Psalm 82: Lessons on Leadership from Israel’s Sinful Leaders

Introduction: This psalm does not identify its historical context. But a descendant of Asaph most likely penned the preceding psalms to the Jews trying to understand the reasons for their Babylonian captivity. Jesus later quoted from this psalm to condemn the Pharisees (Jo. 10:34; Ps. 82:6). The unrepentant sins of leaders can affect a nation’s walk with God. Thus, this psalm can be understood both as an explanation for how Israel’s leaders brought judgment upon the nation and how they would do so again following Jesus’ crucifixion. From this psalm, the Bible reveals seven lessons for leaders to avoid God’s judgment. These include: (1) obedience, (2) impartiality, (3) justice, (4) seeking God, (5) humility, (6) repentance, and (7) submission.

First, all leaders will one day stand in an assembly before God to be judged or rewarded for their action. Thus, leaders today should always seek to obey God’s will. Second, God condemned certain Jewish leaders for being partial and unfair in their rulings. Leaders today should also seek to be impartial and fair in their dealings with others. Third, God condemned certain leaders for failing to help those in need. Leaders today should also seek to advocate for those in need. Fourth, God condemned certain leaders for being ignorant to His will. Leaders today should also seek God’s guidance in all their actions. Fifth, God condemned certain leaders for their pride. Leaders today should also walk in humility before God. Sixth, God warned certain leaders that they faced judgment. Leaders today should heed these warnings and repent of their sins. Finally, all leaders will one day bow before the King of Kings in heaven. Before it is too late, leaders today should submit to Jesus and let Him be sovereign over all their actions.

1. Obedience: Leaders Should Always Seek to Obey God’s Will. Ps. 82:1.

  • People with positions of authority will one day be held to account for their actions. The psalmist prophetically described a time when prideful leaders will stand before God: “A Psalm of Asaph. 1 God takes His position in His assembly; He judges in the midst of the gods.” (Ps. 82:1). According to one commenter, “Asaph gives us the picture of God in the midst of the mighty, standing in authority. . . God’s standing in the midst of these mighty ones is to bring judgment among them. The word gods here is Elohim, the plural for the generic word for god in Hebrew. The idea of God judging gods has led to several suggestions regarding the identity of these elohim, these gods. · Elohim is often used to describe the true God, Yahweh. It is in the plural to describe both the majesty of His person, and to be a hint of the triune nature of God, being One God in Three Persons. · Elohim is sometimes used as the plural of pagan deities, the false gods of the nations. · Elohim is sometimes used in reference to angelic beings. · Elohim is here best taken as a reference to human judges, who stand in the place of God in their ability to determine the fate of others.” (David Guzik on Ps. 82) (emphasis original).1 These condemned leaders most likely received their influence from fallen angelic beings.

  • God is supreme, and He will judge all the Earth. Those with power only have it because God allowed them to have it. “Every person is to be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” (Ro. 13:1). As stewards of their God-given authority, all with power and authority will one day stand before God to give an account for how they used their power: “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.” (Ps. 1:5). “But the LORD sits as King forever; He has established His throne for judgment, and He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples fairly.” (Ps. 9:7-8). Those who obey God will be rewarded. But those who rebel and lead others astray will face judgment: “And people will say, ‘There certainly is a reward for the righteous; there certainly is a God who judges on the earth!”’ (Ps. 58:11). Thus, everyone with power and authority should obey the God who gave that authority.

  • God requires obedience to His laws.  Divine justice is not possible if a person refuses to obey God’s laws.  The Jews were required to known and teach God’s laws to others. Those who decided to do what feels right in their own eyes are guilty of the sin of presumption: “According to the terms of the law which they teach you, and according to the verdict which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside from the word which they declare to you, to the right or the left.  The man who acts presumptuously by not listening to the priest who stands there to serve the Lord your God, nor to the judge, that man shall die; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.  Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act presumptuously again.”  (Dt. 17:11-13). Obedience was a command that Moses gave frequently  (Dt. 6:3-4; 9:1; 20:3). Moses knew the purpose behind a particular law might not always appear clear to a believer. God requires obedience even if you do not understand.  We should consider the law to be like a treasure: “I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.”  (Ps. 119:14). Jesus said, if we love Him, we will keep His commandments: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”  (Jo. 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6). His “disciples” were the “disciplined ones” in keeping His commandments.  As bondservants or freed slaves, they were obedient out of love, not obligation.  Whether you follow the law out of love instead of obligation is a test for whether you really know God:  “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.”  (1 Jo. 2:3). “[W]hat matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.”  (1 Cor. 7:19). Every person has areas of influence. This influence may exist at home, work, the government, church, or social settings. What type of example do you set for those who look to you?

