Psalms 82-83

Talks for Growing Christians

The Responsibility of Judges; God will Judge Nations that Oppose Israel

Psalms 82-83

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Lesson Number 61

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Judges are expected to rule with justice.
  2. Nations that gang up against Israel will be defeated.

Practical Application

  1. It’s not too late to pray verse 8!
  2. Let’s pray for more than the defeat of our enemies!


  1. What is the subject of Psalm 82? Where have we seen this topic addressed previously?
  2. Discuss a key word in this psalm, found in verses 1 and 6.
  3. List four characteristics of the unfair and unrighteous judges in Israel.
  4. What was the Lord Jesus’ purpose in quoting Psalm 82:6?
  5. What was the possible historical occasion for Psalm 83?


  1. Psalm 82, another psalm of Asaph, concerns the unrighteous judges in Israel. This is the same subject that we saw in Psalm 58, which was written by David.
  2. God is seen standing among the rulers of Israel. In most translations, these rulers are referred to as “gods.” This is the Hebrew word elohim which can be translated God or gods, meaning rulers or judges. The fact that the same Hebrew word is used for God and rulers emphasizes the truth that the rulers in Israel were God’s representatives and were responsible to judge righteously as God was righteous.
  3. 1) Showing favor to the wicked over the righteous. 2) Ignoring the righteous claims of the lower ranks of society. 3) Allowing the poor and needy to be taken advantage of by the wicked. 4) Not understanding that law and order and fair judgment are foundational for a nation.
  4. The Lord quoted this verse to the Scribes and Pharisees in John 10:34 when they accused Him of blasphemy for saying that He was the Son of God. The Lord’s point was that even from their wrong position of rejecting Him as the Son of God, His words could not be blasphemy, because human rulers were called gods in Psalm 82.
  5. During the reign of King Jehoshaphat of Judah a coalition of enemy nations including Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Syria, came against Judah (see 2 Chronicles 20). Asaph calls on the Lord to deliver Judah as in the days of the Judges. All that Asaph prayed regarding the defeat and humiliation of the enemy coalition was fulfilled.


  1. In Psalm 82:8, Asaph called on God, the righteous Judge, to arise and judge all the earth. When will this prayer be fully answered? Discuss why this is still a proper prayer for today.
  2. Discuss the end time events when the restored nation of Israel will be attacked by a coalition of foreign powers. Psalm 83 prophetically looks forward to that end time situation. What will be the result of the attacks on Israel in that day?


  1. Asaph prayed for the defeat of the enemies not so that Israel could gloat, but so that the enemies would seek the Lord. Follow Asaph’s example and pray for more than the defeat of your enemies.

Key Verses

  • “God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods [elohim, rulers].” Psalm 82:1
  • “Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit all nations.” Psalm 82:8
  • “Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, And do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head.” Psalm 83:1-2

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