Salvation, we note again, is the gift of God; those who have been chosen to be the recipients of God’s love are those who will be saved. The wicked are boastful, but their boasting only earns them hell. The righteous, on the other hand, are humbled by the love of God which would procure their forgiveness through the blood of an innocent sacrificial substitute, and grant them entrance into their everlasting home. Note the assurance given by David: I…will enter your house. Is David aware of his sins? How could he not be? He recognizes the Lord’s hatred of sin, of sinners, and His inevitable destruction of all the offends His holiness, and yet David also confidently asserts that he will be accepted by God into His kingdom – and more than this, that God will accept David’s worship! The legalists cannot grasp this simple truth: God has mercy upon whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills.1
In the place of God’s unconditional election, men have devised alternative soteriologies which attempt to apply the same manner of love to all men. Arminians, Amyraldians, and Romanists all hold to some variation on this heretical notion. This text, however, shows how the love of God toward sinners is particular, for David’s salvation and perseverance unto the end has nothing to do with his own behavior, but rest entirely upon God’s love toward him. If David will be saved, then David is the object of God’s undeserved love. David will be saved. Therefore, David is the recipient of God’s undeserved love. Contrarily, if a man will not be saved, he is not loved by God. The reprobate will not be saved. Therefore, the reprobate are not loved by God.
These words appear harsh, and they are for they are the words of God’s pure justice. Hence, David says “the Lord abhors” the wicked. We often shrink back from these words, but they are the very words that assure us that God lacks no justice whatsoever. The wicked heap of wrath for themselves for the day of destruction,2 earning their wages which are eternal death.3 God is, therefore, just in abhorring them. And would men have it any other way? If they would, then let them ask themselves: If God does not hate the wicked, then is He absolutely just? If His justice is absolutely pure, then does it not follow that the infliction of penalties due to the wicked is not only necessary but also part and parcel of God’s goodness? Indeed, it does. If God is good, if He is essentially good, then He must absolutely hate all evildoers. Therefore, those who on the one hand complain that there is no justice in this world and yet on the other hand spurn their Creator for visiting His enemies with eternal destruction are speaking irrationally. As image bearers of the Holy One, men desire absolute justice; yet as sin-laden rebels they believe that they should be exempt from hell and wield the authority to determine who will spend an eternity there!
Let us remember the love of God, not in that we loved Him but in the fact that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.4 Indeed, “…while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Since all men deserve an eternity of torments, this excludes any boasting. And since all who are saved are only saved because God has willed to set His love upon them and make them His own people, this also excludes all boasting. Had it not been for the grace of God shown to us, we would have persisted in our own irrational rebellion – on the one hand longing for the reign of God’s Law, and on the other hand longing to stand above the Law of God, and God Himself. Hence, let us fear Him who forgives our sins, grants us peace with Him, and who promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us, even as David says He will. As the psalmist declares in another psalm:
But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.5
1cf. Rom 9:15-16
2cf. Rom 2:5
3cf. Rom 6:23
4cf. Rom 5:8