I am slowly continuing in my private study through the book of Psalms. Below is a sneak preview of my sermon notes on ‘Psalm 5:4-6.’ Lord willing I pray to videotape this sermon soon.
In this next passage the Scriptures mention an ‘attribute’ of God that most post-modern, and even modern-day scholars dare to discuss in detail. That is God’s wrath, as well as His ‘hatred.’
Remember to keep this study Biblical, I must teach the ‘whole counsel of God (Acts 20:26-27), both His goodness and His severity (Rom 11:22-24). Understanding God’s anger, hatred, justice and wrath, is just as important to understanding His love. A necessary component to a moral character, is to abhor evil.
A Facebook friend (Bob) asked to meet with me. Once we met-up together, he then gently questioned and rebuked me for my frequent mentioning of “God’s wrath,” when I preach in the streets. Thankfully he received my ‘reason why’ with humility. But sadly Bob still attends an unhealthy church.
As Martyn Lloyd-Jones said in his book on Theology, “The righteousness and the justice of God, of course, are revealed almost everywhere in the Scriptures. The wrath of God is taught in both the Old and New Testaments. Our Lord Himself taught it; one of the cardinal doctrines of the whole Bible is that God has a hatred of sin which he expresses in His wrath. If anyone does not believe (being entrusted to & committed to Christ), says John, then ‘the wrath of God abideth on him’ (Eph 2:3).”
As A.W. Pink (1886-1892) said in his book “The attributes of God,” A study of the concordance will show that there are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury, and wrath of God, than are to His love and tenderness. Because God is holy, He hates all sin; and because He hates all sin, His anger burns against the sinner.”
Therefore this next passage will be difficult to teach. Not ‘difficult doctrinally,’ nor ‘tuff theologically,’ but difficult because it involves some ‘hard to swallow truths’ about God, which takes God’s courage to exegete.
We must remember that the same God that is infinite in love, is also infinite in holiness, justice, wrath, as well as ‘hatred of sin’ and hatred against sinner’s that practice sin.
Next in Verses 4-6 David says, ‘For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. 5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. 6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.’
As Joseph Caryl (1602-1673) first observed, hundreds of years before me, pay particular attention to the following 6 observations.
Here in verses 4-6, we see the progression of the Lord’s righteous anger, towards lost sinners, all seen within 6 steps.
First, He hath ‘no pleasure’ in them.
Secondly, they shall ‘not dwell’ with them.
Thirdly, He ‘casteth them forth,’ and they shall ‘not stand in His sight.’
Fourthly, His ‘heart turns from them,’ Thou ‘hatest all workers of iniquity.’
Fifthly, His ‘hand is turned upon them,’ Thou shalt ‘destroy them’ that speak leasing.
Sixthly, His Spirit ‘rises against them,’ and is alienated from them, the Lord will ‘abhor’ the bloody man.
Verse 4 said “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.”
In vs 4a this word ‘wickedness’ is the Hebrew word resha‛, it also means ‘lawlessness.’ It means committing a wrong against another, against God, especially a moral wrong, immorality, and/or any iniquity.
This word ‘God’ is the Hebrew word ‘êl (ale), it is an adjective which means that God is the ‘Mighty One,’ especially the ‘Almighty’ (but used also of a deity). Hence, it means that God is ‘great,’ ‘might’ and ‘power,’ when used as an abstract term.
In vs 4b it says that ‘evil shall not dwell with thee.’
This word ‘dwell’ is to sojourn, or to be entertained as a quest.
As I often warn others while preaching in the streets, God will not allow the unrighteous into heaven. That they must be cleansed, they must become regenerate, they must be born-again, and that they must be clothed with the imputed righteousness of Christ to enter the kingdom of God.
Though this passage is not a comprehensive list of all sins that will damn a sinner to hell, but it is a summarization of such, to warn those that are deceived.
Paul said in 1 Cor 6:9-10, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
To be frank, God hates sin, but He not only hates the sin; He hates those who practice such things.
That manmade cliché “God hates the sin, but loves the sinner,” is not Scriptural.
As Matthew Henry said, “When he says, Thou art not a God that has pleasure in wickedness, he means, “Thou art a God that hates it, as directly contrary to thy infinite purity and rectitude, and holy will.”
In the next two verses, David escalates God’s hatred, holiness, and wrath ‘towards the sinner.’
Charles Spurgeon said, “Rest assured, Christ will not live in the parlour of our hearts, if we entertain the devil in our thoughts.”
There will be “No vacancy” in heaven for the unrepented sinner.
Verse 5 said, “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”
Verse 5a says the ‘foolish shall not be able to sand in God’s sight.’
The foolish here is Absalom, his army, as well as any others that are ‘outside of Christ’ (those not born-again).
In verse 5b David says that ‘God hates workers of iniquity, sin and/or lawlessness.’
This word ‘hate’ comes from the Hebrew word śânê’, it is a verb that is used 145 times in the Scriptures. Take note that it is a ‘verb’ and not a feeling or an adjective. God’s holy hatred of sin, and of sinful man demands His verb actions.
As Spurgeon said, “It is not a little dislike, but a thorough hatred which God bears to workers of iniquity. To be hated of God is an awful thing. Oh let us be very faithful in warning the wicked around us, for it will be a terrible thing for them to fall into the hands of an angry God!”
Moreover, this ‘holy hatred’ goes beyond Absalom and his army, it says God hates ‘all’ of them.
William S. Plumer (1802-1880) said, “All sin is folly and madness. On this point all rational beings will come at last come to the same conclusion. There will be no diversity of judgement on this matter in the last day. All sin is of its own nature malignant and mischievous. Its natural tendency is to ruin and wretchedness. It would produce far more misery on earth than it does, were it not for the restraints put upon it by the Lord. All sin is cruelty to one’s soul, to one’s race, to a bleeding Saviour.”
