Psalm 5:4-6

4. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness;1 evil shall not dwell Smith thee. 5. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight; thou hatest all that commit iniquity. 6. Thou shalt destroy them that speak falsehood; Jehovah will abhor the blood-thirsty2 and deceitful man.


Here David makes the malice and wickedness of his enemies an argument to enforce his prayer for the divine favor towards him. The language is indeed abrupt, as the saints in prayer will often stammer; but this stammering is more acceptable to God than all the figures of rhetoric, be they ever so fine and glittering. Besides, the great object which David has in view, is to show, that since the cruelty and treachery of his enemies had reached their utmost height, it was impossible but that God would soon arrest them in their course. His reasoning is grounded upon the nature of God. Since righteousness and upright dealing are pleasing to him, David, from this, concludes that he will take vengeance on all the unjust and wicked. And how is it possible for them to escape from his hand unpunished, seeing he is the judge of the world? The passage is worthy of our most special attention. For we know how greatly we are discouraged by the unbounded insolence of the wicked. If God does not immediately restrain it, we are either stupified and dismayed, or cast down into despair. But David, from this, rather finds matter of encouragement and confi-dence. The greater the lawlessness with which his enemies proceeded against him, the more earnestly did he supplicate preservation from God, whose office it is to destroy all the wicked, because he hates all wickedness. Let all the godly, therefore, learn, as often as they have to contend against violence, deceit, and injustice, to raise their thoughts to God in order to encourage themselves in the certain hope of deliverance, according as Paul also exhorts them in 2 Thessalonians 1:5, "Which is," says he, "a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled, rest with us." And assuredly he would not be the judge of the world if there were not laid up in store with him a recompense for all the ungodly. One use, then, which may be made of this doctrine is this, -- when we see the wicked indulging themselves in their lusts, and when, in consequence, doubts steal into our minds as to whether God takes any care of us, we should learn to satisfy ourselves with the consideration that God, who hates and abhors all iniquity, will not permit them to pass unpunished, and although he bear with them for a time, he will at length ascend into the judgment-seat, and show himself an avenger, as he is the protector and defender of his people.3 Again, we may infer from this passage the common doctrine, that God, although he works by Satan and by the ungodly, and makes use of their malice for executing his judgments, is not, on this account, the author of sin, nor is pleased with it because the end which he purposes is always righteous; and he justly condemns and punishes those who, by his mysterious providence, are driven whithersoever he pleases.

In the 4th verse some take er, ra, in the masculine gender, for a wicked man; but I understand it rather of wickedness itself David declares simply, that there is no agreement between God and unrighteousness. He immediately after proceeds to speak of the men themselves, saying, the foolish shall not stand in thy sight; and it is a very just inference from this, that iniquity its hateful to God, and that, therefore, he will execute just punishment upon all the wicked. He calls those fools, according to a frequent use of the term in Scripture, who, impelled by blind passion, rush headlong into sin. Nothing is more foolish, than for the ungodly to cast away the fear of God, and suffer the desire of doing mischief to be their ruling principle; yea, there is no madness worse than the contempt of God, under the influence of which men pervert all right. David sets this truth before himself for his own comfort; but we also may draw from it doctrine very useful in training us to the fear of God; for the Holy Spirit, by declaring God to be the avenger of wickedness, puts a bridle upon us, to restrain us from committing sin, in the vain hope of escaping with impunity.

1 "Ou le mauvais." -- Fr. Marg. "Or the wicked."

2 The words in the original are Mymd sya, ish damim, literally, the man of bloods. The plural number is used, probably to teach us, that the man who thirsts for human blood is rarely satisfied with one victim.

3 "Comme il est protecteur et defenseur des siens." -- Fr.