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God’s Divine Council and Judgement

Psalm 82:1 (ESV) … “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment…”

Since God is the Lawgiver, He is also the Judge (Isa. 33:22), and the Judge of all the earth does what is right (Gen. 18:25). He presides over the congregation of Israel and over the judges of the nation. The Lord is not sitting at a bench, patiently listening to the presentation of the case, because God is Judge and jury and needs nobody to tell Him the facts. He knows what people are doing on the earth and will execute judgment righteously (11:4–7). In His court, there is no “defense” or “appeal.” He is omniscient and His verdict is final. It is an awesome occasion: He is standing and about to announce His decision (Isa. 3:13–15).

The “gods” (vv. 1, 6) are not the false gods of the heathen, for such nonexistent gods are not Jehovah’s judicial representatives on earth. Nor are these “gods” the holy angels, for angels cannot die (v. 7). These “gods” (elohim) are people who have been given the awesome responsibility of representing the Lord on earth and interpreting and applying His Law (Ex. 18:13–17; 21:6; Deut. 16:18–20; 17:2–13; 19:15–20; 21:2).

Jesus made this clear in His quotation of verse 6 in John 10:34–36. It is a great responsibility to represent the Lord on earth (Lev. 19:15; Deut. 1:17; 16:19) and seek to execute justice by applying the law correctly. Civil servants are “ministers of the Lord” and will answer to Him for what they have done (Rom. 13).[1]

[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (2004). Be worshipful (1st ed., p. 267). Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries.

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