Posted by: Andries Louw | 27 October 2008

Psalm 82

1 God presides in the great assembly;
he gives judgment among the “gods”:

2 “How long will you [a] defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked?

3 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.

4 Rescue the weak and needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

5 “They know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6 “I said, ‘You are “gods”;
you are all sons of the Most High.’

7 But you will die like mere men;
you will fall like every other ruler.”

8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance.


  1. Psalm 82:2 The Hebrew is plural.

NIV text copied from

My good friend Francois du Plessis and I discussed the Abortion post on Saturday. He then sms’ed me on Sunday morning saying I should read Psalm 82 in the light of our discussion.

Sunday morning my wife, Cecile and I reflected on it together and prayed about it. I felt that this should be our meditation for at least the next week if not the next month or longer. Before I get into any discussion about this psalm I would first like it to just “sit” here as a reminder to read it, meditate on it and listen for God’s voice in it.



  1. It’s also worth reading it in the light of the situation in Zimbabwe.

  2. True. My wife grew up in Zim and my in-laws are still there at Morgenster mission. They are faced with difficult decisions every day as people are queing at their gate, begging to do any work just for a meal.

  3. Did your wife know Inus Daneel, a former colleague of mine? He also grew up there, but probably before your wife.

  4. Yes she does, though not well. He is also a distant relative. Her parents would know him better, Henry & Susan Murray.

  5. verse 8 is a true climax!! Our Godde is both a Godde of compassion and justice.

    I look forward to checking in on your site.

    Be blessed

  6. Very true Andrew. That is also the essence of my abortion post.

  7. Compare the last couple of verses with John 12:31, which describes how the Psalmist’s prayer would be answered.

    If possible, visit an Orthodox Church on Holy Saturday, where the priest comes out of the altar, scattering bay leaves, while the congregation sing “Arise, O God, judge the earth” and stamp on the floor and bang on everything that will make a noise.

  8. Thanks for the reference to John 12:31. Thank you also for the Holy Saturday suggestion. I see Good Friday falls on 10 April this year so Holy Saturday will be the 11th of April. I have diarised it. I would love to attend that service with you.

  9. We should be more humble than finding one line in the Bible to endorse our anger. This is how Christians get carried away and use the name of God as an alibi to support war.

    But if you look the life of Jesus – how he walked his talk – and understand the politics of the time he lived under Roman occupation, there is no way that God can be angry.

  10. …Also an important question is: what is Sin? Is it really conscious rebellion against God?

  11. Sin is falling short of the glory of God.

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