Psalms 82 Commentary

Psalms 82-83 Opposition to God’s just rule

Psalm 82 is written against all those who act unjustly in their position as God’s representatives in administering justice. They are even called gods (v. 1,6; cf. John 10:34; Rom 13:1,4,6). However, instead of rescuing the helpless poor from the powerful rich who enslave them, they show favour to those with influence and money (82:1-4). Because they are blind to all justice, truth and mercy, there is no stability in society (5). They may have high rank, but it will not save them on the day when they themselves are judged. They will be destroyed along with other wicked people (6-8).

Another picture of opposition to God concerns an attack on Israel by enemy nations whose hatred of Israel results from their hatred of God (83:1-4). On all sides enemies gather to fight against God and his people (5-8). But just as God defeated Sisera and Jabin in the time of Deborah, and defeated the Midianites in the time of Gideon, so may he defeat the gathered armies again (9-12; see Judg 4:1-5:31, 6:1-8:28). The psalmist prays that their destruction will be complete (13-15), so that people will acknow ledge God’s sovereign power and praise his holy name (16-18).

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