Psalm 82

Psalm 82: “GOD presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the . How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless maintain the rights of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.”

I have read this psalm several times over my life and I have always imagined this great assembly hall with lots of light, very ornate, noisy, but not uncomfortable. People are milling about moving here and there. There would be lines of people going different directions and then up toward the front is a huge throne… I mean huge and ornate and beautiful and…

Having read this several times, reading through the old and the new testament I have come to a different understanding of who GOD is and how GOD interacts in my life and the world. When Psalm 82 says GOD presides in the great assembly, I believe they mean GOD presides in the world, among you and I, here and now. And if GOD is here throughout the world “giving judgment among the gods”… who are these gods they are talking about? Psalm 82 says “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked.” This sentence does not apply to me… right. I don’t defend the unjust, I don’t show partiality to the wicked, right? The psalmist believes GOD will and we should “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

For me I see a dichotomy here. I don’t believe I defend the unjust or show partiality to the wicked, but I am not sure how strongly I defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless or maintain the rights of the poor and the oppressed. Each of us must ask ourselves this question and where we are in our lives. The psalmist doesn’t say we should judge others, but that GOD gives judgment in the great assembly among the gods.

Richard Rohr says that GOD is as accessible as the very thing we all do constantly – breathe. So this day, even in this moment, breathe in and know that GOD loves you as you are... just as you are. God doesn’t love you if you change, GOD loves you so you can change.

Precious Father, Loving GOD, Holy Spirit, I pray that today I start opening my eyes and my heart and find ways to defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless, to maintain the rights of the poor and the oppressed, to rescue the weak and the needy and to find ways to deliver them from the hand of the wicked. AMEN!

Jim Dietvorst

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