04 February, 2017

Psalm 11:5—“… but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth”

The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try the children of men. The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup (Ps. 11:4-6).

Psalm 11:5 says that God hates the wicked and him that loveth violence. Common grace proponents have argued from this text that since the elect were ‘wicked’ prior to their conversion, God, therefore, must have “hated” them during that time (while simultaneously “loving” them with an everlasting love).

This assumption is then used to attack the notion that God cannot both hate *and* love the same person at the same time—a notion, which, if true, demolishes the theory of common grace altogether. For that theory posits that God both hates the reprobate eternally, but, simultaneously, loves them during their lifetime (and expresses that love for them in the good things of providence (health, friendship, sunshine, fruitful seasons, etc.).

This text poses a problem for the common grace theory, however, in that it reveals God’s disposition toward the reprobate to be nothing but “hatred.”


Rev. Angus Stewart

[Source: “The Psalms Versus Common Grace”]

Psalm 11 speaks of the reprobate wicked, for those whom God hates (v. 5) He will punish in hell (v. 6). The elect, prior to their conversion, live in sin. But it is not true to say that God hates them, even when they were in unbelief. God eternally loved His people in Christ (Rom. 9:13). Therefore, He brings them all to repentance (Jer. 31:3). We are under His wrath prior to our conversion (Eph. 2:3), but He never hated us, for His hatred is His resolute determination to thrust away from Himself and punish everlastingly.



Herman Hoeksema (1886-1965)

[Source: Protestant Reformed Theological Journal, vol. 2, no. 1, December 1968]

Notice the contrast in the text: “the righteous” is contrasted with “the wicked.” Over against “his soul hateth” stands “trieth.” The idea is that Jehovah may send afflictions to the righteous, but he does so in his grace, to prove, to try, to sanctify them. Even apparently evil things are a manifestation of his grace to the righteous.

It is different with the wicked. God’s constant attitude toward them is hatred. His soul hates them. He is filled with enmity against them. Whatever they may have in this life, the fact remains that Jehovah’s soul hates them. How the idea that grace in any sense can be forced into this text is a mystery to me.



More to come! (DV)

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