Introduction: What would you call a human theory that sounds
reasonable but is not based on the Bible? What would you
call a human theory that conflicts with the Bible? Idol
worship in the Bible is a human creating an image and then
worshiping it. Would it be reasonable to believe that
accepting certain human ideas and arguments can be idol
worship? Is worshiping an idea as sinful as worshiping an
image? Our study this week is about evil, injustice, and
oppression. Many of the modern beliefs about evil,
injustice, and oppression are not based on the teachings of
the Bible and some of them conflict with the Bible. Let’s
explore this more by diving once again into our study of the

I. The Right Guideposts

A. Read Psalms 1:1-2. What is the relationship
between being blessed and taking counsel from the
wicked? (We are blessed when we guide our lives by
God’s word. When we listen to the wicked, hang
around with sinners, or join with the scoffers, we
are headed for trouble.)

B. Read Psalms 1:3. Do the righteous engage in work?
(Yes, and those who follow God prosper.)

1. Why would the psalmist compare a righteous
person to a tree by the water? (Water provides
the power for the tree. The analogy is that
living in the atmosphere of God’s law, as
opposed to the advice of sinners, makes the
righteous prosper.)

C. Read Psalms 1:4-6. What kind of life can the
wicked person expect? (They are blown around by
life. Life is not kind to them. Ultimately, they

D. Notice that the first of the Psalms establishes a
benchmark: live according to God’s revealed will,
or suffer and perish. You choose!

II. Treating the Poor and Needy

A. Read Psalms 12:2-4. What kind of people are these?
(People who believe they can talk themselves out
of anything. People who believe that they are the
master of others because of their persuasive

1. Do you know people like this? People who
either flatter or defame others because words
are so powerful?

a. Recently, a man who said he preferred to
live as a woman was named “Woman of the
Year” by a well-known magazine. Would
that fit into what we are discussing?

B. Read Psalms 12:5. What creates the problem for the
poor and needy? (They have been “plundered” by
those who deceive them. These talkers create harm
for the poor.)

1. Notice that the word “poor” means, according
to Strong’s, “depressed in mind or
circumstances.” Do you think this includes
young people who are trying to find their way
in life and are being “plundered” by those who
lie to them?

2. Let’s talk about those who are poor with
regard to the world’s goods. What evil is
being presented? (The talkers are just that,
they are not doing things to help the poor.)

3. What will God do? (Create a safe place for the
poor and needy.)

C. Read Psalms 12:6-7. What does God do to help the
poor and needy? (He has “pure words.” God tells
the truth. As followers of God we must tell the

D. Read Psalms 12:8. How does the world view the lies
of the wicked? (Vileness is exalted.)

1. Do you see the picture painted here? God’s
people tell the truth, but the wicked prowl
about everywhere promoting their vile ideas.
Sound familiar?

E. Let’s change the issue slightly. Read
Proverbs 22:7. Is this text simply stating a truth, or does
this reflect God’s will? (Read Proverbs 22:4. God
rewards those who obey Him with riches, honor, and
life. The results that follow for those who do not
obey are consistent with God’s will.)

F. Read Proverbs 22:9. What should those who are
blessed do for the poor? (Share their bread. This
results in more blessings.)

G. Read Proverbs 22:3 and compare Proverbs 22:13.
Both these texts involve danger. One says avoiding
danger is prudent. The other says that avoiding
danger makes you a “sluggard.” What do you think
is being taught here? (A “prudent” person shows
commonsense. They see problems coming and take
steps to avoid being hurt by them. The sluggard,
meaning the lazy person, falsely claims they are
afraid in order to avoid working.)

1. Have you heard people who claim to be afraid
because someone in the room disagrees with
their opinion?

2. If you answered, “Yes,” is that person a
“sluggard?” (Instead of exchanging views on
what is right and wrong, they are too mentally
lazy to consider other points of view.)

H. In this section we have looked at some texts in
Psalms and added texts from Proverbs. What are the
principles have we learned? (The natural order of
things is that those who obey God are blessed.
Those who are blessed should be sure the poor are
fed – as part of their obligation to God. This
feeding means standing up for truth and
helping the poor. Those who are looking for
trouble from God cheat the poor and take advantage
of them. They do that in large part by deceiving
them. Truth is important.)

III. Judgment Now

A. Read Psalms 82:1-3. Why do you think this Psalm
uses the word “justice” rather than “love?” (The
world favors the wicked. God says that He wants
justice for the weak and needy.)

1. What is justice for those who claim they are
afraid of something in order to avoid working?
What is justice for those who continually
disobey God’s rules and suffer for it? (For
years I have heard Christians talk about
“tough love.” As I understand that term, it
means that justice is part of what we do in
love for the poor and needy.)

B. Read Psalms 82:4-5. What should be part of our
rescue effort? (To educate the poor and needy. A
problem is that they lack “knowledge” and

1. What are some obvious areas in which the poor
and needy need education? (They need to learn
job skills. They need to be guided in legal
and money handling matters.)

2. What if the poor and needy refuse to learn, or
if they learn, refuse to reform? (I heard a
Puerto Rican speak about the finances of that
island. The speaker engineered the bankruptcy
of the government so that the island would
have a new chance for success. The speaker,
who is a Christian and sympathetic to the
people of the island, is pessimistic about the
future. He fears the people are not willing to

3. Note that commentators disagree with me on who
is being described as lacking knowledge. They
say it is the unjust judges. What do you

C. Read Psalm 82:6-8. What is the goal for our life,
and what is the reality of our life? (We are the
sons and daughters of God. We should act like it.
This applied to both judges and the poor and
needy. If we fail, then we go the way of all
people without God.)

D. Read Psalm 76:2-6. When God decides to act against
evil, can He be stopped?

1. What happens to those who have gained wealth
improperly? (They are “stripped of their

E. Read Psalm 76:7-9. From where does God’s power
display itself? (From heaven!)

F. Read Psalm 144:5-6. Does this idea of power coming
down from heaven increase the majesty of our

G. Read Psalm 144:7-8. What is the consistent enemy
of the righteous? (Dishonesty! This is used
against the poor and needy, and it is used against
the people of God.)

H. Let’s go back to Psalm 76:9. When it refers to the
“humble,” does it mean that we need to be humble?
(The context is that God’s people have been
humbled by the wicked. God rescues His people who
are being lied to, oppressed, and abused by the
wicked. That rescue is God’s judgment.)

I. Friend, doesn’t it seem that the major enemy of
the righteous and the poor and needy are lies and
injustice? When the world calls us names, or calls
us to a plan of action that is based on principles
not found in the Bible, we need to resist. We need
to tell the truth in love. We need to help those
who are suffering, but in a way that reflects
God’s will. We will suffer defeats, but God will
come down from heaven and He will make things
right. Will you determine not to live by lies?

IV. Next week: Your Mercy Reaches Unto the Heavens.

Copr. 2024, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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