God presides in the great assembly;Can you picture it? The "principalities and powers" are being gathered, called together by the God of the Universe. All the ideologies and the religions and the governments people follow and put their trust in- their 'gods'. The 'Isms' are all invited- Materialism, Atheism, Communism, Socialism, Environmentalism, Hinduism, Buddhism- and yes, even Protestantism, Evangelicalism, and Catholicism. Nationalism. Conservatism. Liberalism. Capitalism. Humanism.
he gives judgment among the "gods":
The crowd gathers. What is it God is judging them for? What could be the message to these 'gods'?
"How long will you defend the unjustThere are a whole bunch of well-meaning ideologies here. What more can they do? Fingers get pointed, but all are guilty. No System or Ideology has cared for the downtrodden to God's liking. He continues:
and show partiality to the wicked?"
"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;These people, the forgotten ones that have fallen through the cracks of the world's Systems, are the ones closest to the heart of God. Neglecting them makes him angry. Finally, God makes an aside to his attendants:
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
Rescue the weak and needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked."
"They know nothing, they understand nothing.He turns to the assembly once more, in a huff:
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
I said, 'You are "gods";These Systems, these 'Isms' are temporary. They will rise and fall and be no more. They are not as powerful as we would like to think, as many followers as they have now. 'The foundations of the earth are shaken'- any organization or construct we build here will not be perfect, and will fall short. The best we can, let's heed God's challenge. Defend the cause of the fatherless. Maintain the rights of the needy. Rescue the weak. With those goals, we can't go wrong.
you are all sons of the Most High.'
But you will die like mere men;
you will fall like every other ruler."
"Rise up, O God, judge the earth,* Adapted from this week's sermon and Psalm 82
for all the nations are your inheritance."