January 13, 2022 • Life for Leaders
Scripture Reading: Psalm 82:3-4 (NRSV)
Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
Psalm 82 envisions an official heavenly gathering of gods, over which the One True God rules. At first the Lord condemns the gods for judging unjustly (82:2). Then God call them to “give justice to the weak and the orphan” (82:3). Those with authority over the earth must use their power to do good, especially in caring for “the lowly and the destitute,” “the weak and the needy” (82:3-4).
Though we are not gods in a literal sense, as creatures made in God’s image, we have been given authority over the earth (see Genesis 1:28, for example). What God expected of the gods in Psalm 82 he expects of us. In our daily work we have the opportunity to live out God’s call to justice in all we do.
As God once said to the “gods” in the divine council, so God says to us: “Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute” (Psalm 82:3). In obedience to God’s Word and with God’s help, we are able to respond to this command in our daily work.
Gracious God, you are King of kings and Lord of lords. All creation bows before you. Even the “gods” knell before your superior authority. I also bow before you, acknowledging you as Lord of all and, indeed, my Lord.
Help me, I pray, to serve you in all I do, including my daily work. May I use the authority given to me for good. May I treat all my colleagues with justice, no matter their position or situation. May I show special concern for those with little authority or influence in my organization. May our structures and systems embody your justice. Help me, I pray, to be a beacon of your truth in all I do and say.
To you be the glory, King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
God calls us to give justice to those who are weak, who are unable to secure justice for themselves.
For Further Reflection
You may wish to read all of Psalm 82.
Read also Isaiah 1:12-20.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the archive Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Best of Daily Reflections: Where Is God’s Country?
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Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.