John 5:29 and come out--those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.

Psalm 145:9 The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Is Psalm 145:9 an exaggeration?

4 Answers 4


When it comes to God's kindness, mercy, compassion, patience and "loving-kindness", there can be no exaggeration. The very fact that God allows sinners to keep living is the first clue that God is kind and merciful. Note the record in Lam 3:22, 23 -

Because of the loving devotion of the LORD we are not consumed, for His mercies never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!

Indeed, note the other famous text in Rom 3:23, 24 -

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Note especially, that this justification is independent of confession and repentance as it was for Jesus' tormentors as recorded in Luke 23:34 -

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

God wants to save ALL people - see Appendix 1 below. This is NOT to suggest that all will be saved. The saved and the wicked have a totally different attitude to God's salvation and that is what makes the fundamental difference between the two groups. This is best illustrated by what happens when the Lord returns and "every eye" (Rev 1:7) see Him. Note the reaction of the two groups -


Isa 25:9 - And in that day it will be said, “Surely this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He has saved us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited. Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”


Rev 6:15, 16 - Then the kings of the earth, the nobles, the commanders, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and free man hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they said to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.

Both groups are rewarded with what they want. The wicked cannot stand in the presence of a righteous God and wish to be destroyed. In His great mercy, God grants their wish as recorded in:

  • Rev 20:9 - And they marched across the broad expanse of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them.
  • 2 Thess 1:9 - They [the wicked] will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction
  • 2 Peter 3:7 - And by that same word, the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

APPENDIX 1 - God wants to save all people.

  • 1 Tim 2:3, 4, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
  • 1 Tim 2:6, “[Jesus Christ] gave Himself as a ransom for all people.”
  • Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God appeared bringing salvation to all people.”
  • Heb 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” • 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” • 1 John 2:2, “He Himself [Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours [Christians to whom John writes] only but also for the whole world.” • Isa 53:6, “We all like sheep have gone astray … and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Thus, God's mercy and forgiveness is very great and cannot be exaggerated.

Appendix 2 - extra material

Note one of the blessings of Jesus in Matt 5:8 -

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

This will be fulfilled as recorded in Rev 22:4 -

They [the righteous = pure in heart] will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.


Psalm 145:9

The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

15 The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in season.

Verse 9 needs to be balanced by verse 20

The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

This is about God's indiscriminate universal blessing and not about salvation or judgment. It is confirmed also in the New Testament.

Matthew 5:45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

John 5:29 is about God's judgment on the good and evil people. It satisfies God's sense of justice.

Is Psalm 145:9 an exaggeration?

No. John 5:29 and Psalm 145:9 serve different occasions and purposes.


Psalm 145:9 is confirmed by 1 Timothy 2:4, which says that God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth".

It is God's desire that all be saved, but even so, a small number of people will deliberately reject God's gift (Matthew 12:13 — "blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men").

Even God can't save someone that doesn't want to be saved. Such people will eventually be destroyed, mercifully burned to ashes at the end of the age.


Attributes of God Indeed the LORD is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made. (Psalm 145:9 His tender mercies are over all His works KJV) But compassion is just one of God's attributes. Notice the preceding verse:

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy. (145:8)

Yes, God is loving, and as other verses in both O.T. and N.T. affirm, His compassion is available to "all." (1 Timothy 2:3-6, Romans 3:23-24, Titus 2:11, Hebrews 2:9, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 John 2:2) But as verse 8 of Psalm 145 noted, God also has the capability for expressing anger*. He is merciful, but there is a limit to His tolerance of evil. There is a line over which an unrepentant person can cross, which triggers more than compassion...justice!

God is revealed as a holy God who delights in justice, righteousness, and holiness. His Presence radiates the Shekinah glory of pure holiness...as well as compassion. So while God is extremely patient with sinners, pagans, heathen, unfaithful, us...there comes a time when the gavel of justice must come down! The divine "attorney general" demands accountability for each man's actions. (Hebrews 3:7-12)

Fortunately for mankind there is a Lawyer who is willing to plead our case before the Throne of the Holy God: Christ the interceder:

The word of God is...a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight; bit all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.
Seeing then that we have a great high priest who is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not a high priest Who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:12-16, see also 7:25)

However there is a caveat; The gift of mercy, the application of compassion, the assistance of the Lawyer...must be applied for and accepted. These gifts must be received with an open, honest and contrite, heart. It is of no benefit for the compassion of God to be available if man does not reach out and accept it.

And this is the crux of the problem...and the solution to the posted question's dilemma: God is indeed "compassionate to all," but love spurned is offensive, disheartening, and consequential to the max! "Hell hath no fury like God's love spurned."

The extreme love of God displayed by the crucifixion of God's dear Son is amazing to the nth degree! But such love ignored, or slighted, justifies the wrath of God who is also holy. The sinner has no excuse, no other redeemer, no other hope of escape. No higher court to which he can seek mercy.

The verses posted in this question are reconciled when all the attributes of God are considered.

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