Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Psalm 82

Rebuke of Israel's Unjust Judges

Do you remember how the first "judicial system" of the Israelites was established?  It was Moses' father-in-law Jethro who saw that Moses was overcome with judging God's people. 
Jethro said, "The thing that you do is not good.  Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out.  For this thing is too much for you . . . . moreover, you shall select from all people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.  And let them judge the people at all times. 
Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but ever small matter they themselves shall judge.  So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.  ~ Exodus 18:17-22
Moses judging God's people
Do you see the qualifications of Israel's first judges - men who FEAR GOD, men of TRUTH, hating covetousness!  Clearly in Psalm 82, the sin of the people have taken them far from this model of upright judges and courts of truth.

Do you recognize a resemblance of our Supreme Court system in the model Jethro & Moses established for Israel?

Psalm 82 is a psalm of Asaph.  It has been penned for courts of justice in Israel as well as other nations to:
instruct the judges of the earth
  • To tell them their duty
  • To tell them of their faults
Verse 1 reminds us of God's supreme presidency and power in all councils and courts.   Genesis 18:25 is one of my favorite Bible verses:

Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?  ~ Gen. 18:25
In this verse in Genesis, Abraham knew he could count on God to do the right thing.  We can have that same faith in God's justice.  He will judge rightly.

Where to go for truth & justice?
So many courts & legal systems are corrupt.
In Psalm 82, Asaph instructs the judges of the earth to do their job righteously.

Verse 2 tells us of God's exhausted patience with judges who have not executed justice among the people.  Asaph then defines good judgment:
Defend the poor and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and need;y
Free them from the and of the wicked.  ~ Ps. 82:3
Matthew Henry comments:
They judge unjustly, contrary to the rules of equity and the dictates of their consciences. 
To do unjustly is bad, but to judge unjustly is much worse, because it is doing wrong under the colour of right. 

  • God is an upright judge
  • God shall judge the earth
  • I praise God that He is faithful and true - that I can depend on Him to judge rightly
  • I praise God there is no injustice with Him
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father -
There is no shadow of turning with Thee . . .
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
Great is Thy Faithfulness
~ Thomas Obediah Chisholm
     O Lord, how I praise You that You can be trusted - that we can confidently say with Abraham, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right!" I can know that You will do right - that there is no shadow of turning with You.  Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!  I bless You, Lord, and thank You that I am indeed a child of the Most High.  In Jesus' name I pray ~ Amen

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