Psalm 82 – For Rulers/Judges

Introduction: This Psalm may have been composed when Jehoshaphat reformed the courts of justice: 2 Chronicles 19:6- 7 “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.  Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.”

1. A call for magistrates to realize their accountability to God:

Vs. 1 –

Vs. 2 –

2. A call for magistrates to be righteous in their rulings: vs. 3-4

What are they to do?





3. A call for magistrates to realize their limitations: vs. 5-7

4. A call for the supreme Magistrate to rule the earth: vs. 8

Verses 1 & 6 – The use of the word “god” in scripture sometimes refers to rulers, judges, and magistrates – those who have been given a position of authority by God to make judgement and rule over other men.

Strongs Def. – ‘elohiym, el-o-heem’  “ . . . gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates . . .”

See – Exodus 22:28, Psalm 138:1, John 10: 30-37, I Corinthians 8:4-6

How should this Psalm influence your prayers tonight?

Special quote:

A Psalm of Asaph.  “This poet of the temple here acts as a preacher to the court and to the magistracy.  Men who do one thing well are generally equal to another; he who writes good verse is not unlikely to be able to preach . . .   Asaph’s sermon before the judges is now before us.  He speaks very plainly, and his song is rather characterised by strength than by sweetness.  We have here a clear proof that all psalms and hymns need not be direct expressions of praise to God; we may, according to the example of this psalm, admonish one another in our songs.  Asaph no doubt saw around him much bribery and corruption, and while David punished it with the sword, he resolved to scourge it with a prophetic psalm.  In so doing, the sweet singer was not forsaking his profession as a musician for the Lord, but rather was practically carrying it out in another department.  He was praising God when he rebuked the sin which dishonored him, and if he was not making music, he was hushing discord when he bade rulers dispense justice with impartiality” (C. H. Spurgeon).


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