Apologetics Thursday – Psalms 33

By Christopher Fisher

A Calvinist website attempts to list out proof of Calvinism from texts other than Romans 9. From Triablogue:

Ps 33:10-11,15

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations.
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.

On the other hand, the counsel and the purposes of the Lord endure forever. Here we find the verb “stand firm, endure” repeated. As the Lord’s creation stood firm at his decree (v9), so his counsel stands firm forever (v11). It cannot be shaken or interrupted by the antagonistic plans of the world. As the sage says, “There is no counsel, no wisdom, no plan against the counsel of the Lord” (Prov 21:30).. And to make his plan stand, as the psalmist says, “He brings to nothing the plans of the nations.” The certainty of the plan of the Lord is not temporary–it is eternal. This is stressed by “forever, to the farthest time,” and reiterated in the parallel colon that affirms that the purposes of God’s heart are “until endless generations.” The plan of the Lord can be trusted completely because it is carried out in faithfulness.

The first thing of note is that three verses are skipped in the middle of the quoted text. Interestingly enough, two of these verses are wholesale rejected by Calvinists:

Psa 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
Psa 33:13 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men.
Psa 33:14 From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth;

In Psalms 33, the psalmist presents God as dwelling in the heavens, watching men, looking down on men to see what they are doing. The idea being presented is that God actively watches mankind. In this regards, God sees what men are planning and God thwarts them (v10). The idea that God is actively monitoring and responding in real time to ensure His work is not destroyed is not a Calvinist theme.

Later, the text explicitly states that God gives special protection to those who worship God. God is said to save them from death and keep them alive in trying times:

Psa 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy,
Psa 33:19 To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.

This is also not a Calvinist theme. If God had planned out eternity from before time began, from what death are people being saved? No, the concept is that when God sees His children in trouble, God intervenes and saves them. The entire section of Psalms 33 is about God’s dynamic relationship to mankind. God has plans and purposes. God will fulfill those plans. Thus God monitors human beings such that they do not thwart those plans.

This is a very Open Theistic text.


  1. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

    (Ephesians 1:3-5 ESV)

    1. So, how is that relevant to the above passage. I believe your mentality is one that takes fleeting statements from other parts of the Bible to override longer narratives. This is not a rational way to read the Bible.

      Do you have any reason to think that Paul had God choosing individuals rather than forming a people group? I have predestined that all my children become conformed to my image. I chose them before they were born. I chose them to play video games with me and have fun times together. Nothing about it necessitates that I knew the exact individual my children would be. Does that make sense to you?

      Why do you assume Paul thinks that God knows the future. Paul’s mechanic for being a part of this group is one of individual choice:

      Eph 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
      Eph 1:14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

      1. For one you treat God as man. Can man know the future? Absolutely not, but man is not God. God chose us from before the foundation of the world. In order to do that He already had to know who we were.

        1. Well, I’m not treating God like anything. I am asking about reading comprehension. If you want to reject the Bible and make up your own God, more power to you. I am interested in the biblical authors’ understanding of God.

            1. You are doing it again. Psalms 33 does not claim to be by David. You are taking 3rd party texts to override the texts in question. This is not a legitimate practice.

              But anyways:

              Reading Psalm 139 (like every Psalm of King David) shows that King David was an Open Theist. Yes or no, did King David believe God had to test him to know what he would do?

              Psa 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;
              Psa 139:24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.

              Did King David believe God just inherently had all knowledge, or did King David believe that God has to actively search to gain knowledge?

              Psa 139:1 For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. O LORD, You have searched me and known me.

              I go through Psalms 139 verse by verse here:


              1. Oh but you skip the part about David proclaiming that before a word is even on his tongue God knows it altogether.

                1. Are you being intellectually honest in saying that? Have you read the link? I did say that I covered Psalms 139 verse by verse in the link. Are you even reading what I write?

                  If you want to build straw men and misrepresent positions, that is your prerogative.

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