Corruption at the Top

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Reading the Word

Psalm 58:1–5 (ESV)

1 Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods? Do you judge the children of man uprightly? 2 No, in your hearts you devise wrongs; your hands deal out violence on earth. 3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies. 4 They have venom like the venom of a serpent, like the deaf adder that stops its ear, 5 so that it does not hear the voice of charmers or of the cunning enchanter.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In every age, those in power have used their power for their own ends. The saying “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” was as true in ancient times as it is today. This psalm speaks of those in power who think of themselves as gods and act wickedly.

God’s word tells us that all will one day give an account to the final Judge and the One who is truly the absolute authority. God will act justly and show no favoritism in his judgments. May this psalm serve as a warning to all of us to seek to do what is right rather than what is popular or what may benefit us most. And may this psalm especially challenge those in positions of authority to exercise their power in accord to the will of God. We will be called to account.

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