Defend the Poor And Fatherless: A Response to Psalm 82

Palm 82 is one of those challenging, but ultimately encouraging psalms about God’s Justice. The psalm sets out the fact and character of God’s Judgement unequivocally:

  1. GOD standeth in the congregation of princes: he is a Judge among gods.
  2. How long will ye give wrong judgement: and accept the persons of the ungodly?
  3. Defend the poor and fatherless: see that such as are in need and necessity have right.
  4. Deliver the outcast and poor: save them from the hand of the ungodly.

My response to this psalm was written at a time when both the Black Lives Matter movement and the social inequalities exposed and brought to the light by the covid pandemic were challenging our complacency and calling for a prophetic Christian response, and I once more felt how relevant these ancient psalms are to our everyday life.

As always you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the play button or the title and you can find the other poems in this evolving series by putting the word ‘psalms’ into the search box on the right.

The full set of these poems has now been published as a book David’s Crown which you can buy from UK Amazon Here, or, in North America, it should soon be available from Amazon Here.

There is also going to be a launch event/webinar on Feb 11th at 7pm GMT it will be completely free and you can register for it Here.

LXXXII Deus stetit

For things are not so hopeless as they seem

God stands among the rulers as a judge.

He has no partiality.  We deem


Ourselves better than others, hold a grudge

Against the stranger in our midst, reject

The ones who aren’t like us, but he will judge


The world in righteousness. He will reject

The special pleading of the privileged.

And bless the meek instead. If we reflect


A little, in this earthly pilgrimage,

On how he loved the ‘other’ and the outcast

Then we will learn to share our heritage,


Not keep it only for our kin and caste,

But gather as the children of one king,

As kindred in our father’s house at last.


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Filed under imagination

5 responses to “Defend the Poor And Fatherless: A Response to Psalm 82

  1. Vince Gilbert

    Thanks for this one especially. I’ve linked to it on Facebook with this accompaniment:

    Malcolm Guite has pretty much nailed it here, by going back to a poem that’s the best part of 3000 years old. Why do those of us who have faith bother with all the hard work and annoyances and frustrations of belonging to a religious institution? Because this is what the One we proclaim is all about, and this is what those flawed, seemingly weak and irrelevant institutions keep on trying their level best to make happen. Anytime, anyplace. All the rest is either worship and celebration (which is deeply subversive of evil and injustice), enabling activity, or padding.

    Or so think I.

  2. Thanks to Vince’s Facebook link I have included a link to this post on my blog post which is scheduled to be published on Wednesday (10th Feb 2021)

    Hope this is OK with you.

  3. Pingback: Uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed — Psalm 82:3 – Making an ass of myself

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