Sunday, July 5, 2015

How Should Leaders Behave?

Psalm 82 is a warning to leaders who fail to do what is right. The psalmist, Asaph, imparts a rhythm to verses 2-4 that brings his point full circle. The mighty uphold the wicked, while they should protect the weak. The strong must defend the weak, by punishing the wicked.

This psalm is a cry for justice where justice cannot be found (verse 5). Those who rule can so easily forget that it is not their job to pick winners and losers, or to establish new realities. Rather, their responsibility is to do what is right. When justice can be bought by money, popularity, or a lust for legacy, then it is no longer justice.

But no matter how great they may think themselves, or even if they really are powerful, leaders cannot change the ultimate truth. There is an end to their greatness, and a limit to their might. They themselves are accountable to God, who has the right to establish true justice. It is His right because all things are His (verses 6-8).

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God, things don’t seem to have changed from Asaph’s day to this. Justice is so hard to come by. The wicked and worldly always seem to get their way. They are helped along by the people who are supposed to look out for the weakest, and instead trample them for the benefit of those who deserve nothing. It isn’t right.

But I still trust you, Lord. You are the only hope we have for righteousness. For goodness.

Wherever and whenever I have authority, help me to remember I only have it as a trust from you. And please, teach the fear of you to those who are perverting justice right now. They all pretend to be so much. They think they are great enough to create new truths. But they are nothing compared to you, and their truths are nothing but lies that drag us down.

Judge the earth, O God, in mercy and in truth. Help us to remember it all belongs to you. Amen.

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