Psalms of Honesty and Truth
We try to avoid judgement at all costs, but at times God gives us the opportunity to stand for Him for the sake of the helpless and “make a call” on a situation as His representative. Judges carry a deep responsibility and this next psalm not only brings out the seriousness of the task, but tells us rather clearly of the consequences if this work is not righteously motivated.
It reminds us of the the prophet Micah who told us exactly what God requires of all of us…“And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic. 6:8 nasb). These judges did not do justly (v. 2) or love mercy (vv. 3-4), and they walked in defiance of God’s will. We are admonished to “judge not, lest you be judged” by Jesus (Matthew 7) which talks about having a critical spirit, snarky attitudes laced with sarcastic remarks, picking on others to make yourself look better. Seeking justice and doing justice is standing in the gap for the helpless, with unselfish motivations. There is a difference. See the difference. Seriously.
When God the Judge ceased to speak, “you’re stripped of your rank, busted.” then Asaph added his prayer that God would bring justice to all the earth and not just to Israel (v. 8; 9:7-8). When the Lord comes to judge the earth, no one will escape, and His sentence will be just. Asaph’s prayer echoes the church’s prayer: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
Psalm 82, The Message
An Asaph Psalm
82 God calls the judges into his courtroom,
he puts all the judges in the dock.
2-4 “Enough! You’ve corrupted justice long enough,
you’ve let the wicked get away with murder.
You’re here to defend the defenseless,
to make sure that underdogs get a fair break;
Your job is to stand up for the powerless,
and prosecute all those who exploit them.”
5 Ignorant judges! Head-in-the-sand judges!
They haven’t a clue to what’s going on.
And now everything’s falling apart,
the world’s coming unglued.
6-7 “I commissioned you judges, each one of you,
deputies of the High God,
But you’ve betrayed your commission
and now you’re stripped of your rank, busted.”
8 O God, give them their just deserts!
You’ve got the whole world in your hands!
Pause to repent and pray…
–Are we busted, too? Do we have judgmental hearts that ooze unkindness?
–Ask God to show us how to “do justice” as His representative.
Dear Heavenly Father, We join Asaph’s prayer for justice and trust in Your final judgement. Guide our thoughts and actions. Help us to avoid critical spirits at all costs, but to do justice in the ways you provide, to love kindness and to walk humbly with You, hand in hand. In Jesus Name, Amen