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Reading:                                       Psalm 82

A song. A psalm of Asaph.

God presides in the great assembly;
he renders judgment among the “gods”:

 “How long will you defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked?
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

 “The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

 “I said, ‘You are “gods”;
you are all sons of the Most High.’
But you will die like mere mortals;
you will fall like every other ruler.”

Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance
(NIV).

Reflection

How high is the pedestal you are standing on? Are you standing taller than the fellow beside you?

Most of us would answer that we are not standing on a pedestal, but is that the truth. If we are honest with ourselves, I think we all can admit that we have looked down on others at times. We have considered ourselves superior to some of our peers.

Liberty 2 2014-11-10

The upper portion of the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty — photo by David Kitz

Here in Psalm 82, God sets us on a pedestal. He calls us gods. This is a rather backhanded compliment, because after calling us gods, the Most High calls us to account. And what must we account for? We need to account for how we treat the weak and the poor among us. Here are the actions the LORD expects from us: Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.

Are we doing these things? Far too often I spend my time jacking up my pedestal—trying to get a bit of elevation over the fellow beside me. I’m too busy to help someone else who has fallen off their pedestal or the poor clod who can’t find one to stand on. You have to pity these folks—the ones who don’t have a pedestal. How can they hold their head up if they’re superior to no one?

Paul, the apostle, writes, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12).

God will have the final say with mortals like me. This “god” needs to learn to serve in humility.

Response: LORD God, you are the Most High. Help me to stop comparing myself with others. All I have comes from you. Today I want to get off my pedestal and help someone else. Amen.

Your Turn: Do you compare yourself with others? Are you polishing your pedestal?