Calling leaders to account

God calls the judges into his courtroom,    he puts all the judges in the dock.

 “Enough! You’ve corrupted justice long enough,     you’ve let the wicked get away with murder. You’re here to defend the defenseless,     to make sure that underdogs get a fair break; Your job is to stand up for the powerless,     and prosecute all those who exploit them.”

Ignorant judges! Head-in-the-sand judges!     They haven’t a clue to what’s going on. And now everything’s falling apart,     the world’s coming unglued.

 “I commissioned you judges, each one of you,     deputies of the High God, But you’ve betrayed your commission     and now you’re stripped of your rank, busted.”

O God, give them their just deserts!     You’ve got the whole world in your hands! -Psalm 82 (The Message)


This Psalm raises more questions than answers for me. I wonder if I could turn some of those questions over to you.


In the days of Israel, a Psalm like this makes sense. In a theocracy, in which God was thought to appoint the leaders, people would naturally cry out for Him to make a change when those leaders weren't acting according to His ways.


But what do you think God's role is in appointing leaders today? In the world? In His Church? That's especially hard to answer when we see leaders who oppress. Did God have a role in bringing them to power? And why hasn't He stopped their abuses?


Do you pray, as this Psalm does, that God would soon call his leaders into account, especially those who have abused their position? Or do you fear that such a judgment would come in a wide net that would catch many of us in its threads?


Would you pray for justice in a situation in which evil seems to have gained the upper hand? Would you pray that those leaders to be called into account? Or would you instead pray for a change of heart and an outpouring of grace? Or both?


What do you see in the words of this Psalm to emulate? What do you see that brings you pause?


I don't find the answers to any of those questions very easy, or very satisfying for that matter. Though, I do hope that someday, somehow, unjust leaders would be brought down from their position, and the world would be changed for the better.


That was my reflection on Psalm 82. Stop back next week for a reflection on Psalm 83.