Pastoral Exhortation

I hate every false way

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 26 May 2013

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The catchphrase of most Christians is love. It is good that Christians be of a loving heart because the Bible commands us to love God (Matthew 22:37), fellow brethren (1 Peter 2:17) and even enemies (Matthew 5:44). Nonetheless, love is wrongly understood and practised by the majority of Christians today. This is because one important aspect of it is often either overlooked or totally ignored. It is the aspect of hatred in loving others. This is a holy hatred. It goes right along with holy love. Yet we do not hear a lot about this holy hatred. We are not talking about the kind of hate that causes people to fight and kill one another. We hear the word “hate” and we think of gossip, slander, strife, murder, war, “hate crimes” against individuals and groups, jihads and crusades. There is nothing holy about this kind of behaviour; it is sinful. But what we have in mind here is a holy hatred that is the result of a holy love.

A holy love produces a holy hatred. For example, in Psalm 119, David rejoices in the truth of the Law of the Lord. Because he has learned to love the truth, he has also learned to hate every false way. You cannot love truth and error at the same time. The more you love the truth, the more you will hate the false. Do you see this? That is one illustration of holy hatred.

Love what God loves, hate what God hates

Do you know that the Lord hates certain things? You may ask, “How can that be? God is love.” The Scriptures clearly tell us that the God of love hates sin. For instance, Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief; a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

Scriptures clearly tell us that the God of love hates sin. For instance, Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief; a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

What you love is a clue to what you hate, and what you hate is a clue to what you love. Do you hate sin? Do you hate evil? Do you hate every false way? Someone who hates sin will soon cry out to God for deliverance from sinful inclinations. Someone who hates evil will learn how to overcome it. Someone who hates every false way will be eager to walk the right way and will choose it the sooner.

I want to be a delight to the Lord. I do not want to grieve Him. What about you? If you want to be a delight to Him, then you need to find out what the Lord loves and what the Lord hates.

Some people have assumed that since God loves them, no matter what they do, God also loves everything they do. That is simply untrue. God had clearly told the ancient people of Israel that He hates them for their love and tolerance of things that God hates. We read in Isaiah 1:11-15, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”

Likewise, God has spoken through the prophet Amos to a sinning people, Israel, that “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols” (Amos 5:21-23).

We have a responsibility to find out what the Lord loves and what the Lord hates; what is acceptable to Him, and what is unacceptable. It is vain to continually ask Him to bless the thing He is disgusted by. It is a waste of time. Are we offering acceptable sacrifices to the Lord? Sacrifices of humility? Brokenness? Spirit and truth worship? Or are we just going through the motions of “Churchianity” every week?

May it never be said of us like what Jesus said about the church in Pergamos – “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate” (Revelation 2:15). Does our church have people who follow after that which God hates, whether it be doctrine or practice? My dear reader, may you not be the one who will be charged by the Lord as one who loves that which He hates.

So let our prayer be, “Lord, grant me the resolve and strength to hate the things that you hate.” This prayer is certainly a pleasing prayer; and the Lord will answer it in a powerful way that we may have victory over all evil temptations. We will soon learn to stay away from the things that grieve and offend the Lord; and we will be drawn to the things that please Him. This is holy love and holy hatred!