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Psalm 139:20 Do I not hate those, O LORD, who hate you? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
Verses 19-22, which focus on the psalmist’s hatred of God’s enemies, are jarring. One minute we are trying to count the thoughts of God, which are “more than the sand,” and the next we are in the middle of a bloodthirsty rant against the wicked. Why the sudden shift in tone?
God knows better than we do that evil is hardly the exclusive property of our enemies. Right after the psalmist blusters about hating the foes of God, the focus turns inward, begging God, to “see if there is any wicked way in me” and to “lead me in the way everlasting.” We are all, to some extent, enemies of God. The most sensible solution—for the psalmist and for us—is to expose our hearts for what they are and ask God to heal them.