06 June, 2019

Psalm 5:5—“… thou hatest all workers of iniquity”

For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man (Ps. 5:4-6).

Psalm 5:5 says that God hates all workers of iniquity. Common grace proponents argue from this text that since the elect were ‘workers of iniquity’ 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.).


Rev. Kenneth Koole

[Source: Reflections on the Free Offer and the Charge of Hyper-Calvinism, pp. 25, 26]

The WMO men argue that since the elect can also be guilty of iniquity, therefore they too are hated by God. Really? One must then ask what God meant when He through His Spirit has wicked Balaam say concerning His true Israel, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Israel”? (It is this, of course, that explains God’s longsuffering love for a sinful, damn-worthy people).
While it is true that the elect can live wickedly for a time in unbelief, and even have to be converted from amongst the wicked, this is not the perspective of this Psalm and others that use similar language. The Psalms have a practice of drawing up absolute contrasts between the righteous and the wicked, those who are God’s own in Christ the righteous one, and those who are not and never will be. Do not forget that the Psalm goes on to plead with God concerning these wicked, “Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsel; cast them out …” Remember, in the Psalms, Christ speaks. And are we to believe that Christ speaks this way concerning His sheep, including those “other sheep” given Him, yet lost in darkness? Hating them as the wicked, praying for their utter destruction? Nonsense. Because if He did, it is a prayer not answered. How fortunate for us! …

This does not mean that such a psalm has little to say to the child of God. It is exactly God’s hatred of wickedness, and then of His perpetual hatred of those impenitently committed to wickedness, that gives one the strong incentive to depart from the wicked and their ways.



Rev. Angus Stewart


[Source: Private Correspondence, 19/09/2015]

The ones whom God hates in Psalm 5 do not stand in His sight (v. 5) and are destroyed (vv. 6, 10). Therefore, they are the reprobate, not believers prior to their conversion. It is similar with those whom God hates (v. 5) in Psalm 11, for they go to hell (v. 6).


[Source: The Psalms Versus Common Grace (comm. on Psalm 11)]

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.



More to come! (DV)

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