Preparing for Eternity

Psalm 82

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Psalm

Psalm 82
1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.


Outline

God Stands As Judge of Justice
Psalm 82
by Pastor Clinton Macomber

A)God has set the rules for leadership

1)God judges among the godly, Psalm 82:1
2)God asks how long they will serve perversely, Psalm 82:2
3)God orders them to defend the needy, Psalm 82:3
4)God orders them to deliver the needy, Psalm 82:4

B)God determines the reasons for wicked leadership, Psalm 82:5

1)Leaders are ignorant
2)Leaders are foolish
3)Leaders are blindly floundering
4)The Earth is unbalanced

C)God establishes the office of leadership

1)God calls their office a divine office, Psalm 82:6
2)God sees to it these officials die like ordinary men, Psalm 82:7
3)God alone is able to serve as leader and judge, Psalm 82:8


Sermon

God Stands As Judge of Justice
Psalm 82
by Pastor Clinton Macomber

This song is to remind God’s people that the position of officials is a divinely appointed office, and as such, any official that functions under this office is held accountable to God. How their conduct and decisions are to be made, is carefully delineated in Scripture. They have no excuse.

Secondly, this song serves as an important reminder to the saint, that leadership is a divine appointment. We are not to seek to eliminate this divine office. A lack of leadership is a treacherous thing. Every individual thinks they can set their own standards of conduct and morality, based on their own whims, and the nation quickly leads to such depravity, the only thing God can do is totally obliterate the city thus infected.

We see this conduct in the beehive. There are times when the queen fails. The whole hive centers their activities around the queen and the resulting needs of her offspring. When a queen is lost, and a replacement not found, the workers start laying their own eggs and acting as “queen.” However, their eggs are not fertile and they only produce small, weak, sickly drones. There is much infighting between the various “queens” and the hive suffers till eventually it dies out. Supplies are no longer gathered consistently, the cleanup of the hive is abandoned, bringing great disease. Many die in moral combat with each other. Other hives view this colony as a source of easy supplies. Even the comb is ruined from the process.

Judges, kings, governors, and such like serve an important role in a city. They are divinely appointed to serve on behalf of God. God therefore notes what is done by the officials, and will hold them accountable.

There is a divinely created need for leadership. There is also a human determination to keep all qualified for such leadership out. Thus, leadership is done by workers who want to be divinely appointed, and who reject accepting the role God gave to them. These unqualified laborers wreck havoc in a divinely appointed office, hurting all involved.

  1. God has set the rules for leadership

  1. God judges among the godly

Psalm 82:1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

This verse is a mystery to the translators, because it uses the name of God three times. Twice as a plural, and once in singular voice.

Literally this verse could be translated: “The Godhead takes its stand among the congregation of God. Among them the Godhead judges.”

Just as Lord walked in the furnace of fire with the three wise men in Babylon, so the Lord suffers with His saints, when they are punished for doing righteousness.

God takes His stand among His people, to bring justice to those officials who have subverted His office. It is to be understood that whenever an official makes a ruling, that person is doing so on God’s behalf. If the official rules incorrectly, they are perverting the office God has established on this earth. In essence, they are slandering God.

  1. God asks how long they will serve perversely

Psalm 82:2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

Scripture is very clear about how justice is to be given out.

Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

Deuteronomy 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.

Every day that an official has is another day for them to repent of their doings and put their life in order. We read of such a person who was a tax-collector by the name of Zacchaeus. He dedicated his life to being fair, and sought to honor God with his income. He wanted to see the Lord Jesus, and when the Lord accepted the invitation, public opinion was horrified that Christ would eat with a sinner and of all sinners, a tax collector! But Zacchaeus stood up and said:

Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

In Zacchaeus’ case, it is fortunate that he answers to God for his life, because public opinion had him pegged as the worst of sinners.

  1. God orders them to defend the needy

Psalm 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

The poor are often very difficult to defend because they are often uneducated, filthy, crass people. The fatherless are unruly, wild, and self-centered. Yet God says they are to be be defended, and leaders are to issue justice on their behalf. If a leader can truly offer justice to such people, then their leadership is from above. It is as God would have it done. A leader cannot assume guilt simply because the person is uncouth. A leader must get to the facts, and listen with discernment to the witnesses to see if the truth is being presented. It is very easy to ignore justice to rid the streets of such people.

  1. God orders them to deliver the needy

Psalm 82:4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

It has been pointed out that these verses are used by certain groups to condone using whatever measures are necessary to save those about to be aborted. The other passage that is used with Psalm 82:3-4 is Proverbs 24:11. There are several things wrong with using these verses in this way.

