Psalm 82 today. It’s a psalm crying out for justice on earth. More specifically, it’s addressing unjust human rulers. In fact, in this psalm, judges are called “gods”, for they are operating as God on earth, dispensing something terribly important to God: justice, especially for the poor and oppressed, the most vulnerable in society to receive injustice. Here are the divisions of the psalm:
- Verses 1-4: the task of the “Gods”, the judges, is to give justice “to the weak and the fatherless...and rescue the weak and the needy...from the hand of the wicked.”.
- Verses 5-7: the “Gods” who fail their tasks are addressed. “They have neither wisdom or understanding. When these judges rule wrongly, “the foundations of the world shake,” meaning God’s moral principles he placed in the moral foundations of the world are shaken. God gives a reminder to these evil leaders/judges: they too will die. The Lord will have the last word over their injustice!
- Verse 8: “Arise, O God, judge the earth.” Whenever you see “Arise” in the psalms it is a battle cry. The person praying is calling upon God to arouse himself and fight for his or the nation’s cause. “For you shall inherit the nations,” Asaph concludes. God will judge all the nations of the earth. Every ruler over these nations will be judged. Hitler, Gengis Khan, Stalin, Al Bashir today in Sudan, all will face God one day and the nations will be entirely God’s to rule. What a great and mighty promise!
Today, remember the poor, needy and oppressed in your prayers. Continue to pray for them. Also, continue to work for justice on their behalf. We’re never closer to the heart of God than when we care for the broken and hurting. Why? Because they are very close to the heart of God!