INTERPRETING PSALM 82 IN THE CONTEXT OF SOCIAL INJUSTICE IN NIGERIA

Authors

  • Bamidele Olusegun Fawenu

Keywords:

Social injustice, Psalm 82, you are gods, divine council, divine retribution

Abstract

Social injustice, a pervasive societal affliction, knows no bounds in terms of race or geography. Its crippling ramifications within Nigeria have become glaring, manifesting in a deteriorating economy, escalating insecurity, heightened youth unrest, and a relentless cycle of poverty. The dire state of education and healthcare underscores the distressing reality. Concurrently, income disparities continue to widen, casting a shadow of doubt over the prospect of any imminent closure of these gaps. This prevailing socio-economic landscape has seemingly propelled the popularity of three successive political campaign slogans - "change agenda," "next level," and "renewed hope" - touted by the present ruling political party. Hence, this paper delves into the hermeneutical significance of the enigmatic Psalm 82 in revitalizing Nigeria's ailing social fabric. Grounded in scholarly efforts that center on unraveling the identity of the 'elohim (gods) in verses 1 and 6 of the text, a historical-grammatical exegesis of verses 2-7 is conducted, drawing connections to the deprivation of healthcare, education, and socio-economic empowerment in Nigeria. The study employs a discussion analysis approach enriched by contextual hermeneutics to effectively contextualize the text's implications for Nigeria. The findings illuminate Psalm 82's original intent, namely, the reformation of the society for its initial audience through the conduit of leadership, leveraging the deeply ingrained religious sentiments within its socio-religious context. Furthermore, it underscores the cardinal role of social justice as a divine expectation from any human government. An appreciation of the devastating impact of social injustice on society, coupled with the prospect of divine retribution for errant leaders as delineated in Psalm 82, holds the potential to catalyze genuine change, usher in a more promising future, and materialize the long-elusive hope for improved living conditions for Nigerians.

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Published

2023-11-25

Issue

Section

Articles