Devotional Word for Thursday, September 10, 2020
Have you ever been told not to hate? I can remember my parents telling me that I should not hate anyone. But are we never to hate? Are there good reasons to hate? Hate is a strong emotion that can fuel fierce reactions of hostility! This has been very apparent with all the racial and political unrest of late.
Just as we are taught from Scripture that love covers a multitude of sins, so we see hatred uncovering a variety of sins. In the Bible we are given examples of people living with hate. Psalm 50:17 speaks of the wicked, who “hate discipline, and cast My words behind” them. Psalm 81:15 describes, “Those who hate the LORD would pretend obedience to Him; and their time of punishment would be forever.”
Paul teaches the condition of a sinful rebellious man in Romans 1:28-32 as , “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled will all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”
Paul warns us of the last days in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that “… difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.”
With this said, we need to know that there are good reasons to hate. We are taught in Scripture to hate evil and love good in Amos 5:15. Psalm 97:10 says, “hate evil, you who love the LORD, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones.” In other words, we are to love the LORD by loving what He loves and hating what He hates, which is evil in all its forms. As Psalm 119:104 teaches us, “From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.”
In Proverbs 6:16-19, we read about seven things the LORD hates. “There are six things which the LORD hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.
Let us briefly examine each one of these seven things together. We might categorize them as the seven deadly sins. Each one or the combination of these deadly sins propagates discord among brothers and are an abomination to the LORD.
First, the LORD hates haughty eyes. A person with a proud look exalts himself while looking down on others; he thinks more highly about himself than he ought. Romans 12:3
Do you know anyone like that, who thinks he or she is it; who puts down others to keep self on top of the heap? The LORD detests a haughty spirit!
Paul, in Romans 13:14-16 teaches us, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.”
Second, the LORD hates a lying tongue. A person who is loose with the truth, telling half truths for his or her own ends or to remove fault from oneself is one who speaks lies. A half truth is a full lie and it purposes to lead others astray or worse, to harm them. The LORD hates lairs, and rightfully so, for Satan himself is the father of lies. John 8:44
Have you ever been around someone who has a lying tongue? One thing is certain, you never know if what he is saying is the truth or not. You can never be sure about his or her intentions, except knowing that person cannot be trusted or relied upon when you need the truth. Psalm 31:18 puts these two sins together, haughty eyes and lying tongue. “Let the lying lips be mute, which speak arrogantly against the righteous with pride and contempt.”
Liars are condemned in Revelation 21:8, “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake of fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Third, the LORD hates hands that shed innocent blood. A person given over to violence is one given over to murderous thoughts and perhaps actions. When the judgment of God fell upon Judah it was in part because of the wickedness of its kings. In 2 Kings 24:3-4, Manasseh, king of Judah, is cited for his hands shedding innocent blood. “the LORD came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also for the innocent blood which he shed, for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; and the LORD would not forgive.”
Fourth, the LORD hates hearts that devise wicked plans. A person seized with such a heart plows up wicked thoughts and plans. He is calculating wicked schemes. Hear the words of Jeremiah 4:14, “Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved. How long will your wicked thoughts lodge within you?” Or Micah 2:1, “Woe to those who scheme iniquity, who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, for it is in the power of their hands.” Or Zechariah 8:17, “Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate, declares the LORD.”
Fifth, the LORD hates feet that run rapidly to evil. A person who runs to evil is bent on doing evil; he finds evil enticing to him and he desires to join in it. He has raging affections and wants to be engaged with evil as it presents itself.
Isaiah 59:7 says, “Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity. Devastation and destruction are in their highways.”
Sixth, the LORD hates a false witness who utters lies. A person given over to false witnessing can destroy the character and perhaps the life of his or her victim. In 1 Kings 21:10-15 we read about how Jezebel, through two false witnesses, falsely accused Naboth of cursing God and he was executed to acquire his vineyard for her husband, King Ahab. “So they took him (Naboth) outside the city and stoned him to death.”
Seventh, the LORD hates one who spreads strife among brothers. A person bent on spreading strife among others is intent on causing division and ill-will to his or her brethren. What is most disturbing is the strife caused is not based on truth; he is sowing discord among those which would have lived unified. Exodus 20:16 states, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Exodus 23:1 “You shall not bear false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.”
These seven things that the LORD hates, when they are combined as a whole, they are the very things evil men did to our Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry. Pride led to lying lips, followed by plans to shed innocent blood by devising of wicked schemes to get rid of Jesus. They were enraged by His message and ran to do evil against Him, raising up false witnesses against him, and using divisive measures to spread strife among their brethren to put Him to death. Matthew 26:59 says, “Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death”. If you read the following verses, you discover that they succeeded with their wicked scheme, not knowing that this was all subject to the pre-determined plan and foreknowledge of God. Acts 2:22-27, 32-36May we hate all facets of sin in our lives and in the lives of others bound by sin and repent of our sins and receive God’s forgiveness through the Lord Jesus Christ, and lovingly direct others to seek the same forgiveness by proclaiming the life-transforming truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.