“Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!”
~ Psalm 82:8
The word “gods” in verses one and six is not referring to false gods or idols, but instead to those of mankind to whom God has granted divine authority (rulers, judges, magistrates, leaders, princes, mediators, etc.). These are those whom God has specifically granted and instructed to bring him to the people and the people to him. They are responsible to execute God’s justice and his righteousness with his love on his behalf. Sin has marred this mandate and mankind instead is unjust, wicked, partial/prejudiced, selfish and darkened in our understanding. Ultimately and broadly this divine mandate is rightly applied to each and every one of us as representatives of Christ and his Word. To draw your attention to the continuity and cohesion of God’s Word, I cite the following texts:
Deut. 10:17-18, “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.”
Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
James 1:27-2:1, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.”
Jesus is our perfect Ruler, Judge, King and God, faithfully administrating justice and loving kindness in all humility and without partiality. God will give him a kingdom and he will hand it over to his Father for all eternity. Jesus says in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” And the apostle Peter rehearses this in 1 Peter 1:15-16, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’.” It is only in, by and through Jesus who has called us, that we can imitate God in this way.