Psalm 31:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 31:6, NIV: I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the LORD.

Psalm 31:6, ESV: I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the LORD.

Psalm 31:6, KJV: I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.

Psalm 31:6, NASB: I hate those who devote themselves to worthless idols, But I trust in the LORD.

Psalm 31:6, NLT: I hate those who worship worthless idols. I trust in the LORD.

Psalm 31:6, CSB: I hate those who are devoted to worthless idols, but I trust in the Lord.

What does Psalm 31:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Terms like "hate" are used exclusively in reference to emotions in the modern world. As used in the Bible, "hatred" for something is often mentioned as part of a contrast focused on behavior. This is the gist of Jesus' remark about loving Him, in contrast to "hating" one's family (Luke 14:26). The same is true when God refers to loving Jacob and hating Esau (Malachi 1:2–3). The main idea is of preference, rather than of feelings. That's not to say David feels only positive emotions about those who worship idols. Still, this remark is more in line with his other comments, such as Psalm 26:5 and Psalm 101:3.

David's devotion to God is contrasted with idolaters' vain worship of objects. Idols cannot hear or see, and they certainly cannot do anything for their worshipers. When Elijah confronted the idolaters who trusted in Baal, he issued a challenge. They were to build an altar and call on Baal. Elijah would also build an altar and call on the Lord. The one who answered by fire would be declared the true God whom the people of Israel should follow. Of course, Baal, a false god, could not answer his worshipers, but the true God answered with fire and consumed Elijah's sacrifice (1 Kings 18). Today in modern society, few people worship idols of wood and stone, but many devote themselves to the worship of money, possessions, popularity, celebrities, fame, and success. Christians are admonished to worship only the true God and to keep themselves from idols (Exodus 20:3–6; 1 John 5:21).