Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Judging among the Gods

"God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods."
Psalm 82:1

The term “gods” in the verse above refers to God’s people, not to the idols of heathen nations. The Lord said to Israel, a few verses later, “I have said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High’” (Ps. 82:6). Jesus, himself, even quoted that verse to show that God consider His children to be “gods” (Jn. 10:34-36).

Asaph wrote this Psalm. He was a prophet and he was a leader of the Levitical singers in David’s time. In saying that God is the One who judges among the gods, Asaph was saying that only God was capable of making judgments among His people. The world doesn’t understand God’s people. It doesn’t understand their experiences or their feelings, and so, it cannot rightly make judgments of controversies that arise in the family of God.

When Paul heard that a brother in Corinth had taken another brother to court, he was indignant. How could a judge in a human court reach a righteous conclusion concerning controversies within the family of God? He wrote (1Cor. 6:1-8):

1. Does any one of you, having a dispute with another, dare to go to court before the unjust and not before the saints?
2. Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent to judge the smallest matters?
3. Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more then, mundane issues?
4. If then you do have mundane matters to be judged, appoint as judges men who are least esteemed by the congregation.
5. I am saying this to your shame. Is it really this way, that there is not a single wise man among you, one who is able to judge between his brothers?
6. Instead, brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?
7. But then, there is already a fatal flaw in you, for you are filing lawsuits against each other. Why do you not rather suffer an injustice? Why do you not rather allow yourself to be defrauded?
8. Instead, you do injustice and you defraud – and do that to your brothers.

Paul knew that any child of God who runs to the world to enlist its aid against another brother is doing evil. In everything we are to do things God’s way or not do them at all. The foolish run to the world because they know that if they run to God they’ll find true justice, and that is not what they want. They know that God alone is able to judge among His children because He alone truly knows them, and they turn to the world, hoping that the world never really finds them out.