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The duty of our Leaders
Psalm 82

This morning I'd like to turn your attention to a Psalm 82.

READ PSALM 82

1. Key to understanding Psalm 82 is the meaning of the word "gods" in v.1,5,6

-"gods" small "g" is used as a reference to those who are rulers, kings, and leaders

Such people are called 'gods' by virtue of two things

1. They are made in God's image and as such are of elevated position -- this is what separates us from the animals and gives us dignity and leaves us accountable to God. This is why abortion and euthanasia are wrong (for human life is precious on the basis that we are made in His image)
2. As ones made in God's image and holding a position of authority they are viewed as vice regents of God hear on earth-- standing in his stead and meant to function in a little way as He does in a big way (this is why leaders are always doubly accountable)

Note: In calling such ones 'gods' no aspect of divinity is implied


2. Psalm 82 connects to Jesus for in John 10 Jesus quotes from Psalm 82

Jesus quotes this Psalm in John 10:34ff (direct people to text). In John 10 the Jews gathered around Jesus and asked him if he was the promised Messiah and Savior.

Jesus responds by saying "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one."

What Jesus angered his hearers so much that they picked up stones to kill him. Jesus asks them why they were doing this. There response was "We are not stoning you for any good work," they replied, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

In response Jesus quotes from the passage that we are going to look at today; "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are "gods"'? 35 If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came-and Scripture cannot be set aside- 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
Neat thing: When Jesus uses Psalm 82- he's using this text as a prod to make his hearers think about his true and DIVINE identity (shown by his power and authority over nature, sickness, death, sin, and evil spirits).


3. In context, Psalm 82 stands as a word of Judgment and rebuke against those who were the leaders in the land of Israel and really, in all countries

Why the rebuke?

For their failure to uphold justice and righteousness
For their failure to defend the weak and the fatherless
For their showing partiality to the wicked and the unjust
For their failure of not rescuing the weak and the needy

In Psalm 89:14 it says of the God; "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you."

Note: embedded in the rebuke of Psalm 82 is the reminder that all rulers and all people are accountable to God- the ultimate Judge v.1,8

In Hebrews 9:27 it says; "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

All of us are accountable to God- the righteous judge who judges in holiness and in perfect wisdom. As the Scriptures teach us, the only way to stand before God without fear of condemnation, is to stand clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Such is the gift of Christ to all who come in faith and repentance to Him- confessing Him as Lord and committing their life, their fealty and their devotion to Him as King.


4. The care and protection of the poor, needy, oppressed, and fatherless: A key responsibility of leaders, kings, rulers, presidents, prime ministers, premiers, mayors, and magistrates


a. Upholding justice- by God's standards and the 10 commandments
b. The care and protection of the poor, needy, oppressed, the fatherless

This is an election year: Where do our candidates stand?

a. On issues of justice and righteousness?

To do justice to this we need to ask questions such as "Where does our candidate stand as it regards abortion, homosexuality, recreational drug use, euthanasia, crime and punishment

We already know that 2 of the 3 parties in Canada forbid candidates who are pro life to run for them

b. As it regards the poor and those with mental illness, those with physical disabilities, and native Canadians

Note: Unless a leader is committed to righteousness, there will not be true justice- this is what we see happening in Canada as the 10 commandments and the biblical underpinnings of Canada being stripped away. We now at the point where what is evil is celebrated, where pro lifers are mocked, and where children are being taught that there is 7 genders.

In response to this we need to pray for our leaders, stay pure ourselves, and not give up hope in a revival happening.

5. While rulers, leaders, and judges are responsible for caring for the poor, needy, and defenseless, so are we

Of the poor Deuteronomy 15:7-8 says; "If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks."

Galatians 2:10 says; "All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along."

While the state has a responsibility so to does the church and every individual.

The needs are staggering -The Syrian crisis, teen pregnancy, single parents, working poor, the disabled, those struggling with addiction, Street kids, the homeless, Native Canadians, refugees, new immigrants, natural disasters, etc

As ones who bear God's image, as ones who will appear before God to give an account, we have to do something.

While we can't do everything, we all need to do something to help others on a regular basis.

Rather than try and figure out every issue, we need to resolve to be generous, to give when called upon- financially and physically.

Our basic attitude needs to be one of generosity and compassion. For some, this needs to be a real matter of prayer for generosity and compassion are spiritual acts, acts of Christ, and are not always acts that come easily.

We also need to be prepared for a bit of difficulty in following thru - for people are not always going to be thankful. By nature we are selfish, by nature we are takers and not givers. This can be frustrating, but we must not give up- and whatever we do, we must do so in the name of Jesus whom we serve. We must do our acts of service for Christ. We are to pray for people- for their concerns, their needs, their salvation. We are to serve people in the name of Christ. We are to share Jesus with people.

CONCLUSION

As we close out today's lesson lets read v.3-4 together as a reminder of not just the responsibility of our leaders but of ourselves

"Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."

PRAYER: asking for God's strength to people of righteousness, generosity, and compassion.