BLESSING #15: The Blessing of a Godly Hatred
“I will tell you what to hate. Hate hypocrisy, hate can’t, hate indolence, oppression, injustice; hate Pharisaism; hate them as Christ hated them — with a deep, living, Godlike hatred.” (Frederick William Robertson)
We believers in Jesus are so blessed! Do we realize all the benefits of being saved, being made right with the Lord? My unsaved friend Mike doesn’t. Yet. So I’m counting some of my blessings as I think about what Mike doesn’t have as an unbeliever.
One of the most surprising truths about biblical Christianity is the fact that there is both godly and ungodly jealously, godly and ungodly pride, and godly and ungodly hatred. Really!
Our culture so emphasizes love that it doesn’t realize there is a place for biblical hatred! For believers it might be said that —
15. WE POSSESS A GODLY HATRED!
THE BLESSING We should hate hypocrisy, despise pedophilia, abhor child abuse, absolutely renounce racism, right? There is both godly and ungodly hatred. The actor Will Smith once said, “Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” The challenge is to turn away from ungodly hatred and to embrace a godly revulsion toward those things He hates.
THE BIBLE It is quite surprising to see what the Bible has to say about God hating and also how believers are to hate. Here are some representative verses of God hating:
1. “The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong.” (Ps. 5:5).
2. “The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.” (Ps. 11:5).
3. “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him . . .” (Prov. 6:16).
4. “Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being.” (Is. 1:14).
5. “Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there.” (Hos. 9:15).
6. “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me.” (Amos 5:21).
7. “‘Do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this, declares the Lord.” (Zech. 8:17).
8. “. . . I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated” (Mal. 1:2-3).
One might make the point that a few of these texts sound like hyperbole, but not all of them. What verses do we have that say the child of God is to hate?
1. We read that there is “a time to love and a time to hate” (Ecc. 3:8).
2. The Psalmist says, “I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 31:6).
3. Psalm 97 commands, “Let those who love the Lord hate evil” (v. 10).
4. The Psalmist asks a critical question in Psalm 139, “Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?” (v. 21).
5. Amos 5:15 issues the challenge: “Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.”
6. Jesus speaks about hatred in both Luke 14:26 and John 12:25 where we read, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, even their own life — such a person cannot be my disciple.” John 12:25 says, “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
7. The Apostle Paul uses strong language as he thinks about his behavior as a believer: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15).
8. Paul seems to be referring back to the Amos passage when he says in Romans 12, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” (v. 9).
9. The Apostle John quotes the Lord in Revelation 2 saying of the Ephesian church, “You have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (v. 6).
We might not like what the Bible says in those verses, but there it is. There are several levels of our hatred as we reject evil in our world — and in ourselves. Believers must define and defend biblical hatred even as they love those for whom Christ died.
ACTION STEPS 1. Imagine that your unsaved friend says to you, “I hear that Christians are to hate? That can’t be right!” How would you answer your friend using some of the verses above?
2. Think about Proverbs 6:16 (“There are six things the Lord hates . . .”) and list one practical way every day this week how you can show your hatred of the things God hates.
3. Read Tim Challies’ article on God’s hatred (found at: https://www.challies.com/articles/hate-what-god-hates/) and answer the question, “Why does God hate idolatry so much?”
PRAYER 4. So, how do I pray for my unsaved friend? I show by my godly life that I am grieved and angered at the effects of evil in our world and seek to do whatever I can to be salt and light in my culture. And I pray for my lost friend that he would experience a proper self-hatred that drives him to the Savior.