“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.” ~ Psalm 97:10
To appreciate this verse fully, it is useful to recall a little English grammar regarding the use of a colon (:). Colons are used when an additional sentence(s) explains or illustrates the first sentence. “The colon is a mark of expectation; its primary function is to signal to the reader to ‘watch for what’s coming’.” Hence, our text could be understood/read as follows:
‘Ye that love the LORD, hate evil BECAUSE He preserveth the souls of His saint, BECAUSE He delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.’
In short, God is actively protecting us from the influence and consequence of evil in the world around us. Therefore, if we love anything that is evil we are striving against God’s work in our lives. That is, we are holding on to evil instead of allowing God to eliminate its influence from our lives.
This is a crucial point for Believers to grasp and understand. Our love for things of the world stunts our growth.
- Why do we mature so slowly?
- Why are we covering the same ground without making much progress?
- Why are we struggling with the same issues year after year?
Our text gives us the answer: we love ungodly things and so we are working against God, instead of *with* God.
In closing, here are some Biblical examples to consider:
- David’s spiritual growth was limited by lust.
- Solomon’s spiritual growth was frustrated by fear (he acquired many of his wives as part of peace treaties with neraby nations, despite God’s promise to protect him).
- Jacob’s spiritual growth was abated by his ambition: his willingness to accomplish his goals by trickery/deception.
- Jonah’s spiritual growth was held back by his hate of the Ninevites.
Let us learn from these examples. Let us examine ourselves in the Light of God’s Word to see what evil thing we might be holding onto. Let us learn to hate everything, every attitude, every mindset that is against God. For we must reject evil before we can work WITH God on becoming the BEST we can be. God wants to take the influence of evil away from our lives so that we can flourish, let’s work WITH Him.