2. Impartiality: Leaders Should Always Be Impartial and Fair. Ps. 82:2.

  • People with authority should be fair and impartial in their actions. Those with authority who look the other way in the face of what God calls evil will face judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked?  Selah” (Ps. 82:2). The condemnation against those who “judge unjustly” will also include those who practice racial or ethnic bigotry or sexism. This condemnation also applies to those who show favoritism to friends and family members in places of work, influence, or authority.

  • Be impartial regardless of a person’s wealth, status, race, origin, or gender.  King Jehoshaphat was one the few reformer kings of Judah. He initiated judicial reforms where he warned the judges to at all times act with integrity: “Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.’”  (2 Chr. 19:7). God wanted His people to have integrity in their dealings with each other the same way He was and is with them: “You are not to show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You are not to be afraid of any person, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too difficult for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.” (Dt. 1:17). “You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.”  (Lev. 19:15).  David, Solomon and the prophets repeated these warnings: “A Mikhtam of David. Do you indeed speak righteousness, you gods? Do you judge fairly, you sons of mankind? No, in heart you practice injustice; on earth you clear a way for the violence of your hands.” (Ps. 58:1-2). “To show partiality to the wicked is not good, nor to suppress the righteous in judgment.” (Prov. 18:5). “Now hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, who despise justice and twist everything that is straight,” (Micah 3:9). God does not show partiality in judging sin (1 Pet. 1:17-19).  Believers are also not exempt from His judgment. They merely have an Advocate who took their judgment (Heb. 9:28).

Psalm 82 – God & Life & Stuff

God will judge all fairly and impartially2

  • As Jesus’ ambassador, walk with righteousness and integrity.  God will also judge those who might seek or accept bribes: “You shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just.”  (Ex. 23:8).  “You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.”  (Dt. 16:19; 2 Chr. 19:7).  You are also Jesus’ ambassador (2 Cor. 5:22). You further represent His light (Matt. 5:14).  Thus, He calls upon you to be blameless and righteous:  “so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”  (Phil. 1:11).  Do your actions reflect fairly upon Jesus’ righteousness?

  • Love God by hating evil.  Jehoshaphat was, however, not without his own sins. The prophet Jehu at one point accused Jehoshaphat of claiming to love God when also loving evil:  ‘“Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord?”’  (2 Chr. 19:2).  You can show your love for God by hating evil:  “Hate evil, you who love the LORD, who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.”  (Ps. 97:10).  Hating evil is also the very definition of fearing God:  “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.”  (Prov. 8:13).  Do you tolerate what God calls evil in your life?  If so, your love for God will be corrupted.

3. Justice: Leaders Should Seek to Advocate for Those in Need. Ps. 82:3-4.

  • People with authority should use their influence to help those in need. Many leaders will claim to have been impartial and fair. But God will also judge them if they fail to use their God-given authority, influence, power, or resources to help others who are in need: “Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; save them from the hand of the wicked.” (Ps. 82:3-4). “Having indicted them for they do, God admonishes the heavenly powers regarding what they should have done in 82:3-4.” (James M. Hamilton Jr., Evangelical Bible Theology Commentary Psalms (Vol. II: Psalms 73-150) (Lexham Academic 2021) p. 89) (italics original).

  • David reigned with justice and righteousness.  As our example, David reigned with justice and righteousness:  “So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and righteousness for all his people.”  (2 Sam. 8:15; 1 Chron. 18:14). Like all people, David was a sinner. But he mostly used his influence to serve God’s will.

