God Hears The Cry Of The Oppressed (Psalm 82)


A Psalm of Asaph. God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. 2 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free [them] from the hand of the wicked. 5 They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable. 6 I said, “You [are] gods, And all of you [are] children of the Most High. 7 But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.” 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.

PSALM 82:1-8


There are places in the world where those in charge of justice (judges, police officers, politicians, etc.) are not just. They may take bribes. They may extort others. They may turn a blind eye to oppressors. When they do so they leave many people in their wake crying out for justice that they never received. The unjust oppressors may even think of themselves as “gods” because the power they have to decide the fate of others. They may become consumed with power, leverage, and control. They may begin to think, “no one can touch me.” But they are wrong.

God sees everything, even those who pretend to be ‘gods’ and misuse and abuse their power. (Jesus applied this Psalm to the Jewish leaders in John 10:34). Those who have played the part of ‘gods’ but have failed to provide real justice will one day stand before the real judge (Psalm 82:8). God hears the prayers of orphans, widows, and strangers in the land and he will provide justice, even against those who were corrupt in their ruling.

As Christians we should seek to honor God and be just to all. We are called to help those who have real needs. In the west we live in a society that offers many helps to the poor, disadvantaged, and needy, but we still need to be careful that our heart doesn’t become calloused to those in need. If we aren’t careful we will rationalize our way out of helping anyone but ourselves. We should live to see Jesus’ kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven and this includes taking care of the needs of those around us.

The blog article listed below is a good starting place for more resources on this issue.


Father, I live in an industrialized nation. We have many opportunities for which I am grateful. I confess that sometimes it makes it hard to really see the needs around us. We often try to cover, hide, or accuse those who are struggling with real issues of poverty that we don’t understand. Please give me your eyes when it comes to seeing those who have real needs my proximity. Give me wisdom to know how to really help people in vulnerable situations. I know that I was dead in my trespasses and sin before you brought me to life through Jesus Christ. I ask for grace on how to demonstrate your radical generosity in my own life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

One thought on “God Hears The Cry Of The Oppressed (Psalm 82)

  1. linshes

    Yes, in our nation, we are sectioned off from real need. But as the days go by with this new government, we are all at the edge of poverty or need. We must learn how to recognize the needs of our neighbors and friends. One thing we are all guilty of is pride. This one want ask for help, while the neighbor sees the need and is not sure how to approach it for fear of offending. Pray God shows us how to love on the ones around us. Lord, break us for what breaks You!


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