"They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course" (Psalm 82:5).
Christians sometimes wish they could call down God's judgment on the wicked, especially wicked rulers. In almost every civilization throughout history, men and women have been oppressed by their own despotic rulers or invaders from outside their nation's borders. It seems that the Jewish people and Christian believers have received more than their share of persecution, and it is a comfort to realize that there is Biblical precedent for the grieved saint to call out to God for action and justice. In this psalm, the writer does just that.
The judges of the day were evidently quite unjust. The psalmist calls on them to "defend the poor and fatherless" (vv. 3-4), but his cries were not heeded. Our text tells us that the rulers were devoid of understanding and walked in darkness: "all the foundations of the earth are out of course."
In our day, those who defend animal rights advocate the killing of unborn children. Many cry: "Protect the guilty" while they ignore the innocent victim. Adherents to academic freedom tell us that only evolution is science, and creation must not be allowed in schools. We must be tolerant of all viewpoints, say liberal professors, except the Biblical worldview. Homosexuals seek favored status, calling good evil and evil good. Certainly something is "out of course."
Our confidence, however, rests in God, who "standeth in the congregation of the mighty" (v. 1). He sees the injustice and will act accordingly, as He sees best. It may be sooner or later than we would like, but He will act at the proper time, in the proper way. In the meantime, it is proper for us to pray as did the psalmist, "Arise, O God, judge the earth" (v. 8). Until then, "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass" (Psalm 37:5). JDM