Many of the Psalms teach us to praise God, and in the first three verses of Psalm 33, we are instructed in several means of praise:
— :1 “Sing” & :2 “give thanks” These two opening exhortations remind us of that simple, and oft-repeated Biblical combination of praise: singing and giving thanks. These basic tools of praise are not beyond the simplest among us.
— :2 “lyre … harp” This verse encourages us to use instruments in praise.
— :3 “sing to Him a NEW song” We are commanded here to use new songs to glorify God for new deliverances, and to continually attempt to express His glories, which can never be adequately captured with the songs we currently employ. If we decline to sing new songs, are we saying that we have perfectly “captured” God’s goodness in praise? May it never be! We should be constantly crafting new works of praise, in a never-ending effort to glorify God in yet newer and better ways, for yet more of His excellencies.
— :3 “Play skillfully” No sloppy offerings of praise should be served to the Lord. We should offer worship with the best skill we possess.
— :3b “with a shout of joy” (and :1 “sing for joy”) As important as employing our skill is, our heart attitude is yet more important. It is significant that the section both opens and closes with a reference to joy. From first to last, in all our singing, thanksgiving, songs old & new, and skillful presentations, God’s praise should come from hearts filled with pure joy over who He is, and what He has done for us!