However, you will die like humans and fall like any other ruler.
There is a saying that goes, “He got too big for his britches”. It means that a person began to live or function in an inflated unreality about themselves, which ended up causing their demise.
I listened to someone this week, who’s message is humility. He said, ‘everything in life is about humbling us, so that we can be closer to God and obedient to him; and so that we can know God, serve God and go into a rewarding afterlife’. I’m paraphrasing, but this guy’s message, who is also bold, but humbly bold for Jesus; is that life is all about being obedient to be who God made you to be.
Around 99% of us are called to be obscure. You may have a thousand or more social media followers or a book or two out and still be pretty obscure. And on the other hand, you might ‘catch fire’ and see big growth in sales, income, numbers, influence or fame.
In any of these scenarios, the goal for your life is humility. Our calling is to humbly walk in fame and fortune or failure and poverty, loving God and loving people. Our problem in discontent, at whatever station or level we are in or at, and then corruption, whether we manage one person or are looked up to by thousands of people.
The message of Psalm 82, is to remember that you are human and to humble yourself. On the world’s stage, we see people who have been given great authority blow it. Instead of doing good, they basically do bad.
The writer of Psalm 82 saw a picture, a vision, of God coming to judge every judge and ruler. God evaluates and judges the judges. Part of God’s word to these people is, “You are human: you’re going to die”.
Why would God say that to anyone? Because they are acting like they are above humanity, untouchable ‘gods’. That is exactly how you do not want to be in your leadership.
Humility is the way of Christ, while pride is the other way. Psalm 82 is a poem or song that was a rebuke or take down of judges. These judges, who were rulers, had the opportunity to do the right and just things, with their power. But they failed and instead did nothing.
People gain power and authority in various ways, but all of it is allowed by God and judged by God. Having power is to be like God, who holds all power. It is disastrous to think that because you have some power or authority, fame or a following, that you are a god.
But that is the way, oftentimes, outside of Christ. We can marvel that God has given us or that we have certain power or authority. But to think we are God or a god is a grave mistake.
There are people who have been given authority to make them ‘like gods’, who have operated like their own sort of ‘god’, who are misrepresenting God. And God has a time when he shows up and takes over for those who have not been doing the job on the earth, that was given to them to do.
The rebuke or take-down is to say to them, “You are human and will die like everyone. The power you were given made you ‘like gods’, not ‘gods’!”.
Men and women are given authority on the earth, which is like being ‘gods’. The key word is ‘like’. You have power and authority, like God does, except you are not a god, but human.
I like the way that The Message renders Psalm 82 and I will highlight verse 7:
God calls the judges into his courtroom,
he puts all the judges in the dock.
“Enough! You’ve corrupted justice long enough,
you’ve let the wicked get away with murder.
You’re here to defend the defenseless,
to make sure that underdogs get a fair break;
Your job is to stand up for the powerless,
and prosecute all those who exploit them.”
Ignorant judges! Head-in-the-sand judges!
They haven’t a clue to what’s going on.
And now everything’s falling apart,
the world’s coming unglued.
“I commissioned you judges, each one of you,
deputies of the High God,
But you’ve betrayed your commission
and now you’re stripped of your rank, busted.”
O God, give them their just deserts!
You’ve got the whole world in your hands!
The message here is that God is calling judges to account. The Judge is judging the corrupt judiciary.
What does this verse, “However, you will die like humans and fall like any other ruler”, mean? It means, remember that you are human and not divine. There is one divine one, the three in one God.
We need to humble ourselves or face humiliation. Everyone dies and we need to be reminded of that.
And God does come on the scene, if he chooses to, and strips leaders or judges of their power and authority, that is ultimately from him, when these people are blowing it.