These verses are God’s words to the leaders. Leaders throughout history and world-wide have condemned untold millions to death unlawfully and immorally. God defines when a person is to be put to death. Letting a criminal who has God’s death sentence written on him to roam free, or remain alive is just as wrong as slaying someone who has done nothing to deserve having their life ended prematurely. God is speaking to the rulers, judges, kings, legislators, and anyone else that impacts the law, to stop supporting injustice.

As concerning the other reference used to justify civil disobedience, that verse has to do with moral obligation. The verses say:

Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. 11If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;12If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

Notice that the context is being so weak, that when things are not popular, or may cost something, you are powerless to do what is right and proper. Furthermore, these verses are directed to a witness who refuses to offer the testimony that might save a person’s life. Peter was so frightened by the arrest of the Lord Jesus, yet curious to know the outcome, he wanted to be where he could hear the news, but refused to admit he was a disciple or had any contact with the Lord. Of course he repented and became an outspoken and strong spokesman afterwards, but at the time of trial, he failed.

The Proverbs go on to teach that a person must eat good food in order to keep up his strength. So these verses have nothing to do with civil disobedience. Instead they are directed to current leaders and to witnesses that withhold evidence.

  1. God determines the reasons for wicked leadership

Psalm 82:5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

  1. Leaders are ignorant

The word used is the common word for knowing something. The leaders are not trained or knowledgeable about what is right and proper. Their ignorance is the first and primary problem in their judicial abilities. This is inexcusable. Before a person should even be suggested for an official capacity, they must know God’s law and the laws of the land. It is God that gives knowledge and wisdom.

Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

  1. Leaders are foolish

This is to be able to separate issues and see differences, and hence to understand the facts that govern a case. An example of discernment is mentioned in Proverbs where there was the ability to properly assess a stranger on the street as being very naive.

Proverbs 7:7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

The root reason why most leaders are unable to discern the facts is because they themselves are evil.

Proverbs 28:5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.

Only a righteous person can consider the claim of a poor person, because a wicked person has no clue.

Proverbs 29:7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

  1. Leaders are blindly floundering

The leaders are moving around in total darkness. They have no light, neither will they come to the light. Their evil deeds impact their judgment. One of the great causes of darkness is hatred.

1 John 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

  1. The Earth is unbalanced

There is a last reason that contributes to man’s negligence. It is the fact that the earth’s foundations are out of place. In other words, the balance and harmony of the earth is askew. Things are not as they should be. As such, babies rule and reign, because human life never develops long enough to reach maturity. The effects of sin and corruption are so prevalent, in every area of life. Death and disease are everywhere present. Decay rates are high. Life in general is a real struggle for survival. We read that the whole earth is crying out for our redemption.

Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

  1. God establishes the office of leadership

  1. God calls their office a divine office

Psalm 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

When there was a problem, God instructs the people to take their problem immediately to one of the judges that sat in the gate of the nearest city. His official was called a part of divinity, because they are to act in God’s place in helping the needy person by acting justly. The following verses has the plural name of God underlined when contextually referring to earthly rulers.

Exodus 21:6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.

Exodus 22:8 If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods. For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.

The above are called part of God, because justice is God’s alone.

Deuteronomy 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.

2 Chronicles 19:6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.5Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Christ quoted this psalm in proving that He was the Son of God. Stating that those who do the will of their Father in Heaven are sons of God, and so godly or god-like.

John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

  1. God sees to it these officials die like ordinary men

Psalm 82:7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

Even though officials may have a divinely appointed capacity to adjudicate the cases in this world, and as such they sit in place of God, under His divine authority, they are not divine, but very human and weak, because they die just like any other man. In fact, it is appointed unto man to die. God never dies. He remains the one constant in all of life.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

  1. God alone is able to serve as leader and judge

Psalm 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

There is only one conclusion to the problem of bad leadership. God must arise and judge the earth, and inherit all nations. Only through His divine interception of the affairs of mankind, can there exist justice and equity for all.

The office of justice is divinely appointed, and can only be filled by those divinely sent to fill it. These judges cannot die, nor can they be bribed. They have to be so much like the Lord Jesus, they are easily identified and proven to be His.

From Scripture, we find that there will be very strong and stiff leadership for 1000 years after the Lord Jesus comes to the earth with His saints. After that, Satan, and all those who follow him, will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

The process that must run out is giving man a chance to see that a world order will not work. The whole world will be ruled by a very elite body of leaders. The head man will be antichrist. All buying and selling will be highly regulated, and every person accounted for with the latest technology. Christianity will be banned and all Christians executed. Agreements made with Israel will be overturned, and every Jew sought for extermination. By totally eradicating all mention and worship of God, it is hoped that there will be lasting peace on the earth. But in fact, it will only increase the disunion and strife.

