Not less; more!

26 07 2010

Would I want God to be less than He is? This came to my mind as Brian was talking to us about Proverbs 6:16-19 on Sunday and the challenging topic of God “hating” certain things.  Brian asked, does the Bible really mean “hate” when it says “hate,” or is that a loose translation of an idea? Can there be divine hatred? It is an uncomfortable topic when all we can imagine is the kind of dark hatred that leads one to harm another.

Walking through Scripture (as we saw today), the Bible clearly shows that God can and does hate things, just as we do. The difference between our hate and God’s is: both the reason for and the outcome of most of our anger/hatred is rooted in sin and results in us mistreating or damaging others; but all of God is holy and righteous and what angers Him and the outcome of his anger is righteous, rooted in love and leads to fixing what is broken, not creating more brokenness. God’s response to evil is intense and of equal intensity is His protective, pursuing, abounding love.

Would I want God to be less than He is; less passionate? Having less of a zeal for what is right or less anger over what is wrong? What if God were more polite about addressing evil and would say, “Pardon me, if you don’t mind, could you not…?” What if He used a toned-down word like “it bothers me when” or “I am irritated by;” but hate?

God isn’t mildly perturbed by the things that steal, kill and destroy His handiwork; He hates it. God experiences and expresses OUTRAGE with a thundering “How Dare You?!”

God hates what has poisoned and perverted what was meant to be perfect. God hates what diminishes and excludes and sets up class-systems. God hates untruths and half-truths and the withholding of the full truth. He hates cutting words and abusive behavior. He hates gossip and cruelty. He hates it when people are violated and innocence is stolen. He hates that evil fascinates some and tempts all. God hates division and dissension anywhere and everywhere.

And shouldn’t we? Isn’t there a rightness to that? Don’t we know that we ought to have more of an opinion, more of a reaction to evil?

God’s hate does not lead Him to neglect and abandon (as ours does); it leads Him to invite us to His home.  It does not lead Him to turn His back on people (as ours does) but to give us His very life for people everywhere. God’s hatred of the dark leads Him to reveal, and reveal again His light; countless times. He is disgusted at waywardness and where it has led us, and then stepped right into the middle of it to show us the way home.

Do you see the difference between Him and us?

I don’t even know how to really express how that makes me feel. I am in awe of a God who is so angry at all that is wrong, so angry that He hovers over me, watching all my waking and sleeping moments, calling me and calling me to not lose my way. I matter; I matter so much that He has and will again shout “NO” to wickedness and all that is foul and loathsome. He hates that this world is hateful. He hates that we take free-will and make life a living hell. He hates that every day people hurt people and brother turns against brother.

If you have ever felt violated, it is amazing to think that the God of the universe has felt a world of violation (ours included) to His core and He doesn’t wink at it or accept it.  He doesn’t treat it like it is nothing or say that, given enough time, it won’t hurt quite as much. He doesn’t shrug His shoulders or pretend it isn’t there. God hates what ought to be hated and it is the kind of hatred that does not make Him less loving; it makes Him more.

— Teresa Klassen

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