Have you ever noticed in the Psalms the amount of talk about wicked people vs. righteous people? The authors of these Psalms have some pretty unpleasant things to say about the wicked and what they deserve.
“You hate all who do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies…” (Psalm 5:6)
That is a relatively tame verse, but the idea that God hates all who do wrong, that is quite harsh. Who hasn’t done wrong? Are we only talking about the “bloodthirsty” and “deceitful” people whom the Lord “detests?” (Second part of Psalm 5:6) And what exactly does one need to do to be thrown into that camp??
I mean… David, the author of this Psalm, was a murderer and a rapist.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Now continue to read this Psalm:
“You hate all who do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest. But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.”Psalm 5:6-7
How is it that David, who has done some incredibly evil things, counts himself among those loved by God and feels righteous enough to call out his enemies as evildoers and hated by God?! Without properly understanding what’s happening here, David may come across as incredibly arrogant and I’ll be honest, things like this have been unsettling for me as I read through the Old Testament and the Psalms.
But I’ll tell you what I’ve come to understand. And this, by the way, is GREAT news for us all and shows all the more how loving, merciful, patient, and generous our good God is!!
The final verse in this Psalm is:
“Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”Psalm 5:12
So… who is the righteous? We’re all sinners so is there some line that if you cross you now become “wicked?” Where would that line be? Murder? David murdered, yet he is considered righteous.
Let’s take a look at the verse before the last.
“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”Psalm 5:11
Who is righteous? Those who take refuge in the Lord, who love His name.
Genesis 15:6 says, “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”
Romans 4:16 says,”Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.”
So we see that the promise of righteousness by faith is for anyone who has the faith of Abraham.
What is the great news I mentioned above?? If David, who was a murderer and a rapist, can gain “righteousness” simply by turning to the Lord and putting his trust in Him, than you and I definitely can, too. If you ever felt like you can’t be forgiven for something you’ve done, or for the person you are, remember this. Read the story of David, and read his Psalms.
You see, salvation is not a ticket to heaven. Salvation is reconciliation with one’s Creator, the God of the universe, who gives forgiveness and righteousness to ANYONE who wants Him.
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.John 17:3
Salvation is not about believing the “right” things. It’s about taking refuge in the Lord.
Our faith, our belief in Him, is a gift from God in and of itself. If you are in doubt, you need only ask God to help you believe. He will gladly do so, so long as you are truly seeking God’s truth.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of your fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”Luke 11:7
Therefore, what we see in the Psalms and woven throughout all scripture from Genesis to Revelation, is that while we were all wicked, righteousness is freely credited to us through faith in the Lord. And that faith is gifted to us from the Lord to anyone who asks.
It may not be overnight. It may be a process. But continue to seek, and you will surely find.