The non-regenerate has no grasp of the wickedness of their sins. But those saved do understand it better. But the more sanctified a Christian becomes, the more they will hate their sin. Having said that, not even a solid mature well-schooled Christian can totally comprehend the ugliness of sin.
William Plumer goes on to say, “God’s nature is wholly opposed to it (sin). He cannot cease to abhor it, without ceasing to be God. No creature has any adequate conception of the evil of sin. None but God comprehends it. Because it is so vile, those who love it shall not stand in God’s sight. They shall not be owned as servants; they shall not be heard in their petitions; they shall not accomplish their designs; they shall fall before terrible judgments; they shall fall in the great day of trial. The overflowing scourge shall sweep them away. The reason is found in the divine purity. Thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”
Plumer goes on to say this about sin. “So repugnant to God’s nature is iniquity, that he would not even save his elect, except in a way that should fully and forever put away both the guilt and stain of sin, and bring all conceivable odium on transgression. God would not even spare his Son, when he stood in the place of sinners, lest he might seem to spare sin. Could he cease to hate it, he would cease to be worthy of love and confidence. “
Though God hates all sin, and all of ‘those that practice iniquity,’ there will also be different levels of punishment in hell, just as there are different rewards for Christians in heaven.
When lost sinners are known to pridefully flaunt their sinfulness, or arrogantly push their ungodly sinful lifestyles upon others, God’s Holy hatred ‘specifically towards them’ is understandable.
Though in the context that ‘everyone has sinned,’ and that ‘everyone needs salvation,’ and that all it takes is one small ‘white lie’ to condemn a person into hell; we must deny the false teaching that ‘all sin is equally the same as other sin.’
Joseph Caryl (1602-1673) said the following of these ‘workers of iniquity.’
“First, as intending (not all degrees of sinners, or sinners of every degree, but, the highest degree of sinners, great, and gross sinners, resolved and willful sinners. Such as sin industriously, and, as it were, artificially, with skill and care to get themselves a name, as if they had an ambition to be accounted workmen that need not be ashamed in doing that whereof all ought to be ashamed; these, in strictness of Scripture sense, are “workers of iniquity.” Hence note, notorious sinners made sin their business, or their trade. Though every sin be a work of iniquity, yet only some sinners are “workers of iniquity.”
Sadly today too many ‘professing’ (alleged) Christians are associating themselves with ‘workers of iniquity,’ or with ‘people groups’ that have self-identified themselves as being participators in particular sins.
David Clarkson (1621-1686) said this. “Avoid all that Christ hates. If you love, approve, entertain that which is hateful to Christ, how can He love you? What is that which Christ hates? The Psalmist (Psalm xiv. 7) tells us, making it one of Christ’s attributes, to hate wickedness… As Christ hates iniquity, so the “workers of iniquity.” You must not love them, as to be intimate with them, delight in the company of evil doers, openly profane, scorners of godliness, obstructers of the power of it (2 Cor. vi 14-18). If you love so near relations to wicked men, Christ will have no relation to you. If you would have communion with Christ in sweet acts of love, you must have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, nor those that act them.”
Having said that, every sinner that is not yet born-again, is a son of perdition, an enemy of God, and a hater of God (as I once was).
In the next verse God’s ‘holy justice’ escalates even more.
It says in vs 6, ‘Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.’
It vs 6a it says ‘God will destroy them that speak leasing.’
God not only hates and destroys those who practice sin, He will destroy those that speak-out sin from their lips.
This word ‘leasing’ is a liar, one who speaks falsehood. It does not mean a person that misspoke, or that made a mistake, an element to this particular lie, would be ‘with deceit.’
Vs 6b says, ‘the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.’
This word ‘abhor’ is the Hebrew word tâ‛ab (taw-ab’), which means to loathe, to morally detest to immorality, or the abominable.
Remember an evidence of salvation, is God replaces our heart of stone, with a heart of flesh. He gives us new desires, new loves, and a holy hatred of sin.
Spurgeon said this of this word ‘abhor.’ “How forcible is this word abhor! Does it not show us how powerful and deep-seated is the hatred of the Lord against the workers of iniquity?”
And so we Christians must also ‘hate as God hates,’ and ‘love as God loves.’
It says in Romans 12:9, ‘Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor evil, and cling to what is good.’
Remember that a truly saved Christian will be an ‘ambassador of the Lord’ (His representative), they will be ‘imitators of Christ’ (according to the Scriptures).
I believe one of the biggest problems with most of today’s unbiblical churchianity, or evangelicalism, is that ‘professing’ Christians are comparing themselves to other ‘professing’ Christians. In other words, their standards are extremely low, unbiblical, and at times even sinful. But what we are to compare ourselves to, is the Lord’s Scriptures. The Doctrine of the sufficiency of Scriptures is our standard. Thus saith the Lord.
D.L. Moody (1837-1899) said in his book on Theology, “Holiness points to God’s majesty. The foundation of this emphasis is Leviticus 11:44,45: “Be holy, for I am holy.” Because God is morally pure, He cannot condone evil, or have any relationship to it (Ps. 11:406). In His holiness is the moral and ethical standard; He is the Law. He sets the standard.”
But David does not have to be ‘helpless and hopeless,’ let us move-onto verse 7.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION: The sermon will include more.
UPDATE 12/29/17: This sermon has been video recorded, and the completed full notes can be seen below.
Video expository teaching of Psalm chapter 5:4-6, by Bill Rhetts (God’s hatred of sin, & His hatred of some sinner’s)