God Rebukes Politicians Psalms 82

God Rebukes Politicians explains Psalms 82, that God will judge our governments and our government rulers for what they do wrong.

God Rebukes Politicians explains Psalms 82, that God will judge our governments and our government rulers for what they do wrong.

Politicians think that they are above the rest of the world. Some even think they are “above God“. When studying the Bible, we come across a passage like Psalms 82, and we just don’t really understand it very well, and most skip it, but if we dig deeply into this Psalm, it brings to light God’s sovereignty over the world, and specifically over our leaders. While this present website is not entirely devoted to religious topics, I do bring some religious topics to the news of our day. Please consider prayerful this post as you read it. The lessons here need to be pressed home to our politicians.

(For the sake of clarity, since we are talking about “other gods”, I will use the term “Lord God” for the true God of the Bible, although I am not Jehovah’s Witness, which group is unbiblical and heresy. I am doing this to separate clearly the true God from false gods.)

 Psalm 82

Psalms 82:1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. 2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. 3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. 7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

While the Lord God Jehovah is the only god that exists, the Bible plants certain other entities that are “gods”, erroneous gods, or false gods. A “god” is a person or thing that determines the stability, direction, and values of a person (a good thing of value to be pursued and equally as to what is to be rejected). But the Lord God here speaks directly to “gods”, that He will judge them. While we understand “god” to be a supreme superior being, here the idea is something else. The short of this explanation is simply that these “gods” that the Lord God will judge are our rulers, our politicians, our government. These human beings which “decide the good or evil” that their people under them experience take upon themselves the aspect of God, deciding the state of affairs of their people, and even so being very powerful, they too will come under the judgment of God one day for what they have done incorrectly.

For example, President Joe Biden decided by himself that the United States would pursue a Green agenda. Who exactly decided that though? Was it a vote by all the people, or was it by Congress, or was it inherent in the Constitution? But as our leader, he led us down a road, and God will judge him for whatever he does as President.

What and to whom is God talking about here?

Firstly, we must deposit the fact that God is unique in all existence. There is no other god besides our God. Nonetheless, humans make gods out of anything and everything. Most notably, riches are many people’s god.

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

The point here is the opposite extremes of making the Lord God Jehovah the deciding factor in everything in your life or money, riches, luxuries, the good life. But do not miss the obvious. When we speak of “a person’s god“, that is the person or thing that affects every waking moment. Every decision, every word, every action is checked constantly by their god. If it is money, then the priority of that person is how it affects their total wealth. A rich person without the true God usually is not very generous. He donates “publicly” in order to provide some gain in some way to himself.

Matthew 6:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

The presumption is that each person will give an accounting to God. What is important is not what men think of you, but what God knows about you. He sees everything even down to your thoughts and heart emotions, your motives. Jesus warned his disciples to “give alms” (which is following God’s commandments about helping other people in need with what you have accumulated) in a private way, not in order to be seen of men in order to be seen in a better light. Almost all rich people do their giving in a public forum, and they boast about it.

The Lord God is the only God

In the Prophet Isaiah’s day, Israel took up the worship of other gods. His rebuke needs to be clear in our minds.

Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. 8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. 14… Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God. 18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. 21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

Psalms 95:3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

What we need to understand in these passages is a couple of foundational understandings.

  1. God, our Lord God Jehovah, is the only “god” that exists. He is alone in that class of “god”. With complete validity, we use the term god with a capital letter, “God”, when we talk of Him, out of respect for Him.
  2. There are other “gods” (lowercase “g”) which are under Lord God Jehovah. These are like the archangels, but we won’t get into them, but there are also men, human beings, that have a position of ruling over others, and Psalm 82 is a rebuke to them, for what they do without consideration that the Lord God Jehovah will see what they are doing and rebuke them for their mismanagement of government. (See also Exodus 21:6; 22:8-9; 28 where the judges of Israel are also referred to as “gods”.)
  3. As far as the true God, Lord God Jehovah, he is a unity. There is no other god besides Him to which a person (human) can run to and ask for help. He is alone, and you will deal with God, the Lord God in the end of your life.

What does God mean by “he judgeth among the gods” Psalm 82:1?

Having established that there is no Supreme Being except the Lord God Jehovah, we need to understand what Scripture means in this Psalm. So to begin, let’s skip the word “gods”, and concentrate on what the rebuke is. From that, we will understand to whom God is speaking.

2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. 3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

So the errors that God is rebuking are several. They all pertain to government officials.

  1. They judged unjustly. They made bad decisions in which God does not like what they decided.
  2. They accepted the persons of the wicked. Some people are “elites” and get a different treatment from the rest.
  3. They did not discharge their duties to defend the poor and fatherless. Those who have riches (God gave them those riches) have a duty to use those riches to help those who do not have the same grace.
  4. They did not do justice (what action is correct and needed in God’s eyes) to afflicted and needy. This would be proactively helping them in their affliction and need, to defend them, to give them what they need. While government has the purse of the people, these rulers need to personally sacrifice as a habit and history of their own lives, and only “leading by example,” can they suggest to use public funds to help others. Getting rich through politics is a false thing, and it indicates the corrupt soul of the ruler that should be removed.
  5. They did not deliver the poor and needy, which speaks to helping these people in their pitiful lives.
  6. They did not pursue the wicked, to destitute wicked men of their power and abuse of the people. This is to be very active in persecuting criminal acts instead of making the criminals the privileged ones.

