Psalm 82: Occupy Your World

It seems that in order for justice and fairness to prevail in the world, what we need to have happen is not always clear to us. We want justice, but we are not certain how to get it or even what it is. Thank God for people who see injustice, want to call attention to it, or make it right. Thank God for consequences. I mean this literally. Thank God. Thank Him for creating humans with a conscience; although, as a result of having free will, we can train our conscience not to function. Thank Him for declining to play “superman” with our every need and allowing consequences to teach us, (and only IF we will be taught.) God “gets it” and we don’t. He lets us choose to try to be fair to others and even offers Himself as a resource to accomplish the task.

If you want to “occupy,” start close by. I challenge you to begin closer than your community’s “Wall Street.” Start at home. Unfortunately, many times our own greed and self-centeredness prevents us from occupying our individual “worlds” with compassion and fairness. I would say, watch Wall Street, but don’t neglect scrutinizing the reflection in your mirror.

Psalm 82 describes a time when God’s “occupation” presence is, was, and will be, felt throughout the world. Psalm 82 also gives direct commands that can be summarized by the statement, “Do right to others.” The messages delivered in this Psalm, that God imposes justice over the unjust and how we need to get in line with this purposed intent, could be given as a warning to ANYONE in power over another. Repetitiously I suggest, Wall Street or at home, the territory to occupy justly includes the whole world and starts with your personal one.

Verse 1 and 2 (Amplified Bible)

“God stands in the assembly of the representatives of God; in the midst of the magistrates or judges. He gives judgment as among the gods.”

(I see the little “g,” and think about those times I, or others, have tried to act like big “G.”)

“How long will you (magistrates or judges) judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked?”

Verse 3 and 4 give the commands.

“Do justice to the weak, poor and fatherless; maintain the rights of the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; rescue them out of the hand of the wicked.”

Verse 5 indicates a lack of ability to understand on the part of those who are in a position to foster justice. It also talks about their precarious position. The foundations are shaking.

“The magistrates and judges know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in the darkness of complacent satisfaction; all the foundations of the earth (the fundamental principles upon which rests the administration of justice) are shaking.”

Verse 6 seems to be written as if God were speaking and describing the honor of being set above others to act on the His behalf, but verse 7 points out the leveling of even the “high positions” in the face of death. “Top dog” or not, we will die and meet our Maker. How much better this moment will be if we have studied and adopted accurately the ways of God.

Verse 6 and 7

“”I said, YOU are gods (since you judge on My behalf, as My representatives); indeed, all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die as men and fall as one of the princes.”

The last verse is a plea from the Psalm writer for God to judge the earth. It seems to be referring to an all-encompassing, worldwide judgment. As of yet, I believe we have only seen the judgment of God against injustice in bits and pieces. But there will come a day….

Verse 8

“Arise, O God, judge the earth! For to You belong all the nations.”

So go ahead, join the movement. Occupy your personal world with the intent of justice and fairness toward your fellowman, but don’t do it alone. In your attempts enlist God, the ultimate Righteous Judge, and you will begin to make success. Fair warning. Be ready to self scrutinize. He tends to start close to home. For example, when it comes to greed, (and as others are shoeless), He’s already chiding me about my shoe collection. What will He find in excess in your life and storage spaces?

MY Prayer:

“O, God, what greedy people most of us are. We hoard and pursue like a gluttonous child at a candy store. Knock us off our “high towers” and throw us to our knees. It will be quite a fall, but left standing will be YOU. Show us the way back to the life YOU intended. Thank YOU for never giving up on YOUR main purpose, to bring us back, reconciled to YOU through Jesus Christ. To all of this intent, and the paths that honor YOU, we say, “Yes!” To the lure of senseless material acquisitions and corrupt elevation we say, “No!” Teach us the discipline of vigilance against our own bent toward greed and injustice against our fellow man. Amen.”

 

(For new readers, this is a Psalm blog. I have been “blogging” my way though the Psalms in the Bible since last November. I read to find treasure verses I can use in my life. I ask God to show me what I need to see. My observations are certainly not ALL there is to these passages. Scholars can tell you so much more. I am merely a beggar looking for every day food, using ordinary means. Eventually that’s what Bible “feeding” must become in my life if I am to have a steady diet. I have to feed myself (with God’s help) in the ordinary days when no gourmet Bible chef is available.)

 

 

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