The hymn (and Habakkuk 2:20 from which it comes) reads “The Lord is in His Holy temple. Let all the earth keep silent before him.”
What a contrast between that call and the raucous call of Psalm 33! With five imperatives (rejoice, praise, make music, sing, and play) the psalmist calls the righteous to a loud response of worship to God. There is nothing sad or solemn here, but a call to visible boisterous worship.
And why not?
There is every reason to be jubilant. Our God does right, speaks truth, and is trustworthy in every thing. Not only that, but this God loves us! He doesn’t have to. Didn’t have to. But He does!
And this love of God is compounded in that He possesses immense power, pictured beautifully in the notion of God bottling up the sea, calling the world into being with but a word, foiling the plans of mighty nations and executing his own flawlessly and without failure. Though His eyes watch over the whole earth, He particularly keeps an eye on those who fear Him and hope in His unfailing love – a subset of the world’s people and, in context, a subset even of His own people.
While the psalm is a call to praise, the psalmist isn’t calling everyone to praise – only the righteous. But in doing so, he is calling everyone to be righteous that their praise might be accepted by the one who sees and controls all things.
It’s a side issue really, but an important one. We all have our own favorite worship style. But woe to the one who believes his worship style is the only acceptable one. There may be unacceptable styles, but if scripture is any indication, there is more than one acceptable style. Christians should not be too quick to judge the styles of others without broad scriptural support.