Friday, June 1, 2007

Love and Hate -- Go Together?

God is Love…. (I John 5:8)
Have you ever considered the question…. “Can you love without hating?”

Ten years ago I held my first granddaughter in my arms. My daughter was in the recovery room after an emergency caesarean and my son-in-law was busy making phone calls, so I had the privilege of having her all to myself for about half an hour.
I fell in love with her…. Oh, how I loved her!!
But I was surprised by the intensity of another emotion…. Hate!
As I looked into her precious little face as she lay helpless and trusting in my arms, her eyes looking up into mine…the strength of my love was in tension with hatred against anything that would harm her. I knew that I would fiercely defend her against the slightest threat to her well being.

Hate is a strong word – so strong that we are almost shocked when someone uses it other than to say they hate being stuck in traffic. The use of the word as a careless emphasis has somehow separated us from feeling the depths of emotion the word describes.
We have been told that it is wrong to hate…We teach our children not to use the word…. Have we forgotten that Ecc. 3:8 tells us “there is a time to hate”?

We are witnessing hate today to a degree of intensity that is unfamiliar to us … the hatred of the terrorists who are striking fear into the hearts of strong men. We have seen on our television screens children being taught to hate and to carry and use deadly weapons. We are seeing played out before us the evil power of hatred when it fills people’s hearts and minds.

We are made in the image of God --- emotions are from God.
He is an emotional God, we are an emotional people. What we do with our emotions is a choice, they will either find expression in righteousness or in unrighteousness.
Every emotion has its rightful place… even hate.

God is Love… there is no human love that can compare to the Love of God… and yet God hates.
Does He hate BECAUSE He loves?

Think about the things you love… and perhaps scale them according to how deep your love is. Is it not true that the more you love something the more you hate something else at the same time?
If it is a possession you love, you hate to lose it,
if it is a person you love you hate for them to be hurt,
if it is a lover – “hell hath no fury as a woman scorned”.

If we take that thought, (that love is held in tension by hate) further and apply it to God, would we find that because He loves with a love far above and beyond human love that His capacity to hate would also be as much greater?
It is a sobering thought, is it not?
A frightening one? (“At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to abide His indignation” Jer. 10:10)

What does God hate?
Scripture tells us what God hates and remember that when God says He hates something it is not meant in a casual way but with the intensity of God-emotion.
He hates parents sacrificing their children. (Deut. 12:31)
He hates the worship of false gods – would that include anything we ‘worship’ above God such as money or possessions or our chosen form of entertainment, or anything contrary to God’s truth? (Deut 16:22, Jer. 44:4)
He hates the wicked, and those who love violence. (Psalm 11:5)
He hates divorce. (Mal. 2:16)
He hates religiosity, people going through the motions of being religious but their heart is elsewhere (Isaiah 1:14) He hates those who play church (Amos 5:21)
He hates a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and the one who sows discord among brethren. (Prov. 6:16-19)
He hates pride (Amos 6:8)
He hates those who think evil in their heart against their neighbour,
He hates those who do not keep their promises. (Zech. 8:17)
He hates ‘robbery’ for burnt offering - when our worship becomes a means by which we benefit personally. (Isaiah 61:8)
He hates the deeds of the Nicholatians (Rev. 2:6,15) - the sin of bringing worldly things into the church – destroying the ‘separateness’ of God’s people.

To think about God hating is not a pleasant feeling, is it? So we just prefer not to think about it. But have we done so to our own hurt?
Yes, God hates sin and yet died for the sinner… but as Osward Chambers said, those who refuse to separate themselves from their sin… will be destroyed with their sin.

Just as our children learn to hate the things we hate….. have we learned to hate the things our Heavenly Father hates?

Does He command us to hate?
Yes, He does…
He commands us to hate the things He hates.
“Hate evil…” (Amos 5:15)
He makes it clear…”You who love the Lord…HATE evil….” (Psalm 97:10)
And again “The fear of the Lord is to HATE evil..” (Prov.8:13)

What is evil ? Is evil not anything contrary to the truth, the goodness of God?
The more we love God, will we also hate more and more the things He hates?
Have you noticed that the things you hate are very easy to stay away from?
Are Christians weak today because they no longer hate the things God calls sin?

Hate is not a ‘nice’ thing to think about…
But let me present an aspect of God’s hate that is a balm to our fearful human hearts - it guarantees the safety of His child.
Knowing how intensely God hates evil and anything that would harm His kingdom …specifically His children, is that not also our security ?
Just as I hate anything that will harm my granddaughters and in an instant would put myself between them and harm’s way…. So we can also trust God to be ever watchful over us who “keep ourselves in the love of God” (Jude 21), who put our trust in Him.

The words of an old hymn by Thomas Whitfield say it so well, He will keep us “safe from all alarm”.
It's a wonderful fellowship
Such a joy divine
To just lean on the Savior's arms
Receive His peace of mind
It's a wonderful blessedness
Love beyond compare
To be safe from all alarm
And oh, my Savior's there
He's there!


Carolanne said...


I found this very challenging, Julie. Thanks for this thought-provoking post.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

The tension between the concept of love and the concept of hate being scripturally commanded is understandable when considered via Hebraic thinking- the "and/also" instead of Greek thinking-the "either/or" view. I struggle to learn to view Scripture through Hebraic thought, my Greek logic thinking keeps getting bumped and bruised when I try to make all of the Scriptures and God Himself conform to either/or.
God is LOVE, God has Hate. A perfect example of and/also!
Thanks Julie! It helps to have others explore this dicotomy.

Lovella said...

Thanks for the update on Cherie's mom in law. Wow, so much to pray for.
So sad for them, she's so young. I'll pray for the peace that the family must long for now.

Demara said...

Yup God is there and here...and to think that his hatred is our security is just amazing!!! Thanks for your insight Julie, it's simply intelligent you know???