If you’ve ever heard these words, you understand something of the intimidating formality of a courtroom. It seems the very construction of the room is designed to be foreboding. You are meant to understand you are most definitely NOT in a living room or a show room. Instead, you are in a place where people’s futures are determined. In many cases, it is decided by a person sitting in the most unapproachable place in the room: the judge’s bench.
With this imagery in our minds, we begin our journey into Psalm 82 starting with verse 1:
God presides in the great assembly; he renders judgment among the “gods”
The Lord God Almighty is holding court and He is presiding over the fate of the so-called “gods” of other nations. Borrowing language from Canaanite mythology, the Psalmist pictures the one true God as judge and jury.
While Israel had no doubt that there was only one God (cf. Deuteronomy 6:4) and that this great, powerful King of Kings embodies Himself in all the powers and attributes other nations gave to their gods. In fact, it wasn’t the pagan deities that caused the sun to rise or the rains to come, but it was the one, true God, Yahweh.
We might all nod along with that and say a big “that’s right”, but let’s stop and think for a moment.
Perhaps we need to hold a court of our own. And it is still the Lord presiding over it but the deities present in our proceedings might not be carved but they are, nevertheless, powerful over our hearts.
Present at our judicial hearing might be the green-headed dragon: the god called “pride.” Also present might be the yellow-tailed god named “jealousy.” How about the red-eyed god named “anger.” Maybe the Lord calls upon the god called “self-reliance” to defend himself.
Hmmm…it seems we have our own pantheon in our lives. And the Lord has still rendered judgment over all of them: useless, weak, and disgusting. We don’t need those gods. We don’t need this pitiful excuse for a pantheon.
Instead, we have a loving Father Whose love sent His only Son, Jesus, to die our death. Our God used our pantheon’s heads as stepping stones on His way out of the tomb! Then, Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to connect us to Him in a way no one of the Old Testament ever enjoyed.
We have all the power, blessing, and potential needed to live our lives as He has willed them to be lived.
Why are we holding on to our gods again?
Friends, court’s in session. “All rise…”