Justice or Mercy?


“Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing; the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man” (Psalm 5:6).

Thus ends a three verse passage that contains six actions the Lord’s justice must take toward men or women who will not accept His merciful sacrifice for sin on their behalf.

The “wicked” (v.4) have the characteristics of the inhabitants of Earth before the Flood (Genesis 6:5), or the men of Sodom (Genesis 13:13). They are “good for nothing,” as the Hebrew word is defined. They are spoiled or broken into worthless pieces “like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:9). The Lord has no pleasure in this type of person.

The “evil” (v.5:4) shall not dwell with the Lord. “Dwell” is also translated “stand in awe” (Psalm 33:8). It is a person’s only acceptable response to the Lord God who created heaven and Earth. How can the recipient of God’s grace do otherwise than to bow humbly in the presence of his maker? The evil know nothing of this type of relationship.

The “foolish” shall not stand in (the Lord’s) sight (v.5:5). Anyone or anything in God’s presence is there by a command performance. Satan “presented himself” before the Lord (Job 1:6). A man may rage and boast of his own deeds, but he shall not have any standing before the God whose justice requires 100% holiness.

The Lord “hatest all workers of iniquity” (v.5:5). To be a “worker” means to do something systematically or habitually. The Lord pronounced His justice on these religious pretenders: “I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity” (Luke 13:27). Biblical hatred has no room for personalities. A hateful person or thing is simply that which opposes the Lord. Hate is also translated enemy.

To hate God is to find oneself outside His mercy. Psalm 5 presents the alternative: “But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy” (v.7). CJH