  • A Spirit-led leader must also pursue justice.  The psalmist declared: “Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute.”  (Ps. 82:3).  Through Moses, God warned that a Spirit-led leader must pursue:  “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”  (Dt. 16:20).  God appointed the kings to “do justice and righteousness.”  (1 Kgs. 10:9).  For example, a king was supposed to sit “on the throne of justice.”  (Prov. 20:8).  This means that a Spirit-led leader must care about addressing wrongs and the plight of those in need: “You shall not pervert the justice due a stranger or an orphan, nor seize a widow’s garment as a pledge.” (Dt. 24:17). “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”  (Prov. 31:9).  “He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.”  (Dt. 10:18). Jesus also expects every believer to seek to resolve injustice around them.  “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”  (Micah 6:8).  “[L]earn to do good, seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, [and] plead for the widow.”  (Is. 1:17).  “I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor.” (Ps. 140:12). On the Day of Judgment, Jesus will ask what each person did for the oppressed and needy  (Matt. 25:40).  When you are called to account for your actions before your judge, will you be able to describe where you were a force for God’s will by helping others in need?  (2 Cor. 5:10).  Or, are you living for yourself?

Christ Helped the Needy

Jesus wants you to be His hands and feet to help those in need3

  • Be compassionate and loving to others.  True justice also requires that you love those who are trying to help or discipline:  “Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother;”’ (Zech. 7:9).  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”  (Jo. 13:34).  When others are suffering, do you make time in your busy schedule to show them love and compassion?

  • Let God’s light of justice shine through you. You are God’s “salt and light”  (Matt. 5:13-16).  Salt is an irritant to a wound.  If Jesus has transformed your life, you should be an irritant to sinners around you.  Are others conscious of their sins around you?

  • God will bless those who help the needy. God’s assembly will not just be for punishment. God will also reward those who practice justice by helping those in need: “A Psalm of David. Blessed is one who considers the helpless; the LORD will save him on a day of trouble.” (Ps. 41:4). Are you storing up blessings for yourself in heaven?

4. Seeking God: Leaders Should Always Seek God’s Guidance. Ps. 82:5.

  • People with authority must always seek God’s will. Many leaders claim to do what they believe to be right. But they act out of darkness when they fail to seek God’s guidance: “They do not know nor do they understand; they walk around in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.” (Ps. 82:5). For any area where you have influence, you should seek God’s direction before you act. Failing to do so may lead others astray.

  • God’s prophets condemned the Jewish leaders for acting out of ignorance. Many Jewish leaders made disastrous decisions because they failed to pray or seek God’s will. Thus, God used His prophets to condemn them for their ignorance: “For My people are foolish, they do not know Me; they are foolish children and have no understanding. They are skillful at doing evil, but they do not know how to do good.” (Jer. 4:22). Paul repeated those warnings for those who live according to the flesh: “Claiming to be wise, they became fools,” (Ro. 1:22). “Where is the wise person? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Cor. 1:20). If you make decisions based upon what feels right without consulting God, the result is frequently disastrous: “There is a way which seems right to a person, but its end is the way of death.” (Prov. 14:12). “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a person who listens to advice is wise.” (Prov. 12:15).

As our example, David prayed for God to guide his decisions as a leader4

  • Let God’s Word and the Holy Spirit guide your decisions. In any area where you have influence or authority, God wants you to read His Word and pray over it. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  (Ps. 119:105; 2 Pet. 1:19). When you read God’s Word and pray, the Holy Spirit can speak to you:  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”  (Jo. 14:16).  “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”  (Jo. 16:13).  Are you reading the Word and praying to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you?

5. Humility: Leaders Should Always Walk in Humility Before God. Ps. 82:6.

  • Never view yourself as being sovereign over your own life. God condemned those who had no room for Him. They treated themselves as if they were a god: “6 I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High.” (Ps. 82:6). “It is hard for men to have honour put upon them, and not to be proud of it. But all the rulers of the earth shall die, and all their honour shall be laid in the dust. God governs the world. There is a righteous God to whom we may go, and on whom we may depend.” (Matthew Henry on Ps. 82).5

