“For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest.” (Psalms 5:4-6 NIV)
The lesson to be learned from verses 4-6 is that God isn’t pleased with wickedness and those who do evil are not welcome. He can’t stand the presence of the prideful and He hates those who willfully do wrong. He cannot abide dishonesty and deceit, He actually detests those who are thirsty for blood.
I can totally relate to this, and I suspect you can as well. We don’t want anyone who is vulgar in our homes. We would prefer to not have to deal with the prideful, the dishonest, the bloodthirsty. We, who are sinful, don’t like these things, and neither does God. But because of His supreme holiness, not only doesn’t He like these things, but these evils can’t abide in His presence.
When you go on, however, to verse 7, you see a whole different side to God: “But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.” (Psalms 5:7 NIV).
We all know that in Christ we are to hate the sin but love the sinner, and God gives us the ultimate example of this. He hated the sin; but He loved us enough to make a way, even though that “way” cost Him His life. When we accept that gift of Salvation, when we put our trust in Him, when we show His love to those around us, we are welcome to come into His house, to bow before His throne!
Do you know God? Have you accepted His gift of salvation? Then you have the right to stand in His presence. Because of His great love, you can come into His house and bow down in reverence before His throne. I would urge you, however, to not take this gift for granted. You may be forgiven, but God still hates the sin. Out of gratitude to Him for what He has done, let’s do our part in putting off these things that God hates. Let’s look to Him for the strength to say “no” to our pet sins. Let’s not drag His gift of grace through the dirt by continuing to willfully sin. Let’s make it a point to be obedient.
What is one way to tell if someone truly loves our Heavenly Father?
Their actions will show it. They will respond to others, even the sinners, in love; and when they do, God’s presence will flood through wherever they are.
A very long time ago, I had a class of Grade 3 students. The class was full of problem kids, and as a result, they weren’t the best group of students. However, when my Heavenly Father told me to show these rough students love and to listen to them and care about them, I did my best to obey. The result was that we did, indeed, have a great time. The students became motivated, and they learned well. You could feel God’s presence amongst us. These students often told me that they had the best teacher possible. Funny, I didn’t feel that way. I certainly made plenty of mistakes! However, it was by worshiping my God in His holy temple through obedience, it was by showing God’s love to these students despite their faults, that He was able to step in and make a difference in our classroom.
Let’s love God enough to put off willful sin. Let’s love Him enough to obey. Let’s love Him enough to love others, especially the unloveable. For when we do, we will be counted among those who are welcome in His presence, and we will discover that God’s love will pour through us to others, and His presence will fill us up to overflowing.
In His love,
(To access the entire “The Sling for God” devotional series, please click here.)