Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Psalm 82 God's Justice Champions the Underclass

KEY TEXT: Psalms 82:1-4 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: "How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." ESV

KEY THOT: The psalmist here speaks of God sitting in his heavenly court as King, passing judgments over the spiritual entities (elohim=gods) of his creation. Some scholars have interpreted the word elohim as a reference to angelic entities and others to human authorities. Be that as it may, the psalmist is really saying that God is continually sitting in judgment over human activities and affairs to ensure justice is maintained in his moral realm. He is particularly concerned that those in position of power and authority should not abuse their authority to oppress and exploit the weak, the poor and the needy. Instead, God's justice demands that such people use their authority to uplift the weak and poor among them. As believers, we are judged by how we treat the weak and marginalised, not how "submissive" we are to the those with the power and authority. 

Generally speaking, the sinful human nature defers to the rich and powerful but despises and abuses the weak and defenseless. As believers we demonstrate divine justice by showing deference to the weak and marginalised while standing up to the rich and powerful. We should not, in the name of "submission", keep silent when those who with spiritual, political or economic authority use their power and authority to put down the small people: "Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." (Psalms 82:3-4).

The test of genuine Christlikeness is found in our attitude towards the "weak and fatherless", the "afflicted and the destitute" and the "weak and the needy"; in other words, the underclass. As Christians, we are to be looking out for such people to deliver them from the wicked who use or abuse them. And this can happen in church too. James says: “For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "You sit here in a good place," while you say to the poor man, "You stand over there," or, "Sit down at my feet," have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? (James 2:2-5) 

God is sitting in his heavenly court daily judging our attitude and action towards towards those who are weak in our workplaces, the community and the churches. He expects nothing less than that we love them, and not use or abuse them.

Father, may You put Your sense of justice inside our hearts, so that we may treat the weak and marginalised with the same grace You have shown us. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave your comments.