Psalm 5 verse 5 – “God Hates Sinners”
Psalm 5 verse 5 – “God hates sinners”
As an introduction, I would like to make a statement which at first glance may seem to be extremely offensive to some. However, no one will be able to prove me wrong when it is put to the test under the white-hot scrutiny of the Word of God. The statement is this:-
The Virgin Mary was as much a lost sinner as Cain and Esau despite the fact that she was not a bloodthirsty and devious murderer.
Was Paul who wrote Romans 3:23 under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit hallucinating when He said “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God?”
As you may have seen and heard from many video clips on YouTube and from many articles written by Calvinists, adherents to the Doctrines of Grace (Reformed Theology ensconced in TULIP) brazenly and unashamedly assert that God hates sinners. It is indeed a brave and brash statement when taken into account that the Virgin Mary was as much a lost sinner as Cain and Esau.
It follows that God hated the Virgin Mary as much as He hated Cain and Esau, according to Calvinists like Paul Washer, David Platt, Robert Morey, and John Piper. I only need to quote three passages from Scripture to prove that the Virgin Mary was as much a lost sinner as Cain and Esau.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. (Romans 11:32) And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. (Luke 1:47)
God cannot have mercy on you unless you are a lost sinner and realize and acknowledge that you are a lost sinner. Most people acknowledge that they are sinners but very little admit that they are lost sinners on their way to hell. A Calvinist once wrote:
The bible never says that God’s people [the elect] were ever bound for hell, it says they were chosen “in Christ” before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4). The conviction of sin is usually misinterpreted by God’s people to be the conviction that they are hell bound, the gospel explains to them that they are not, because of what Christ did FOR them.
So, in essence, the Gospel is only meant for and on behalf of the so-called elect as a kind of surety that they were never lost and hell-bound. What utter nonsense. These so-called people of God are lost and need to hear and obey the true Gospel message.
If God chose the elect unto salvation BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, He must have loved them BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, which means that He never hated them. God could not possibly have chosen them unto salvation if He hated them BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.
That’s ridiculous, to say the least. Nonetheless, Calvinists maintain that God hates sinners. The sinners to whom they refer cannot be the elect because God chose and loved them before the foundation of the world. The only remaining sinners are the non-elect and therefore they must be the sinners whom God hates. Is this not the reason why Calvinists are taught to hate non-Calvinists? (Read here).
Let us now turn to Psalm 5:5, one of the Calvinist’s most quoted verses to validate their view that God hates sinners. Note carefully, the verse does not say God hates sinners. It says that God hates all workers of iniquity. The word for “workers” is “פָּעַל” (pâ‛al) and portrays sinners who persistently, habitually, and relentlessly, non-repentantly practice iniquity and fondly boast about it.
Hence the words the foolish (literally, boasters) shall not stand in thy sight” (will not be allowed to approach Him and stand in his presence). Verse 6 reveals what kind of iniquity David had in mind. “Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing (falsely and deceitfully): the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.”
God will destroy (in hell) all the bloody (murderous) and devious men who deceitfully and cunningly justify their heinous and bloodthirsty way of life and non-repentantly pursue such a lifestyle to the very end of their lives.
I deliberately used the words “persistently,” “non-repentantly,” and “practice” to affirm that any bloodthirsty and deceitful person who remains adamant to repent and turn to God for forgiveness will remain an object of God’s abhorrence. You may argue that this does not apply to you because you are not a bloodthirsty person. You are kind, good, compassionate, loving, helpful, a giver instead of a receiver, and so forth. Bully for you. Nevertheless, if you remain unrepentant and persistently refuse to respond to God’s Gospel call for Him to save you, you will remain a Psalm 5:5 recipient of God’s righteous hatred. But, remember this, God’s hatred is not the kind Calvinists attribute to Him in their so-called Doctrines of Grace that says He has chosen some for eternal damnation before the foundation of the world.
To illustrate we must briefly review one of the most tragic events in the author of Psalm 5, King David’s life. In a nutshell, this incident in King David’s life transpired as follows.
He saw a naked married woman bathing; he lusted after her; he had her brought to him; he had sex with her; she fell pregnant; he started to panic; he cunningly began to devise devious plans to have her husband think that he was the father; when all his devious plans failed he had her husband killed in the heat of a battle.
