Psalm 139:22

ESV I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.
NIV I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
NASB I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies.
CSB I hate them with extreme hatred; I consider them my enemies.
NLT Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies.
KJV I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

What does Psalm 139:22 mean?

Speaking of those who despised God and took His name in vain, David said his hatred of them was complete. In this specific instance, that includes both the biblical form of "hate" that contrasts with "preference," as well as a feeling of sickness and disgust at their sin. David viewed God's enemies as his enemies. This did not stop David from understanding that he, himself, was vulnerable to sin like anyone else (Psalm 139:23–24).

Although we ought to love sinners, we must not become numb to their sin. We must not think that God's love is so encompassing that He excuses sin and haphazardly embraces everyone as His child. God is just and must punish sin. Paul reminds us in Romans 5:8 that before we trusted in Christ as our Savior, we were God's enemies (Romans 5:10). In his letter to the Ephesians, he said we once walked in the ways of the world and followed the Devil (Ephesians 2:1–2). At that time, we were "children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3). Only by accepting Christ, by grace, through faith, can we change that destiny (John 1:12; 14:6; Acts 4:12).

The apostle James asks, "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4). It is better to be the world's enemy, yet God's friend, than to be the world's friend and God's enemy!
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