  • Jesus warned the Pharisees that God’s condemnation in Psalm 82 applied to them. Jesus quoted Psalm 82:6 when the Pharisees attempted to stone Him for alleged blasphemy: ‘“I and the Father are one.’ The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus replied to them, ‘I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?’ The Jews answered Him, ‘We are not stoning You for a good work, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Has it not been written in your Law: ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be nullified), are you saying of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (Jo. 10:30-36). “This is the verse that Jesus cited in His debate with the Pharisees: how could they charge Him with blasphemy when their own judges were called gods? Moreover, in making this connection with the psalm, Jesus was also implying that the unjust judges of the psalm are archetypes, ancestors in nature, of the Pharisees and other unjust leaders.” (Allen Ross, A Commentary of the Psalms: Volume 2 (42-89), Kregel Academic (2013) p. 730)

  • God’s will cannot be thwarted.  The boastful will be unable to stand before God: “The boastful will not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do injustice.” (Ps. 5:5). “When God arose to judgment, You save all the humble of the earth. Selah” (Ps. 76:9). God will also laugh at those who attempt to resist Him:  “The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming.”  (Ps. 37:13).  “But You, LORD, laugh at them; You scoff at all the nations.”  (Ps. 69:8).  “Though they intended evil against You and devised a plot, they will not succeed.”  (Ps. 21:11).  “The LORD nullifies the plan of nations; He frustrates the plans of peoples.”  (Ps. 33:10).  Throughout the Bible, God warns that mankind cannot resist His power:  “Were He to snatch away, who could restrain Him?  Who could say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’”  (Job 9:12).  “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?”’ (Dan. 4:35).  “ . . . For who resists His will?”  (Ro. 9:19(b)).  “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker— A piece of pottery among the other earthenware pottery pieces!  Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’  Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?”  (Is. 45:9; Ro. 9:21).  “Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?  We are not stronger than He, are we?”  (1 Cor. 10:22).  In any area where you have influence, never try to resist God’s will.

  • The Jews had no reason to boast about their status.  All of the Jewish leaders sinned before God.  None deserved His mercy and grace.  Before giving the Jews the Promised Land, Moses reminded them that they did not deserve the honor that God gave them: “The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”  (Dt. 7:7-8).  The Jews did not have any reason to boast about being God’s select people.  They also were not a virtuous nation of people.  Like every other person, they had to see their need for mercy and grace to serve God with humility.

  • Don’t take pride in what God has done in your life.  Every good and perfect thing that you have also came from God  (Jam. 1:17).  Your acts of righteousness are but filthy rags before Him (Is. 64:6).  All have sinned before Him  (Ro. 3:23; 1 Pet. 2:22; Ps. 14:3).  If your righteousness came through keeping the law or your good works, then Jesus’ death was unnecessary  (Gal. 2:21).  God wants to show you mercy and grace so that you can serve Him.  But He cannot use you if you are filled with pride: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”  (Prov. 16:18; 18:12; 11:2; 29:23).

  • God exalts those who humble themselves before Him.  God will humble people before He will exalt them:  “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble.”  (Lk. 1:52).  God will also humble you before He exalts you: “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”  (Jam. 4:10). “So that He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.” (Job 5:11).  God will also heal a nation when it humbles itself:  “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  (2 Chr. 7:14).  Are you praying for your leaders and nation to repent?

6. Repentance: Leaders Should Always Repent of Their Sins. Ps. 82:7.

  • Every person should repent of their sins. For unrepentant leaders who use their influence for evil, God warns that they will one day face judgment: “Nevertheless you will die like men, and fall like one of the princes.’” (Ps. 82:7). Those who misuse their influence to cause harm to others will face a greater condemnation: “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6).

  • God will judge those who equate themselves with Him. When the King of Tyre considered himself to be a god, God used Ezekiel to give him a prophecy of his judgment: “Son of man, say to the leader of Tyre, ‘The Lord GOD says this: ‘Because your heart is haughty and you have said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods In the heart of the seas’; Yet you are a mortal and not God, although you make your heart like the heart of God— . . . Therefore this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘Because you have made your heart like the heart of God, therefore, behold, I am going to bring strangers against you, the most ruthless of the nations. And they will draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom and profane your splendor. They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die the death of those who are killed In the heart of the seas.” (Ezek. 28:2, 6-8).