He must have thought that his devious plan to place the man in the front line of the battlefield and have his men withdraw so that the man stood alone against the enemy was not murder but a brilliant battle strategy to rid him of his worst enemy (his conscience).
King David’s actions fit every category of a bloody and deceitful man in Psalm 5 which made him a perfect object for God’s hatred and abhorrence. Did God hate and abhor him? Here’s what the Bible has to say about King David.
And when he had removed him (King Saul), he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, (1 Samuel 13:14) which shall fulfil all my will. Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: (Acts 13:22-23)
The first thing that springs to mind is God’s unfailing resilience to choose David to be king of Israel and Judah despite the fact that He knew before the foundation of the world that his favorite Psalmist, who made it known that He abhors all workers of iniquity, was himself a bloody and deceitful man on one occasion.
If God wanted to be consistent in his judgments then He must have hated and abhorred King David as much as He hated and abhorred every bloody and deceitful man and all workers of iniquity. What is the difference between all the workers of iniquity, every bloody and deceitful man, and King David? Nothing, except Psalm 51.
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalm 51:1-4)
It could have been nothing else than David’s humility to acknowledge and confess his sins to God and wholeheartedly repent of them that made him the man after God’s own heart.
Consequently, it was something he himself had done that rendered him a man after God’s own heart.
It follows that God does not hate the bloody and deceitful men for what they are (aka God hates sinners) but for that which they refuse to do, i.e. to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, repent and ask for His forgiveness, like King David.
From the above, it is easy to deduce – if you are a Calvinist – that God hated King David and his most important descendant, the Virgin Mary.
Why do Calvinists defend their abhorrent doctrine that “God hates sinners?”
The reason for them having to uphold this doctrine at all costs stems from their warped soteriology. John MacArthur sums it up perfectly on his site Grace To You when he writes:
(The following Question and Answers were taken from John MacArthur’s book, The God Who Loves, pp. 14, 16. ©2001 by John MacArthur. All Rights Reserved.)
Does God love the elect and hate the non-elect?
Selected Scriptures QA184
There are some who teach that God loves only His elect and hates the non-elect. Please comment.
The fact that some sinners are not elected to salvation is no proof that God’s attitude toward them is utterly devoid of sincere love. We know from Scripture that God is compassionate, kind, generous, and good even to the most stubborn sinners.
Who can deny that these mercies flow out of God’s boundless love? Yet it is evident that they are showered even on unrepentant sinners.
I want to acknowledge, however, that explaining God’s love toward the reprobate is not as simple as most modern evangelicals want to make it. Clearly there is a sense in which the psalmist’s expression, “I hate the assembly of evildoers” (Ps. 26:5) is a reflection of the mind of God.
“Do I not hate those who hate Thee, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against Thee? I hate them with the utmost hatred; they have become my enemies” (Ps. 139:21-22). Such hatred as the psalmist expressed is a virtue, and we have every reason to conclude that it is a hatred God Himself shares.
After all, He did say, “I have hated Esau” (Mal. 1:3; Rom. 9:13). The context reveals God was speaking of a whole race of wicked people. So there is a true and real sense in which Scripture teaches that God hates the wicked.
So an important distinction must be made. God loves believers with a particular love. It is a family love, the ultimate love of an eternal Father for His children. It is the consummate love of a Bridegroom for His bride. It is an eternal love that guarantees their salvation from sin and its ghastly penalty.
That special love is reserved for believers alone.
However, limiting this saving, everlasting love to His chosen ones does not render God’s compassion, mercy, goodness, and love for the rest of mankind insincere or meaningless.
When God invites sinners to repent and receive forgiveness (Isa. 1:18; Matt. 11:28-30), His pleading is from a sincere heart of genuine love. “‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?'” (Ezek. 33:11).
Clearly God does love even those who spurn His tender mercy, but it is a different quality of love, and different in degree from His love for His own.
John MacArthur tries his level best to prove, through his usual maze of inconsistencies, that God loves all people – elect and non-elect alike – but not in the same way, as if He’s saying “Here’s one kind of love for you and another kind of love for you. But don’t fret, I am dead sincere in both my kinds of love.”
What MacArthur actually says, is that God is double-hearted or double-minded. Why would God want to be double-hearted or double-minded when He disavows a man who is double-minded and thus unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). How does God’s double-mindedness work in Calvinism? It works like this. God says:
Please don’t misunderstand me when I say I love both the elect and the non-elect, but not in the same way. Even though I have decided by decree to send you (the non-elect) to hell before the foundation of the world, I still have a very sincere and meaningful love for you.
