4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. 5The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. Psalm 5:4-5
There is such beauty in what the Psalmist tells us about our God in these verses. If we are not careful we could read verses like this and think ill of our God. We can even read verses like this and think that the God we find here in Old Testament changed once Jesus came on the scene. We can read this and possibly want nothing to do with a God like this. Let me make this very clear right from the start…this is our God if we believe in the God of Scripture. This is our God if we believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We should yearn for this to be our God and we should delight that this is exactly who He is. What the Psalmist is telling us about God is that He is holy, filled with glory and perfectly righteous. This is exactly what the Psalmist is telling us and this is great news.
Looking at these in order we are told first that God does not delight in what is wicked. Because our God is holy, set apart, and because there is nothing impure in Him, He takes no delight in anything that is wicked or stands opposed to His holiness and righteousness. We want our God to stand opposed to anything that is wicked, but even more than this we want our God to zealously stand opposed to anything that stands opposed to His very nature. To understand that God doesn’t delight in wickedness is not to just think that God stands opposed to anything that we experience or participate in. It is true that He does. More than this, though, is to understand that God’s opposition to wickedness is more about Him than us…He stands opposed to anything that stands opposed to Him. To not delight in wickedness is to protect His very nature, which is holy, righteous and pure.
The Psalmist then writes that evil cannot dwell within our God. Again, this is beautiful news. There is nothing that is impure or imperfect that can come anywhere close to touching or dwelling within the nature of our God. This, once again, is about the protection of who our God is. For God to remain God He cannot have anything evil, wicked, impure or imperfect dwelling within His nature or presence. There is nothing evil within our God and there is nothing evil that can exist in His presence…our God is Holy!
The Psalmist now moves away from talking about the nature of God Himself to focusing on those who would seek to be near to God. The Psalmist now is talking about us. Very clearly we read that those who boast will not stand before a Holy God. The primary characteristic of one who boasts is that they believe they are great. No one, let me repeat, no one who thinks they are great can stand in the presence of a Holy God. This is the first prerequisite of one who wants to be near to God: an understanding of our depravity and smallness in comparison to a great, awesome and Holy God. Our desire to draw near to God should be fueled by our understanding of our need for Him. To be boastful in God’s presence is to mock God by believing that you don’t desperately need Him.
Finally, the Psalmist tells us that God hates, yes hates, all evildoers. This is where we get more uncomfortable. Does God hate we ask? This seems contrary to God’s love we say. Let us find understanding here because when we do the greatness and love of our God only seems more grand. Yes, our God hates those who stand opposed to Him. God can have no other response and still remain a Holy God. Anyone who is unrighteous, impure, evil, wicked and sinful (all synonyms) cannot be accepted by a Holy God. God must not only stand opposed to the wicked, evil or sinful acts, He must stand opposed to those who identify with them. So, God does indeed hate all evildoers. We can admit that this is scary and unsettling, because all of us, when we understand our own depravity and smallness, understand that we are unrighteous, impure, evil, wicked and sinful. Now, enter God’s lavish grace and love. God does not leave us to die and wither in our state of evil, but instead sends One, His Son, to cover us with His righteousness by His sacrificial death on the cross in order that we can stand in the presence of a Holy God. Understanding God’s posture of hatred to both the sin and the sinner helps us to begin to see and understand how powerful God’s grace and love are in providing a way for us to be seen as righteous and pure. Church, may we not run from God’s hatred of evil and the evildoer, but let our understanding of God’s holiness and His posture to all that is unholy cause us to marvel at His amazing grace. Amazing grace, found in Jesus Christ, that takes us from wicked to righteous, evil to daughter/son, impure to pure and unrighteous to righteous. Praise God!
PRAYER OF THE DAY: God, I praise You for who You are. I praise You that You stand opposed to all that is evil. Thank you that You have made me righteous through Jesus.