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TO HATE, OR NOT TO HATE

February 22, 2013

Text: “O you who love the Lord, hate evil!”  Psalms 97:10a (ESV)

Hate is a strong emotion. Sometimes it overwhelms us. You may be oppressed by someone and feel hatred. You may hate some situation that harms you. You may brood over some wrong and nurture hatred.

Hate is one of those tools that Satan uses successfully to undermine our souls. He blindsides us with a sudden attack of indignation and ignites hatred in our hearts. We fall for it and insist that we are in the right and that our adversary is loathsome and we hate him.

In our text above the writer of Psalm 97 tells us to hate evil. There are some things with which God is said to be disgusted: evil is one of them.   Read closely and you will find that this remark is a command. God commands you to hate those things that condemn your soul. In Psalms 5:5 David says of God, “You hate all evildoers”.  So don’t get on that list. Instead of hating persons, turn your hatred towards evil.  Christians ought to hate evil. They ought to be disgusted when they get caught up in it. Evil (sin) separates you from God. Isaiah the prophet wrote, “…but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear”.  Isaiah 59:2

The author of this little prayer is unknown to me, but it really hits home.  “Lord, please teach me to love as You love, and to hate what You hate”.

Paul the apostle was fond of making lists in his epistles, especially lists of good and evil.  His habit is to name a number of sins to be eschewed and then to list a number of virtues.  See this passages of scripture: Colossians 3:5-15. The language is strong: “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you”.  Likewise it is picturesque : “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones…” (There follows here a list of virtues to be adopted.) Be sure to read also Galatians 5:19-23 and II Peter 1:5-8.

Jesus told a short parable in Matthew 12:43-45.  An unclean spirit exits the body of his human host and roams searching for a proper habitat but finds none. He says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” Re-entering his house he finds that it has now been swept and clean, awaiting a new inhabitant. Thus he goes and recruits seven more evil spirits to live there with him. Jesus says, “…the last state of the person is worse than the first.”

So here is the point of the parable. If evil is evicted from the soul of a person, that person must fill his life with righteousness and virtues or evil will return and retake its former lodgings.

The Christian must have courage and backbone. When  Satan tempts him with evil, he must step forward and spit in the Devil’s face!  He must hate evil with his entire body and soul. And he must love righteousness until he is relieved of his duty and goes home to heaven.

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2 Comments
  1. Larry permalink

    Thanks, Randy. Keep up the great writing.–Larry

  2. Another great lesson in hating evil and replacing evil with good.
    I like the phrase “Spit in the Devil’s Eye” I’m going to use that when I say to him, “Get behind me, Satan”. I will add “I spit in your eye”.

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