Asaph is calling out for God to render judgment on the gods of his age. These kings who oppress and take advantage of the poor and weak need to get their due, and so Asaph calls for God to act. He knows that God is the one who is able and watching – Arise, God!
1 God presides in the great assembly;
he renders judgment among the “gods”:
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.
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.”
8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance.
Psalm 82 draws a line of distinction between the gods of this world and the God of all creation. Asaph is longing for God to demonstrate his power of the gods of the age, because the poor, weak, and needy are being oppressed by the wicked.
As we have read in Genesis 15:16 earlier this week, though, sometimes (all times?) sin has to reach its full measure before God deals with it. God is wise to know when he should move, and it often isn’t according to our own schedules.
The gods of this age will die and fall like every other ruler before them. Dynasties come and go. Empires swell and wain. In the background, and sometimes in the foreground, God, the God of the earth and the one whose inheritance is the nations, that God is present and able to step in and bring justice for those who need it.
Call out for his action.
Call for God’s justice.
Call for his intervention.
And God will respond in his perfect timing.