“Your Kingdom Come”
Lord God, I praise You today as the one who remains faithful forever and upholds the cause of the oppressed (Psa. 146:6,7).
Read PSALM 82:1-8
 A psalm of Asaph.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Those who would have the mind of Christ in them must be mindful of the very things Christ cared about.
Our public discipleship as Christians involves both prayer for justice in the world and the active encouragement (or challenge) of those with the responsibility to see that justice is done. This psalm portrays a heavenly court scene in which God judges the judges and holds them to account for their abuse of power and failure to defend the vulnerable. The accused may be the spiritual principalities and powers to which the New Testament refers, or they may be the human judges of Israel.
The scene leads to a prayer: “Rise up, O God, judge the earth” (8). There are a number of reasons why we may find this language difficult. We may have reduced the biblical teaching about judgment to the question of individual salvation or condemnation on the last day. We may also have reduced judgment to punishment. In the Bible, judgment is primarily about intervening to put things right in the whole created order, seen and unseen. When people cry out to God to judge they mean “intervene to put things right.” This includes the punishment of sin—and the last day will grant eternal life or eternal death for each person—but the overall picture is bigger.
It is entirely within the will of God that we encourage leaders who protect the rights of the poor and oppressed, and vigorously challenge those who fail to do so; otherwise, something is wrong with our society (5). Above all, we should pray for God to bring his justice, in anticipation of the final judgment and the ultimate justice it will bring. Jesus taught us to do so when we pray “Your Kingdom come”—and the ultimate prayer in this tradition is: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20b).
How are you showing that you share God’s concern for justice in the world? Is there anything you want to cry to God to “rise up” and put right?
O Lord, increase in me Your love of justice and outrage at oppression. Take my prayers beyond self-concern to Your concerns.
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