Study Guide – Psalm 82

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

This may seem like an obvious question at first, but give it some deep thought. What difference does it make for God to be the ultimate judge? What does God do as judge?

2 “How long will you defend the unjust
    and show partiality to the wicked?
3 Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

What judgment of wrongdoing does God bring against the 'gods'?

What does this judgment teach you about God's character?

Looking around at your society or at the world, would each line of this judgment be accurate today? 

5 “The ‘gods’ 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 mortals;
    you will fall like every other ruler.”

Who might be the 'gods' referenced in this psalm?

Considering that God is the ultimate judge, do you think the sentence that God hands down upon the 'gods' is a fair one? Why or why not?

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

Verse 8 is the prayer of a person concerned with justice for those being oppressed. What justice concerns in your community or within your attention do you need to lift up to the Judge today?

::::: Further Study :::::

The writer of this psalm is Asaph. Asaph's name is connected to several psalms, but we don't know very much about him. He could have written the psalms attributed to him, transcribed them for David, or become associated to these psalms for various other reasons. If you have time and interest, do some research on Asaph to discover more about how the psalms were collected and organized.

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