19 “O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
your enemies misuse your name.
21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
King David is a passionate man, he expresses his heart. When we read what he has penned, we will often scratch our heads. To a certain extent, those of us more practical and literal will often mis-interpret what has been written by our own concepts. I hardly think he is blood thirsty, or even vindictive– but he does have a deep hunger for the Lord.
Sometimes you and I might seem to be overreacting, and perhaps we are. It seems that if God is not our passion– our “first love”, we end up in a worse place. Vv. 23-24 is an essential truth to the life of a Christian believer. We need to plug into its power.
V. 19-20, There is the real world out there that we must connect with on “believer level.” It is vicious, corrupt, capricious and very evil. The certain agents (disciples of the dark one) constantly press us without a respite. Constantly we have to understand that a dark evil pushes, but our Father strengthens.
Out of this idea, we start to see “forms,” or individual faces. We see and feel the hatred that Uncle Bob has for us. His proud spirit has never bended his knee to the Lord Jesus. Uncle Bob comes with an arrogance and pride, without the slightest inclination toward spiritual things. We must oppose that spirit. The more vocal he gets, the more we must stand our ground. He is an enemy to the people of God, and we can’t wish otherwise.
Within these two verses, we discover an aggressive militancy against God’s kingdom. It tells us of blasphemy and murder, of wickedness and hatred. There is no doubt that people like this must face the consequences of their vileness.
V. 21-22, “ O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you? Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies.”
Hatred is mentioned in each verse. And this should be our starting point. The dictionary defines hatred as ” intense dislike or extreme aversion or hostility.” Perhaps, sometimes we could label “hatred” as a definite negative. But that isn’t always true. The psalmist implies that there is plenty of room for such a normally sinful emotion.
David so identifies himself with God, that he can sense the hatred that others have against the Lord. In a real way, David allies himself so closely to Him, that he will take up the issues that the Lord God must deal with. I suppose that this thinking is part of what it means to being a “friend of God.”
Evil can never be tolerated or entertained. For the person who is following closer and closer, there has to be a growing hatred against sin, even in its primitive form. I suppose at a basic level, what we are doing is painting “black all that is black, and avoid the human inclination to try to cover it with another coat of white paint.
Vv. 23-24, These verses are quite remarkable. To me I see a willingness to be fully examined, from top to bottom. I once was involved in purchasing a 54′ sailing ship for a ministry among the Pacific islands. The vessel had to be thoroughly “surveyed” before anything at all could be done. The inspector had to be checked out from hull to mast before we could make the purchase.
- Fully Known: Psalm 139:1-6, NLT (psalmslife.com)
- Night Vision: Psalm 139:13-16, NLT (psalmslife.com)
- Precious and Weighty: Psalm 139:17-18 (psalmslife.com)