Today's devotion from Psalms 82 & 83.
Psalm 82 opens with the imagery of God seated above all else, even those vested with authority over mankind. That's the concept of gods presented here. These are men placed in position of authority by God to serve others. In this tribunal, He interrogates them as to their misguided and unfair practices. They judge unjustly. They show partiality. This is not how God established their authority. Instead of understanding that their positions were entrusted to them for use in His name, they have misappropriated their positions for personal gain.
In the dialog that follows, we see an interesting set of commands given. The point of emphasis I would like to consider is not the abstract principles like justice and rights, but the fact that they require us to be active. Justice must be given by those who can. Rights must be maintained by those who are able. The week and needy are not rescued by principle, but by people who actively work to deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
It is easy to think about justice as a nice concept, but what of investing our lives by action in the pursuit of giving justice to those we can? What of defending those weaker? These are actions that we must take in the opportunities afforded us by God in accordance with His authority. You may not be a prince or judge, but there are those in your life you have the opportunity to serve in just these ways.
Justice is a great concept, but we must not fall in love with an ideal that we will pursue. Instead, we need to love the God of justice so much that we actively seek emulate Him in living out justice and mercy.