The next time when the beautiful rays of My sun shine on your brow and raindrops fall on your head, remember that it is a sign of my great love for you.
Pardon Me, What was that you said? ‘Solomon wrote in his book Ecclesiastes under the inspiration of My Holy Spirit that everything on earth is meaningless or vanity?” Uhmmm, Don’t listen to him. He thought he was the wisest man who ever lived. He was not, I tell you. John MacArthur, Senior Pastor of the Grace Community Church in California, America is the wisest man in the world.
At least he sincerely and meaningfully presents Me properly to the world when he says: ‘However, limiting this saving, everlasting love to His chosen ones, does not render God’s compassion, mercy, goodness, and love for the rest of mankind insincere or meaningless.’
He’s right, you know. I am dead serious and sincere when I say I love you and equally dead serious and sincere when I say I am going to send you to hell because I have not chosen you to be part of my Bride. I am sincere in doing this because it gives Me great pleasure. Therefore, I am sending you to hell with bags full of love in my heart for you.
Pardon Me, did you say something again? Did I hear you correctly? Does John MacArthur say I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked? (Ezekiel 33:11).
That’s true, but my dearly beloved and elected John MacArthur also said it gives me more glory (read here) to send the non-elect whom I love so much to hell. Therefore it pleases me to send you (the non-elect) to hell because it glorifies me magnanimously more.
Please don’t tell my beloved and elected John I spotted this teeny-weeny inconsistency in his rendition of me having no pleasure in sending you (the non-elect) to hell. It may hurt his feelings and make him feel unloved by me.
So, as you can see, in my temporal blessings of the non-elect I prove that I sincerely and meaningfully love the non-elect but in my eternal blessings that I sincerely and meaningfully hate them. That’s why another one of my sincerely beloved and elected blue-eyed boys can say that I simultaneously love and hate sinners.
God simultaneously loves and hates sinners
In defense of his interpretation of Psalm 5:5 Platt says that it is a quote from the Bible. Well,now, that doesn’t say much, does it?
Calvinists quote many other verses from Scripture such as John 3:16 but heinously and deliberately misinterpret them. Even the devil quoted some verses from Scripture to Jesus Christ. Says who? “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands, they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (from Psalm 91).
How else is Satan going to transform himself into an angel of light and his ministers into ministers of righteousness if they do not quote the Bible? (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
Come on Platty, I dare you to quote the devil because he also quoted from the Bible.
If God is double-minded and therefore unstable in all his ways, who can trust Him? In fact, MacArthur is accusing God of being unstable, disorderly, disturbed, and confused. That’s what the word “akatastatos” in James 1:8 actually means. No wonder Dave Hunt said Calvinism is a misrepresentation of God. Anyone who fosters a view of God other than the one portrayed in the Bible is an idolater.
Let us now briefly look at the verses John MacArthur quoted to substantiate his and his Calvinist brethren’s insipid belief that God hates/loves sinners (Some say God hates sinners; others say God hates/loves sinners and yet others, like John MacArthur, say God loves the non-elect but not in the same way that He loves the elect).
To understand the real meaning of the verses John MacArthur quoted, we need to turn to the New Testament. Jesus commanded his followers to love their enemies (Matthew 5:44) but in the same breath warns them not to associate or fellowship with them (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). And there you have it – love your enemies for the sake of Christ and their salvation but hate the things they do. (Psalm 1).
John MacArthur and David Platt, hailed as illustrious Pastors in their own congregations should know Psalm 26:5 does not say God hates sinners per se. It clearly says King David hated the congregation of evildoers and refused to fellowship with them. The previous verse makes this abundantly clear:. “I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites.” (Verse 4 ESV).
It echoes to perfection the New Testament principle that saints ought to love their enemies but never fellowship with them – never to “sit with men of falsehood, not to consort with hypocrites.”
Wasn’t that one of Jesus Christ’s habits when He was still on earth – to sit and eat with sinners (Matthew 9:10-12) and the Pharisees (the archaic and original elected Calvinists of Jesus’ day) hated Him for it? He sat with sinners but never took part or consorted with them in their evil doings. He sat with them because He loved them – not to condone their evil doings but to preach to them the Gospel.
