The Rebuke of Unjust Judges

A socialist once came to see Andrew Carnegie and soon was railing against the injustice of Carnegie having so much money. In his view, wealth was meant to be divided equally. Carnegie asked his secretary for an assessment of everything he owned and at the same time looked up the … More

Justice

Psalm 58 is a Psalm about injustice and the abuse of the system of justice. It is impossible to say with certainty when David wrote this. Some think it was soon after he became king and discovered how corrupt the system of justice really was in Israel. Others think David wrote this Psalm during the rebellion of Absalom and while he seized the throne. It could have been written when David was being hunted by Saul and as an expression of deep contempt for the way Saul was handling the affairs of the kingdom.

One reason it is so hard to establish the date is because the subject matter deals with an age-old problem of the unjust judge and corruption in the courts. This is still a problem in our day. “Time” magazine in August of 1979 stated that “Nothing is so damaging to our judiciary system as the common perception that punishment depends less on what a criminal does than on the basis and whims of the judge!” It went on to tell how one offender, age twenty, was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for stealing ten dollars worth of beer from a neighbor’s garage. On the same day the same judge sentenced another person for embezzling eight thousand dollars. The sentence for that was five year’s probation.

From the sound of things, David must have been feeling similar frustrations as he wrote this Psalm.  He tells how the men who sat as judges, and pretended to hate the crime of those they judged, were in their very hearts committing even greater crimes (vv. 1-5). God loves justice and those who obey Him.

Application

I need to be more concerned about the fairness of our court system today when they authorize abortion and the killing of many unborn babies? They pretend to be standing up for the rights of the mother while they completely ignore the rights of the unborn.

Psalms 58:1-5 (English Standard Version)

Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods? Do you judge the children of man uprightly? No, in your hearts you devise wrongs; your hands deal out violence on earth. The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies. They have venom like the venom of a serpent, like the deaf adder that stops its ear, so that it does not hear the voice of charmers or of the cunning enchanter.

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