Daily Lesson for Tuesday 6th of February 2024
The Lord has endowed Israel’s leaders with authority to maintain justice in Israel (Psalms 72:1-7, Psalms 72:12-14). Israel’s kings were to exercise their authority in accordance with God’s will. The leaders’ central concern should be ensuring peace and justice in the land and caring for the socially disadvantaged. Only then shall the land and the entire people prosper. The king’s throne is strengthened by faithfulness to God, not by human power.
Read Psalms 82:1-8. What happens when the leaders pervert justice and oppress the people they are tasked to protect?
In Psalms 82:1-8, God declares His judgments upon Israel’s corrupt judges. The “gods” (Psalms 82:1, Psalms 82:6) are clearly neither pagan gods nor angels because they were never tasked with delivering justice to God’s people and so could not be judged for not fulfilling it. The charges listed in Psalms 82:2-4 echo the laws of the Torah, identifying the “gods” as Israel’s leaders (Deuteronomy 1:16-18, Deuteronomy 16:18-20, John 10:33-35). God questions the “sons of men” whether they judge justly, and their punishment is announced because they have been found unrighteous. The leaders totter in darkness without knowledge (Psalms 82:5) because they have abandoned God’s law, the light (Psalms 119:105).
The Scripture unswervingly upholds the view that the Lord is the only God. God shares His governance of the world with appointed human leaders as His representatives (Romans 13:1). How often, however, have these human representatives, both in history and even now, perverted the responsibility that they have been given?
Psalms 82:1-8 mockingly exposes the apostasy of some leaders who believed themselves to be “gods” above other people. Although God gave the authority and the privilege to the Israelite leaders to be called the “children of the Most High” and to represent Him, God renounces the wicked leaders. God reminds them that they are mortal and subject to the same moral laws as all people. No one is above God’s law (Psalms 82:6-8).
God will judge the entire world; God’s people, too, shall give an account to God. Both the leaders and the people should emulate the example of the divine Judge and place their ultimate hope in Him.
What kind of authority do you hold over others? How justly and fairly are you exercising that authority? Take heed.