Friday, 7 November 2014

A G20 Psalm

With the G20 World Leader's Summit in Brisbane next week politics, security and world influence is dominating the news.  As the leaders of the most powerful nations on earth meet I was reminded of their responsibilities as I was reading Psalm 82 today;
God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the "gods":
"How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?
Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
"They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
"I said, 'You are "gods"; you are all sons of the Most High. '
But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler."
Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance.
In the devotional book I am using along side Psalms the writer said this about Psalm 82
In Israel, judges and kings are suppose to represent the Lord and model His concern and protection for the people who might be taken advantage of. Yet those human rulers are included among those taking advantage of the pool, weak and otherwise helpless (Ps 82:2-3).  The description of such people in verse 5 is accurate, but truly bleak.
The psalm serves as a reminder of a ruler's job description. Rather than adding to the woes of the weak and poor, Israel's leaders are suppose to defend and rescue such people. But in order to save them from wicked people, those in authority first must stop being wicked themselves.
In the end, the only judge who matters is God. The human rulers may have a high position for a while, but they will meet the same end as everyone else. The more the psalmist thinks about the difference between God's rule and human leadership, the more he desires God's authority (Ps 82:6-8).
~ Dr Tremper Longman (ed.), "Ancient Wisdom for Today", p69
I pray that these leaders meeting in Brisbane next week desire God's authority, or are encouraged to at least defend the cause of the weak and fatherless and maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. That's not something even our Australian government has been doing very well lately itself.

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