But while we can debate about the meaning of “god” in verse 1, the warning is directly aimed at people in positions of authority and power which God has given them, and these rulers in exchange for power, abuse their position and power. God is addressing the government officials.

The Corrupt Desire to be Powerful and Control

Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

The problem here is the problem of existing in the presence of the Lord God Jehovah, a Supreme Being, and the person is less than that Supreme Being. In some sense, we want God’s position and place, His power. When this desire takes the turn of evil, then like Satan, Lucifer, the person wants to “displace” the Lord God Jehovah, and receive worship from others in His place, to exalt (in their minds because God is very special about not rubbing our noses in how low we are in comparison to Him), and above all exert control. Power, control of one’s own life as well as the lives of others, is this corrupt desire to be God instead of morally being like God, like His morality.

The Correct Way to Understand Power and Control

Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

We must be very careful not to cross over into heresy while refusing what is wrong. Satan wins both ways, when we accept what is wrong, or when we overreact to the point of contradicting Scripture on some other point.

Ephesians 5:1 plants the correct way to interpret this Supreme Being. We are to imitate Him, follow the Lord God Jehovah by doing certain things that in their union is “following God.” What are those things? Above all else, we must trust what God tells us. In other words, we hold firmly to the authority and inspiration of Scripture. Without the security of what God is telling us, we are without moral orientation to everything. This message from God to us is much more than just a book.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

This “message” from God to mankind is “the Word,” and this Word is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ exists with God when they were alone before Creation, when nothing else existed at that time. And the Word was God. While there is only one single Lord God, Jehovah, from John 1:1-2, we understand that this singular God exists in two persons. From Genesis 1:1-2 we understand the same situation, but there, “God” is the Creator (Jesus Colossians 1:16-17) and He is set beside or with the person of God the Spirit. Hebrews 1 speaks to God the Father and Jesus.

But the human desire to be powerful and control the lives of one’s own self and others can be a bad thing or a good thing. When people desire wrongly to control the lives of others, it will be seen shortly after they gain that power, even if for a moment, this shows up. Under it all, people want to control others because they think that they are better than these others, that they themselves are “elites.”

Steps to Correctly Relate to God

When we look at all of this, the steps are to listen to God, to His Word, as the authority of our lives. Yes, God allows us to disobey God, but there are bad consequences for the person who does this.

From there, the next step is worshiping God. We have an obligation to worship God. Since God is a Spirit, we must worship God in a spiritual manner, i.e. by using our being, our character, our words and actions in accordance with the Spirit of God. We read our Bibles, study them, and hear sermons that explain God’s Word, and we incorporate what we learn into our personal lives. That is how we worship God. This is done in the presence and with other saved people. Jesus put forth the single most important thing that He could communicate to a Jewish religious teacher, Nicodemus, was the need to be spiritually converted, ye must be born again (John 3). This requirement means that the person’s essence is changed through an interaction with the Savior, and with a continuing interaction through the Word of God, our consciences, and the Holy Spirit.

Our rulers must have this requirement of a good, saving relationship with Jesus Christ the Savior. Whatever they do is going to be ruinous if they are not saved and obedient to God.

Our Founding Fathers

Contrary to what is taught today, our founding fathers understood all of this, and their view of our country is that it is overlaid by a Christian ethos, or understanding and common actions and thinking of a Christian. That is why we are in so many problems today, our rulers and our people have left God out of their lives, their affairs, and their government.

There is a saying, “God gives a people the rulers that they deserve.” When the common citizen does not seek after God, the country becomes spoiled, and God gives them horrible leaders.

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

In any government system, there are factions that are different. These different people and groups each think that they have the power to “better run the country.” They are the wiser of all the options. They offer themselves and their services to do so. But in “running the country,” they control things. But their “propaganda” is based on their skill, knowledge, and essentially their wisdom in doing things “better.” (We must always ask ourselves, after they have some experience in governing, who are the ones that end up better off? The politicians raking in profit for themselves, their own party, or the general people under them?)

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

So the clear point here is that nobody has wisdom, has better skill, is better at governing, if they do not start with a fear of God as their foundation. Notice, in Psalm 82, that this is exactly the point. These governors and rulers abused their positions, authority, power, and control without any fear that God was in every single meeting, movement, and action by them, judging them morally. God is the Creator and Sustainer, and He makes men accountable. When men disrespect and ignore God, and abuse their positions, then God will enter in judgment with them. This is fear, and it should produce fear. This should straighten out their actions and lives. Mostly it doesn’t though, because the people do not elect leaders that have a strong fear of God in them. Thus our world and country is in the shape that it is in.

The Lord our God ultimately makes our lives good or evil

Psalm 82:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

What we need to understand is that we are not directly under these rulers, but we are directly under God. God will create darkness and evil for some, and good and peace for others. We all want to live peaceably and prosper. That will not happen without recognizing God in our personal lives, as well as our government by insisting that our rulers are God fearing people.

God will Judge all

What we must insist on learning before leaving this topic is that God will judge every man according to his works. If a person is saved, his sins are under the blood of Jesus, but even so, for the Christian, God will judge us with chastisements here on earth, and the loss of rewards in heaven when he sins.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

The thought of that judgment from God should cause everybody to straighten up their own lives.

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