One of the greatest challenges of godly living is keeping the proper balance of abhorring evil while loving and praying for those who do evil. Only Jesus did this perfectly throughout His entire life.
It is clear from reading the words of David that he abhorred evil. His words in Psalm 140:9-11 clearly prove that he abominated evil and desired the righteous judgment of God upon them. He writes, “As for the head of those who surround me, let the evil of their lips cover them; let burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the fire, into deep pits, that they rise not up again. Let not a slanderer be established in the earth; let evil hunt the violent man to overthrow him.”
Yet, David did not have personal animosity toward his enemies. He refused to take King Saul’s life on more than one occasion. Because he was God’s anointed, David would not stretch out his hand against him (1 Samuel 24:6, 26:4). The young messenger who brought the news of Saul’s death—claiming to have struck the fatal blow to the wounded and dying king, was executed (2 Samuel 1:9-16). His reaction to the news of the death of his traitorous son Absalom, the leader of a coup attempt, was one of great sadness, not joy (2 Samuel 18:33).
Though it is not easy, it is possible to abhor evil and love evildoers. It is possible to strive to pull the workers of iniquity out of the fire of certain condemnation while hating the garment of sin that defiles them and makes their condemnation certain.