4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil dwell with You. 5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. 6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. 7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
IN THIS PSALM, David draws a contrast between the unrighteous and the righteous by exalting God in His righteousness, which is what worship songs are supposed to do. David states that God takes no pleasure in wickedness, and that evil does not dwell with Him. He hates all workers of iniquity. In the Hebrew language, “hate” isn’t an indication of God’s emotion but rather of His reaction. And what is that reaction? The verse goes on to say that He will ultimately destroy the wicked!
Looking within our own hearts as we contemplate these verses, we come to see that we fall under the same categories we see listed in these verses. Are we boastful? Do we ever do the things that God hates? Have we lied? Acted hatefully? Lived dishonestly? It’s then that we realize what we really need to pray about: our own sins! We’re pretty comfortable asking God to deal with those who have caused harm to us, or those whom we see around us doing things that we know are offensive to the Lord. But when it comes to our having hurt others or sinned against God, we tend come before Him with false humility: “Lord, you know that I am but dust. I am weak, Lord. Have mercy on this small offense, Father. I slipped up, and I didn’t mean to.”
To take this a little further, let’s look at another psalm to see what the writer said in his prayer: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear . . . ” (Psalm 66:18-20). Many people seem to be unable to pray the way the Lord wants them to because sin is bossing them around! The one prayer that God wants to hear from us is that we agree with Him about our sin: that it is evil, and we must repent because it grieves Him. Then, the Bible tells us, “Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the pres- ence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
And that is how our prayer time may be truly pure before the Lord!
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