Do you long for God’s judgment over the wicked? I do too. Sometimes it seems that the Lord has waited so long that I wish He would just demolish those who do evil and put an end to sin’s awful grasp on our culture. I question why God has not allowed His Son to return yet. This is a difficult concept in the life of a believer.
It reminds me of something Bethany Dillon sings in her song called “The Kingdom” (which is actually a line she got from a psalm): “Why are some women barren when the wicked’s house is full?”
We all ask questions like this. That’s where Asaph is in Psalm 82, our reading for today. He longs for God’s judgment and a sure end to evil. He is tired of the poor being oppressed. He is sick of seeing orphans uncared for. He is angry with the rulers of his day because they would not employ good, honest, ethical principles. The climax of his frustration is seen in the final verse:
Rise up, O God, and judge the earth, for all the nations belong to you. Psalm 82:8
An important truth we must remember is that judgment must come in God’s time. We don’t (nor can we) fully understand the mind or will of the Lord, and we must trust that His plan is greater than our temporary pain or frustration. Church, a great Bible passage that helps us keep this in perspective is found in Romans 11. Check it out:
Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36
As Tim always says, “When you can’t trace His hand, learn to trust His heart.” Our sovereign God will judge, evil will come to an end, and His good glory will prevail. You can count on it.
What did you take away from today’s psalm? Feel free to comment below.
Also, here is some additional commentary from my ESV Study Bible, which helps put great perspective on this psalm:
Some call this a community lament since it addresses God directly with a request on behalf of the whole people (v. 8). Others call it a prophetical hymn (like Psalm 81), interpreting its address to the “gods” (82:6) as directed to unjust human rulers, whom God will judge. Both of these classifications have merit, which shows that one must use the psalm categories only as a rule of thumb, because the Psalms do not always fit neatly in only one category. Singing this psalm should enable the faithful, many of whom were socially weak and lowly in Israel (as often was the case with the early Christians as well; cf. 1 Cor. 1:26–28), to take courage in the face of unjust rule, so that they do not yield to the ever-present temptation to cooperate with the injustices of their wicked rulers. Even the most powerful rulers must die and face God’s final judgment. The song should also help those who hold social and political power to use that power in service to others, especially to protect those who are easiest to exploit. The people of God are called to aspire to be an ideal society, with their justice visible to all peoples, that all nations might come to know the true God (Deut. 4:5–8); Christians are called to the same aspiration for their own present society. They must also testify about God’s justice to their wider culture, since, as Prov. 31:1–9 shows, this kind of justice is applicable to all mankind; this is what properly functioning human nature looks like everywhere.
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor