Psalm 82 has God interacting with other gods, which may be angels, about how they are to treat people. “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked”? We do not know who wrote this psalm, or when. It is a picture of God leading a meeting in heaven, where He lives. He is telling the gods what He has decided to do. Who are these gods? Bible students suggest four answers:
- the rulers of countries on the earth, like kings
- the false gods of the countries on the earth
- the people of Israel 2500 years ago
- angels that have authority over countries on earth
Now the first three of these are either human, or gods made by human people. The last is what seems to be God’s focus later in the chapter.
God is concerned about treatment for these four groups:
- “Give justice to the weak
- and the fatherless
- maintain the right of the afflicted
- and the destitute”
God is concerned that those who cannot protect themselves be protected. “Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked”.
Another way to identify these four are:
- people that are weak
- children without parents
- people that are abused
- people with nothing
They are helpless and in need of being protected. “They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness”. God has a heart for the downtrodden and unprotected. He wants them to be safe.
God is talking to a very specific group of folks. “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you”. God is meeting some of the fallen angels that have power in the world. They get the rulers of the world to do ungodly and harmful things to the weak and unprotected. Their time will come when they will die just like man and their powers be ended. Then God will judge them like all the people. “Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations”! God is in control and will make all things right. He will hold these gods accountable for their actions.