Let’s begin by reading Psalm 82:1-2, “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; He judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the person of the wicked. Selah.” In these solemn verses we see God, the Judge of all men, judging human judges and rulers. It resembles a courtroom scene where God takes His place on the Bench, gathers those who had been put in places of authority here on earth, and condemns them for judging unjustly. They are called gods because they were appointed by God to represent Him in positions of government. Yet instead of governing according to God’s character of righteousness, they perverted judgment by taking bribes and allowing the wicked to go unpunished.

Verses 3-4 go on to say, “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.” These judges and rulers were especially responsible to defend the “the poor and fatherless” and “the afflicted and needy.” Throughout Scripture we see God’s love and concern for the poor, the widows, the fatherless and all who are helpless, and in these verses God reveals that these judges and rulers had failed to defend them and deliver them from wicked men who oppressed them. We have an example of this oppression in James 5:1-4, “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosions will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fireIndeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth” (NKJV). We see these conditions all around the world today. A great divide between the rich and the poor has formed, with the rich living in luxury and the poor suffering poverty, disease and even death by starvation. Attempts are made by governments to remedy these problems, but instead of providing solutions the conditions are getting worse, and this is due to the corruption of rulers who themselves are becoming rich on the backs of the poor.

In verses 5-7 God reveals the real source of the problem and how He must judge these rulers. They read, “They know not, neither will they understand; they walk in darkness: all of the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are the children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” Those in authority refuse to acknowledge God and His truth, thus they “know not, neither will they understand; they walk in darkness.” Is it any wonder then that as they grope in the darkness they are unable to help others find their way? The result is tragic, for the very foundations of society are broken up. God warns these rulers that though they were exalted to positions of power, they will be brought down and “die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”

Verse 8 ends the Psalm with a prayer that will be prayed by the godly shortly before the Lord returns to execute judgment upon the ungodly. It says, “Arise, O God, judge the earth: for Thou shalt inherit all nations.” As lawlessness increases on every hand godly Israelites will pray for God to intervene in the affairs of men by sending His Son to replace corruption and injustice with righteousness and justice. He will answer that prayer, for the Lord will come to overthrow the wicked and to establish a kingdom built upon righteousness. What a day that will be for the earth when the King of kings comes to “inherit all nations” and to “right every wrong” that has taken place. We will end our meditation by quoting Isaiah 32:16-18, “Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace: and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”  (179.1)  (DO)