Psalm 82 and 83
This is a Psalm that incites terror! It speaks of God standing in the midst of the mighty and judging the sons of men, who are referred to as ‘gods’, vs 1,6.
God questions us as to how long we are going to render unjust judgment and tolerate wicked people who oppress the poor, fatherless, afflicted and needy, vs 2,3.
God expects us to deliver them out of the hand of the wicked, vs 4, who do not know God, who have no understanding and who walk on in darkness, thus putting the foundations of the earth out of course, vs 5.
If we don’t do what God expects of us in these matters, then we will end up dying like men and falling like one of the princes, instead of rising up to be ‘gods’ and children of the most High, as God had originally intended us to be, vs 7! The Psalmist ends the Psalm asking God to come as judge of all the earth, as the nations are His inheritance, vs 8, and as the people of God have faltered in fulfilling the calling that God had called them too!
This Psalm is terrifying because, if we fail to fulfill the call that God has given us, viz. to stand up against the injustice that we see going on around us against the afflicted, needy, poor and fatherless, so as to deliver them, then we fall short of the glory that God has intended us to be partakers of and as a result those around us suffer and we ourselves will die without measuring up to the calling that God had in mind for us to fulfill!
This is a serious matter, so let those who have an ear, hear and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit, no matter what the cost may be! Amen.
In this Psalm, it can be seen that Asaph has now understood certain principles on the basis of which God operates.
On considering what he had penned down in the previous Psalms, it can be seen that He now understands that God’s people are suffering because of their backsliding into idolatry and disobedience to God’s commandments, and God, being holy and righteous, cannot overlook the sins of His people, unless they cry out to Him in repentance.
So, he changes the way in which he addresses God in this Psalm and shifts the focus of contention between God and their enemies, instead of between God’s people and their enemies! He asks God not to keep silent, but to make certain decrees and take action, vs 1, in view of the fact that the enemies of God’s people are attacking them with a view to wipe out the Nation of Israel and so show their hatred against the God of Israel, vs 2-5.
He gives God a list of the names of the enemies, vs 6-8, and tells God to deal with them in the same manner as He overthrew the Midianites the Cannanites in Gideons and Deborah’s time respectively, vs 9-11, 13-15,17.
He tells God to do so because they dared to meddle with the household of the living God, even the very Nation of Israel, vs 12! He asks God to fill their faces with shame, only so that they begin to seek the Name of the true God, vs 16 and know that God, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, is the most high God over all the earth, vs 18.
There is surely something that we all can learn from this Psalm when it comes to interceding on behalf of God’s people, particularly when God’s people are also to be blamed for the disciplining hand of God coming upon them through various enemies! For our God is a God of holiness and justice and will hear our cries for deliverance only as we approach Him in repentance and faith, and our motive is to seek the honour of His Name alone! Amen.