psalm 33:16-22
No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
even as we put our hope in you (NIV).*
Sunrise on the Ottawa River — photo by David Kitz
This final portion of Psalm 33 is all about hope. Life is all about hope. From the first breath we take until our last gasp, life is all about hope. Life has no meaning or purpose if we lose hope.
The essential question we must ask is where do you place your hope? All too often we place our hope in the things of this world, our resources, our ingenuity, and the strength of our flesh. But the psalmist reminds us: No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
Repeatedly throughout history the little guy has won. David defeated Goliath. The Viet Cong ousted the US Army. The Afghan rebels outlasted the armies of the USSR and the USA. Victory does not always go to the mighty. So, the lament goes up, “How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!” (2 Samuel 1:27).
Where is your hope? Where have you put your trust? The psalmist reminds us to put our hope in the LORD. Leaders come and go; nations rise and fall. Human abilities wane. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
Our hope and our trust must be in God and in His unfailing word.
When calamity strikes, those who maintain hope survive; those who give up hope perish. In stories of extreme survival over and over again this truth is borne out. Hope sustains the human heart when food and water run out. When we put our trust in the LORD, we tap into a limitless supply of hope. Therefore: We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
Response: This is our prayer. May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you. In the name of Jesus—our source of hope—who defeated death, we pray. Amen.
Your Turn: What are some sources of false hope? Why have you put your hope in God?
* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA
Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.