Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? Psalm 139:21
What you love and what you hate reveals a great deal about your character. Why? Because, simply put, you can’t be for something without being against its opposite. When you love your family, you stand in strong opposition to anything which would threaten it.
Long ago the psalmist wrote, “Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you?” (Psalm 139:21). This man hated what God hates, and loved what He loves. Surprised to learn that there are things which God hates? You shouldn’t be. There’s an old expression that goes, “Get your ducks lined up.” I’m not sure how that translates into other languages, but it translates into real life. It means you are consistent in what you love and hate. And as a result, you may well find yourself in the company of the minority whose voice cries out against wrong, much like John the Baptist in the wilderness.
So the question confronts us: "What does God hate?" The answer may surprise you. Actually the list of what God hates is far longer than I could address in the brief remarks of today’s Guidelines for Living. But use the following as a checklist to see if you hate what He hates.
First, says Proverbs 8:13, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil.” Immediately you find yourself standing in a rather small circle because most people today have a passive indifference to wrongdoing. “It’s not my fight,” they say as they see wrong and evil in the world. Why oppose evil? If you don’t, it can overwhelm you. A German pastor once wrote that the Gestapo came for the Jews, but he did not protest because he was not a Jew. He said they then came for the politicians but he didn’t oppose them because he wasn’t a politician. He then said, “When they came for me, there was no one left to oppose them.”
God says, “I love justice… I hate robbery and iniquity” (Isaiah 61:8). Today a passive indifference silences many who see wrongdoing—in the school, in the neighborhood, in government, on the job—we look the other way thinking, “I’m not involved.” You feel compelled to speak out when you hate what God hates and love what He loves.
In the book of Amos there’s an interesting statement as God says He hates their religious feasts (Amos 5:21). Surprised? No, God isn’t a killjoy who doesn’t like a good party. He was the one who instituted the great feasts of the Old Testament that included dancing, drinking, and celebration. What He opposed is turning their feasts into orgies and debauchery when He was forgotten and pushed aside.
Time allows for just one more thought. It’s powerful, too, in light of our culture today. In a poignant, forceful statement God said, “’I hate divorce… and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,’ says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith” (Malachi 2:16). Surprised at the intensity of that one? That tells us that God isn’t very happy with a lot of us today who have forgotten that God is not only a loving God but that He also hates some things–at times the very things that we have grown to accept.
If you get your ducks lined up with what God loves and hates, you will find that the number who stand with you may be small, but you are in the company of the Almighty Himself. It is far better to walk in the light with God than to walk in the darkness with men who stumble over truth, decency, and justice, for one plus God is always a majority.
Resource reading: John 3:16-21