There will be many who will survive. There are 144,000 Jews that Antichrist will be unable to harm. There will be many more who will not take the mark of the beast. On the final drive to exterminate the last holdout of Jews, Christ will come to the Mount of Olives and provide a valley for the Jews to enter for safety. He will annihilate the worlds armies and their gear. Then, He will set up His throne in the midst of us, and all the different nations will be gathered together and separated based on their deeds. If they cared for God’s people by welcoming them, clothing them, feeding them, and ministering to them when sick or in prison, they will get to enter His Kingdom. If they did not, they will be eliminated.

Then after 1000 years, Satan will be turned loose and allowed to gather together another force of people to come and try to fight God. Any who join this army will be removed to eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire, with Satan. Then, New Jerusalem will come down from Heaven and hover above the earth, and we will be able to bring the glory of the world into this great city, our home.

Justice will at last reign; peace will last eternally; and war will be over!


Topic Study

The Reign of God

by Pastor Clinton Macomber

God will inherit all nations, and judge the earth.

Psalm 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

God will just every secret thing.

Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

God has given all things to the Son, who thus inherits all things.

Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

The Lord Jesus has made us joint-heirs with Him.

Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

The Lord Jesus will make some of us kings and priests to God.

Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

The Kingdom of the Lord will be an eternal kingdom.

Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

All nations will worship the Lord, because of His justice.

Revelation 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.


Quote

Arise, O God, judge the earth: for Thou shalt inherit all the nations. (R.V.). Psalm 82:8

The judges and magistrates are compared in this psalm to God, because they exercise something of his power in the right ordering of human society. The Bible always inculcates respect and reverence to properly constituted authority, though it never hesitates to demand of all in authority that they should exercise their high functions impartially. Too often has the high trust been abused, and the psalmist turns with relief to the upright Judge, and comforts himself with the reflection that one day God Himself shall judge the earth, because He shall inherit all the nations.

Christ is the Firstborn and Only Begotten. As such He shall inherit all things. They were made for Him. He is the Heir. He came in his incarnation to claim his inheritance; but his claim was denied. He was cast out of the vineyard and slain; but his claims were not annulled, they remained intact. And during the present age they are being vindicated; and in answer to his appeal He is receiving the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. One nation after another is becoming his province. The kings of the isles are bringing presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba are offering gifts.

It is great encouragement in missionary work to know that every nation is by right of gift and inheritance our Lord’s. He sold his all to purchase it, because his treasure was buried here. It is ours to make it his in fact. It is always easy to work on the line of the Divine purpose. God never purposes outside what is practicable and possible for man to realize. Apprehend the purpose of God, and without hesitation claim its realization.

Meyer, F. B. Our Daily Homily. Redding, California: Pleasant Places Press, 2004. Vol. 3, Page 82.


Devotions

Monday, Psalm 82:1 and Ecclesiastes 12:1-2

Now is the time to make sure that we are remembering to draw near to God. There is a day coming when we will not have that opportunity to change our behavior. It will be set. We will either be frozen in our actions and activities against God, or we will be welcome to the presence of God and His place of justice. There is nothing sweeter for the child of God than to be able to take a part of the establishment of justice on this earth.

Tuesday, Psalm 82:2-3 and Ecclesiastes 12:3-5

There is a day coming when our human capacities are very weak. The more injustice piles up, the greater the difficulty of making things right. Leaders seem to behave as if there is no end to their ability to wreck havoc with people’s lives, but the fact is their lives are short, and much of their life is spent aged and incapacitated. Now is the time to make things right and decide what direction we will follow.

Wednesday, Psalm 82:4 and Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

Not only is there a very short span of life for a leader to honor God in leadership, the poor have a short life as well. Opportunities quickly pass and are lost. Action must take place upon presentation. Delay bring loss. The instruction is to see that those in need receive deliverance from the abuses of the wicked.

Thursday, Psalm 82:5-6 and Ecclesiastes 12:8-10

The contrast between a person filled with wisdom from God and normal leaders is very great. On the one hand the world’s leaders flounder ignorantly around. On the other hand, God’s leader teaches wisdom and organizes wisdom into easily remembered sayings to help guide people. Children of the most High must have something to offer others to help them come to the light.

Friday, Psalm 82:7 and Ecclesiastes 12:11-12

There is a time when we all die. The words of wisdom however live on and can help others long after we are gone. They bring discipline and direction, enabling others to be able to walk the path that must be followed.

Saturday, Psalm 82:8 and Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

God is going to arise and bring final and lasting judgment on the earth and upon everyone’s work. Not even the secret events will be hidden from justice. This makes it imperative that we fear and reverence God, keep His laws, and honor Him in all we do. There will be an accounting for us and everyone who has been given the gift of life.


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