A Plea for Justice (Psalm 82)

This psalm of Asaph is a cry unto God for justice for the oppressed of Israel.  He begins by playing up the lofty position of God among the gods.  He then asks why He is showing partiality to the wicked.  The next stanza moves into a plea for God to defend the poor and fatherless, the afflicted and needy from the hand of the wicked.  They walk about in darkness, not understanding what is happening in their shaky world.  He then calls to God:

“8 Arise, O God, judge the earth;

For You shall inherit all nations.”

This psalm uses words that are unclear.  For one, Asaph identifies God as one among gods, which is not true.  Perhaps he alludes to God dwellling among spiritual beings, but there is but one God.  Others claim that there are other gods, but they are not.  Also, in verse 6, Asaph identified men on earth as gods, but again this is not possible.  Men are sons of God, children of the most high, but are not gods.  This is a problem with the translation here.  The word Elohim, which is a name for God, is translated literally here, but has subtle shades of meaning which could mean “god-like” or godly.

What’s does this psalm mean for us?  This is a plea to God for justice.  There are many who receive no justice in our world today.  There are abused, oppressed, and bound people everywhere who need a Savior.  That Savior may seem far away at times, but He is near in prayer.  Instead of scolding God for not doing something, why not spend some time in prayer and reflection and recognize what God is doing.  Let God fill you in on the picture behind the picture.  God is going something even when we cannot see Him.

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