  • Jesus will judge those who rebel against Him.  The psalms are filled with warnings of judgment against the rulers who rebel against God:  “The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.”  (Ps. 110:5).  Samuel also foretold of God’s judgment upon the nations:  “Those who contend with the LORD will be terrified; against them He will thunder in the heavens, the LORD will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to His king, and will exalt the horn of His anointed.”  (1 Sam. 2:10). Paul also warned those who opposed Jesus to repent because He will judge unrepentant sinners: “So having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now proclaiming to mankind that all people everywhere are to repent, because He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all people by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31). Jesus will one day shatter the nations who oppose Him:  “And He shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the Potter are shattered, as I also have received authority from My Father;”  (Rev. 2:27).  “From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.”  (Rev. 19:15).  Every Word in the Bible will come true.  The countless fulfilled prophecies should give every person who rejects Jesus and the authority of His Word reason to fear Him and repent.

  • God frequently uses His people to judge evil. God may use His people to bring judgment to evil leaders:  “for it is a minister of God to you for good.  But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.”  (Ro. 13:4).  Although judgment comes first to God’s people, nonbelievers will eventually face judgment:  “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”  (1 Pet. 4:17).  God will judge all evil.  Your only escape is through Jesus (Jo. 3:16).  Through prayer and love, you can also be the instrument of His judgment against the devil and his followers.

  • Repent when the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin.  When the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin, God also wants you to confess your sins and repent.  “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;”  (Acts. 3:19).  “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”’ (Acts 2:38).  Is there any sin that you need to confess?

  • God’s justice includes mercy. You can give thanks that God is merciful to those who repent: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth go before You.” (Ps. 89:14). God also wants you to show mercy to others (Matt. 6:15).

7. Submission: Leaders Should Always Submit to the King of Kings. Ps. 82:8.

  • Everyone should submit to Jesus, the King of Kings. The psalmist concluded with a call for the King of Kings to reclaim the Earth: “Arise, God, judge the earth! For You possess all the nations.” (Ps. 82:8). God’s people will then celebrate with joy when Jesus reigns in righteousness: “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will worship before You.” (Ps. 22:27). “All the earth will worship You, and will sing praises to You; they will sing praises to Your name.” Selah” (Ps. 66:4). “May the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with fairness and guide the nations on the earth. Selah” (Ps. 67:4).

  • Jesus has full authority over the nations.  Jesus will reign with full authority over the nations:  “But You, LORD, remain forever, and Your name remains to all generations.” (Ps. 102:12). “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”  (Rev. 11:15).  “The one who overcomes, and the one who keeps My deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations;” (Rev. 2:26).  God the Father has further given Jesus full authority to judge evil:  “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son.”  (Jo. 5:22). Thus, even when evil seems to be winning, you can trust that He is in control.

  • Jesus will reign with justice and righteousness.  Jesus will rule as the Prince of Peace with justice and righteousness:  “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.”  (Is. 9:6-7; 16:5).  ‘“Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.”’  (Jer. 23:5; Is. 24:15; 42:4; Zech. 9:9-10).  “And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples fairly.” (Ps. 9:8). “Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns; indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples fairly.”’ (Ps. 96:10). He is our righteous judge  (2 Tim. 4:8).  He is worthy of praise and worship.

  • Submit to Jesus with reverence and faith.  The psalmist proclaimed that he lived in reverent fear of the consequences of sin:  “My flesh trembles from the fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments.”  (Ps. 119:120).  Through Isaiah, God declared that He desires a humble and contrite spirit from us:  ‘“For My hand made all these things, so all these things came into being,’ declares the LORD.  ‘But I will look to this one, at one who is humble and contrite in spirit, and who trembles at My word.”’  (Is. 66:2).  “‘Do you not fear Me?’ declares the LORD.  ‘Do you not tremble in My presence?  For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, an eternal limit, and it will not cross over it. Though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they will not cross over it.” (Jer. 5:22).  Fearing God is defined as hating what God calls evil:  “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride, arrogance, the evil way, and the perverted mouth, I hate.”  (Prov. 8:13).  If you don’t accept God’s definition of evil, you cannot claim to fear Him.