|The Least of These|
Psalm 82:3, 4
The Story: The words of these two verses – weak, fatherless, afflicted, destitute, needy – represent God’s view of His chosen people. They are like sheep and have no natural defenses against whatever would ravage or plunder them. They need leaders who understand their condition and are prepared to “deliver them” from the wickedness that besets them. In the Law of God judges (elders) were to be appointed in every city of the land (Deut. 16:18-20). They would meet in the gates of the city to deliberate situations and needs on behalf of the members of their community (cf. Ruth 4). Their task was to search the Scriptures, seek the Lord, and render judgments on the basis of God’s Word and without consideration of the social or economic status of the people whose case was before them. Apparently, in Asaph’s day, this important practice was being corrupted. As in Habakkuk’s day, the Law of God was languishing (Hab. 1:4), and the sheep were being exposed to wickedness by the decisions and actions of their rulers. Not a good situation.
The Structure: The Word of God is sufficient to equip the followers of Jesus Christ for “every good work” (2 Tim. 3:15-17). Since we have been redeemed for good works (Eph. 2:10), it would seem like a good thing for us to know the Scriptures and to understand how they equip us to love God and our neighbors through works of service. It is the duty of church leaders to provide us that equipping (Eph. 4:11, 12) and to watch over us as God’s appointed rulers, making all their decisions as God Himself would were He in their place (Acts 20:28). There is no such thing as a “spiritual vacuum” in this world; whatever in our lives or churches is not governed by the Word of God is in danger of being hijacked for wicked purposes (Eph. 5:15-17). Thus, church members must insist that their leaders take very seriously their task and do everything within their power to see to it that the Word of God, and not any criteria of the world, should rule in all our hearts and ministries.Would you say that the emphasis in the preaching and teaching of your church is to equip, motivate, and send church members into works of ministry in their daily lives? Explain.
For more insight on reading the Psalms, get the book, How to Read the Psalms, by Tremper Longman III.
The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.