Bible scholars agree that King David was a type of Jesus Christ as King, just as Joseph was a type of Him as the suffering Servant. As God’s anointed both Jesus and King David suffered many things at the hands of their own brethren (and even their closest of kin) without them having any reason to hate them. Psalm 59, for instance, is a key element to a correct understanding of the hatred King David felt for his enemies.
To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him. Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men (here again, as in Psalm 5, the workers of iniquity were bloody men who relentlessly pursued and plotted to kill King David in the very same way the Pharisees plotted and pursued Jesus to kill Him. For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD. (Psalm 59:1-3).
David did not hate them because they were sinners. If that were true God would have hated King David as well (1 Samuel 13:14) because he too sinned and stained his hands with the blood of an innocent man. In fact, this was the main reason why he wasn’t permitted to build the temple – his hands were blood-stained (1 Chronicles 28:3).
He hated their congregation, their schemes, and their plots and not them personally. If King David hated King Saul who was the mastermind behind these plots, he would not have spared his life on those occasions when he had the opportunity to kill him.
And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi. Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave. And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt. And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD'S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD. So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way. (1 Samuel 24:1-7; Acts 13:22,23).
David’s own son, Absalom, was one of his worst enemies and like King Saul, he plotted to kill him and usurp his throne.
Yet David "commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom." when they fought against Absalom's army (2 Samuel 18:5).
Anyone, including John MacArthur and David Platt, who interprets David’s lenient behavior toward King Saul and Absolom as hatred, must have their minds sorted out. It proves beyond any doubt that King David did not hate them but their evil ways.
Here again “hatred” must be understood as David’s abhorrence of their conduct and his refusal to fellowship with them and that he had no desire to be associated with them.
The expression here – “grieved” – explains the meaning of the word “hate” in the first part of the verse. It is not that kind of hatred that is followed by malignity or ill-will; it is that which is accompanied by grief – the pain of heart – pity – sorrow. So the Saviour looked on people: Mark 3:5: “And when he had looked round about on them with “anger,” being “grieved” for the hardness of their hearts.”
The Hebrew word used here, however, contains also the idea of being disgusted with; of loathing; of nauseating.
A question we need to ask is, why did King David describe his hatred as perfect hatred? The emotion called hatred, as MacArthur and Platt see it, cannot have an opposite called “an imperfect hatred.”
What would anyone say when asked what an imperfect hatred means? Is it a mixture of love and hatred and if so what are the ingredients – 70% hatred and 30% love or vice versa?
There is no such thing as imperfect hatred. When Christ said “Love your enemies” He couldn’t possibly have meant that your love should be a mixture of love and hatred. In the same way, hatred cannot be a mixture of love and hatred. Both are absolutes and cannot be mixed.
It’s like water and oil. King David must have known God’s will that he should love his enemies. Is there any evidence that he knew of Christ’s command to love his enemies?
I have already mentioned his attitude to King Saul and his own son, Absalom, who hated his guts and pursued every opportunity to kill him. Therefore King David’s hatred could not have been the kind they leveled at him.
When he said “I hate them with a perfect hatred,” he, meant that he made no compromise with them and completely and fully abhorred their counsels, fellowship, and unholy plots.
God makes no bones about the seriousness of hatred, as MacArthur and Platt see is, so much so that He equates it with murder. “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15).
A good example is the hatred of John Calvin and his murder of Servetus and many others whose vile doctrines MacArthur, Platt, and many other Calvinists blindly follow.
1 John 3:15 proves that King David’s hatred could never have been the sort King Saul and his son, Absolom had for him.
It simply means that King David had no sympathy whatsoever for the things they were plotting against him; he did not apologize in the very least for their conduct and completely rejected it with an entire disapprobation.
His hatred was not the kind King Saul and Absalom had for him.
In this sense, King David’s love for his enemies together with his hatred of their conduct harmonize perfectly with Matthew 5:43,44 and 2 Corinthians 6:14.
What to tell your kids at night before you tuck them in: “I love you but God hates you”
David Platt has four kids of whom two are adopted. Having heard him quote the Bible (out of context) so boldly in public that God hates sinners, I was wondering whether he and his wife have ever told their kids with equal boldness that God hates them. “Daddy and mommy love you very much, but God hates you to bits.” Now, now, don’t be angry at me. I didn’t say it. Pastor David Platt, pastor-teacher at McLean Bible Church since 2017, says and believes it.