Psalm 82

Psalm 82 is a Psalm of Asaph.  It was sung on Tuesday, the third day of the week.  The date of this Psalm is not indicated, but the proper nature of judgment most certainly is.  Here we take up the position of a judge.  Deuteronomy 16:18 and 17:9 speaks of the general procedure of appointing judges. 

Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. Deuteronomy 16:18
Go to the priests, who are Levites, and to the judge who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict. Deuteronomy 17:9

As to the position that a judge held before the people, this Psalm, directly calls the judges, "elohim, gods".  They were to be leaders and representatives of God himself.  That certainly is a good reminder which follows very naturally after the first two Psalms of the week.  Yet, despite this, it is strange how poor of an understanding most people have of a judge and his work. 


A judge's job really had two parts.  Perhaps the easiest way to see this it to compare a judge to a hired weaver.  The hired weaver is supplied with a pattern and a loom by the Master of the loom.  The weaver's product is not up to his personal taste or disgression, rather it is established by both the pattern that has been chosen and by the loom the pattern is to be woven upon.  He is responsible to and answerable to the Master of the loom who is over him. 

So also, it is with a judge.  Every action and decision that is carried out has already been established by the pattern which has been given and by the shape of the loom that has been supplied.  It is not up to the judges' own perosnal disgression.  Just like a hired weaver, he is answerable to the Master Judge who is over him.  If the hired judge ignores the shape of the loom, which in this case is the Law of God, the result will be a product that is out of shape.  If he ignores the pattern, which in this case is love, the result will be a confused mess. 

Note how Asaph begins.  He sees that justice is out of shape.  This should never be.  The judge is not alone.  The Master Judge is taking careful note of what is being done. God the Master Judge is standing in the assembly of the mighty, he will judge in the midst of the gods. 

"Until when will you judge unjustly, and until when will you lift up the faces of the wicked?"


The pattern of love is not difficult.  The loom's shape of the Law is proper.  The judges should do what is expected of them.  They are to judge the weak, the orphan, the afflicted, and the poor according to the pattern of justice.  Deliver them!

But the judges have not known and they deliberately will not understand the pattern.  Instead they deliberately try to altar the very structure and pattern. 

Now if you employed a weaver who would not follow the pattern or use the loom as you provided it, what would you do? Wouldn't you fire the weavers and remove them from their positions?  Would it matter how high a position or trust you have given them?   It would not, would it? That is exactly what Asaph describes here. Such people should be judged according to the established pattern of God.  They should be stretched upon His loom.  God is the final Judge over the whole earth.  Shall He not judge accordingly?  Notice what their sentence is for attempting to change the pattern and the loom. 

"I have said you are gods and all of you are the sons of the most high.  Yet surely as a man you will die, and as one of the princes you will fall.  Arise, O God, judge the earth for you will inherit in all the nations. "

Now soul, realize life for what it is.  Do not miss what those judges missed.  The Law of God is still the form on which all are to be stretched.  The love of God is still the pattern for life to be woven by.  How quickly Jesus words to the Pharisees come to mind,  "If you had understood what these words meant,'I desire mercy not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless."

Therefore, weave your life well and judge accordingly so that the pattern and shape of what you do glorifies the One who establsihed them as it should. 

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