Scripture is perennially applicable. As 2 Timothy 3 says: “All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.” Hence, even as we read Holy Writ we will find it pertinent to our times. This is especially the case with the Psalms, upon which we draw so much in the life of the Church.
Today a long-time reader sent me an email after he was struck by the force of Psalm 82/83 which we read as the 9th psalm in the Breviarium Romanum on Fridays for Matins. (Yes, Novus Ordo types, you read right: the “9th psalm” of Matins!)
Let’s read it:
Psalm 82 
82:2 O God, who shall be like to thee? * Hold not thy peace, neither be O God, thou still,
82:3 For lo, thy enemies have made a noise: * and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
82:4 They have taken a malicious counsel against thy people, * and have consulted against thy saints.
82:5 They have said: Come and let us destroy them, * so that they be not a nation: and let the name of Israel be remembered no more.
82:6 For they have contrived with one consent: * they have made a covenant together against thee; the tabernacles of the Edomites, and the Ismahelites:
82:8 Moab, and the Agarens, Gebal, and Ammon and Amalec: * the Philistines, with the inhabitants of Tyre.
82:9 Yea, and the Assyrian also is joined with them: * they are come to the aid of the sons of Lot.
82:10 Do to them as thou didst to Madian and to Sisara: * as to Jabin at the brook of Cisson.
82:11 Who perished at Endor: * and became as dung for the earth.
82:12 Make their princes like Oreb, and Zeb, * and Zebee, and Salmana.
82:13 All their princes, * who have said: Let us possess the sanctuary of God for an inheritance.
82:14 O my God, make them like a wheel; * and as stubble before the wind.
82:15 As fire which burneth the wood: * and as a flame burning mountains:
82:16 So shalt thou pursue them with thy tempest: * and shalt trouble them in thy wrath.
82:17 Fill their faces with shame; * and they shall seek thy name, O Lord.
82:18 Let them be ashamed and troubled for ever and ever: * and let them be confounded and perish.
82:19 And let them know that the Lord is thy name: * thou alone art the most High over all the earth.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, * and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Ant. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
My correspondent was consoled by this psalm and its assurance that God will – in his own time – sort things out in the Church. Who can deny it?
On another note, as long as I still have you here, you will have noted the different number of the psalm: was that Ps 82 or Ps 83?
In modern Catholic books the Masoretic Hebrew numbering is followed, while in older books the Septuagint Greek numbering is used. These different numbering systems reflect different ways of combining or dividing up certain psalms. There is a good wikipedia article on this HERE
Sometimes when searching up a psalm from an older source you have to look on either side of the “target” number, depending on where you are in the Psalter. So, too, when you want to check something in an older book. Just be aware that the psalms don’t always match up in older and more modern texts.