A psalm of Asaph.
God presides in the great assembly;
he renders judgment among the ‘gods’:
‘How long will you defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked?
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.
‘The “gods” know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
‘I said, “You are ‘gods’;
you are all sons of the Most High.”
But you will die like mere mortals;
you will fall like every other ruler.’
Rise up, O God, judge the earth,(Ps. 82:1-8 NIV)
for all the nations are your inheritance.
Every power, every authority, every ruler on earth real or imagined are subject to God. The only God holds a mock trial of the gods (imagined) to let the people know that He alone is God. The gods of the nations were gods of convenience, but unpredictable and unjust, manipulated by the wicked to keep others under control. God calls this into questions. How long will this charade go on, defending what is unjust and siding with the wicked rulers who exploit the people. The Lord loves justice and hates evil. These false religions and their gods are but a system of evil blinding the minds of many. Rather than exploiting the weak and the orphan, righteous ruling would find a place for the rights of the poor and the oppressed. The religious systems had kept the poor and needy exploited and in bondage. God calls for change, so that the weak and needy should be set free and delivered from the hand of the wicked.
These gods are false, they have no knowledge, they have no understanding, they are part of the moral darkness of hearts and minds that turn away from the one true God. They seek to undermine the moral order, the foundation that God has laid, they seek to shake the foundations of the earth.
There was a German philosopher in the 19th century called Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. He recognised that European society was built on a foundation of Christian morals and values. He was concerned that if that foundation was destroyed then society would suffer. He thought that Christianity was a slave morality and he wanted that foundation to be replaced by a master morality. He realised the need for a foundation but not the Christian foundation. (Others came along in the 20th century aspiring to create this master race and master mentality.) The goal of the National Secular Society in Britain is to diminish the role of religion and they work tirelessly in every area of life to remove Christian opinions and values. They seek to shake the foundation that has been laid by the work of God in previous generations. The dethronement of these philosophers and false gods is coming. The gods in ancient times were known as sons of God, yet the Most High God says that their ideas and religions will die like mere mortals. God’s judgement will come to rest on all manifestations of unrighteousness and injustice. In this phantom trial, God declares that these gods are the inventions of mere mortals, and as the mere mortal dies so will the concept of these gods die.
The Psalmist looks away to the future when God will judge the earth and all the rulers will fall, because all the earth and all the nations is the Lord’s inheritance.
Lord God, the religion that undermines the Gospel today is secularism. Secularism has made inroads into medicine, education, politics and across our society. The Gospel seems out of date to many because a false foundation of ideas has been sown and promoted, and to oppose this way of thinking seems incongruous and counter intuitive. Lord help us to influence many people through the Gospel. May this virus cause many people to search for the truth, and may we be counted on, in the strength of Christ, to proclaim that message, so that there might be a great harvest of souls for the Kingdom of God. Lord of the harvest enable Your people for we pray in the name of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.