Psalm 33 (Psalms on the Trail)

The Lord looks down from heaven'he sees all humankind. from where he sits enthroned he watches all the inhabitants of the earth---he who fashions the hearts of all them all, and observes all their deeds. Psalm 33: 13-15

The Lord looks down from heaven

and sees all humankind.

God sits firmly enthroned

and watches all who dwell on the earth.

God fashions all their hearts

and observes all their deeds.  Psalm 33:13-15

It is lunchtime, and I am only halfway up the mountain.  I still have a few hours before reaching the top.  But I have climbed to turkey vulture height, those creatures who act as garbage collectors, who both for fun and for spotting food delight in coasting the air currents.   I look down on the fields from their perspective and my everyday problems seem less important, they shrink in size.  From this perspective my world expands beyond my small self.  I am connected to farms and roads and cities that I haven’t yet visited, to the people that live in those places, to the acres of trees sheltering animals and producing the oxygen that I breathe, to the seismic events of past ages that shaped the wrinkled earth I am climbing over.   That’s the turkey vulture’s and my perspective.  But what of God’s?  Expand this view a billion times (?) and God sees our planet as a speck in the universe.  Zoom in from here a billion (?) times and God views the DNA of a mosquito.  And then add another entire dimension to God’s perspective and the most buried longing within each human heart is known by God before we understand it ourselves.  Can you believe it?  I start out climbing a mountain and pondering turkey vultures;  I end up in a theological mystery. That’s what happens to psalms on the trail.


  1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?   What is something about God that is a mystery to you?
  2. Or read all of Psalm 33 to discover how this verse fits into the psalm or to discover a different verse.
  3. Or comment with a photo of your own that illustrates this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s verse:  Psalm 34:8

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.