Psalm 82

  • Read Psalm 82 here.
  • If you missed Sunday’s sermon (3 August) you can listen to it here.


This Psalm is unique in the way it begins. It sounds a bit like Job 1 with various gods in conversation with Yahweh. Since we don’t believe in the existence of gods like Baal, what can we learn from these gods?

Psalm 82 makes the assertion that Yahweh’s validity as God is demonstrated by His concern and care for the poor and orphans, the destitute and oppressed, and the weak and the helpless. Who in our society represents the people described in the Psalm? What are some ways we can represent God in their lives?

Psalm 82 ends by the psalmist saying, “Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance.” Have you ever prayed anything like this? Is this a scary thing to ask for?

Songs from the Psalms

These are mostly some songs that focus on God rescuing and caring for the poor, injured and disadvantaged as described in verses 3-4. (This theme also showed up last week in psalm 146:7-9.)

  • Rescue the Perishing (v.4)
  • Instruments of Your Peace (SFP)
  • God Will Take Care of You (vss. 3-4)
  • He is able, more than able, to accomplish what concerns me today (SOFP)
  • He Is Able to deliver thee (GSII—short chorus)
  • All Who Are Thirsty (Zoe Group, 2004. Album: Desperate)
  • A Shield About Me (©1980, not sure who made it popular, it actually comes straight from Ps. 3)
  • O Worship the King (the image of God “pavillioned in splendor” came to mind as I considered the Ps. 82 heavenly court scene)
  • Tempted and Tried (v. 2—although it’s a bit of a skewed reference)

Have we missed any songs that this psalm reminds you of? Add to the list by making a “Comment”.



  1. Lisa Lee

    The people described in Psalm 82 I believe are the people that don’t believe in God and his word. They in some senses are helpless and weak.

    We can represent God in their lives by living our lives as god would want us to and by inviting them to join in our teachings and our beliefs. We can help them in times of need with God’s words and what God has taught us.

  2. ozziepete

    Thanks for your comments Lisa. I like the idea of helping people by using “God’s words and what God has taught us.” It’s important to place the emphasis on God’s role, not our wisdom.

    Something else to consider in this discussion is that sometimes when Christians encounter a demanding passage we try to make it easier by ‘spiritualizing’ it. We see the word “opression” and think “sin” not real “thrown in jail for being a Christian or opposing the government.” It’s often simpler for us to print a pamphlet about Jesus sacrifice for sin, than it is to work to have that person released from jail.

    Let me give another simple example. Sometimes we limit the Gospel to teaching some specific verses and beliefs, but the Good News of Jesus also involves how we live our lives. Loving our neighbour is an important part of the Gospel, and that needs to be lived, not just taught.

    In Psalm 82 the first meaning is the people’s physical circumstances and the spiritual needs, in this psalm, are a secondary thought.

    Okay, that’s a long response, anyone else have some thoughts?

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