Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hating What God Hates

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are  quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.  (Proverbs 6:16 – 19 NIV)

It would be good if the world were as nice a place as some would like us to pretend that it is; free of evil people, free of evil itself. It would be nice if the bad things that people do to each other were not the result of a nature that tends toward self-interest, self-aggrandizement and self-gratification. It would be wonderful if we all were basically good people who need only a small amount of occasional redirection to keep us on the path of humanity and civility.

The truth is, we have all sinned and have all fallen far short of the glory that our Creator envisioned for us when he put our race upon this earth. Regardless of whether our race was once pure and then became impure or if it has always been impure, it is nonetheless impure now. And it is the stated goal of our Creator to make us pure (holy) as he is pure. But it hasn’t happened yet in my case and does not seem to have happened to anyone else – save Jesus Christ – who has occupied this human frame to which we are all confined.

So let’s face it. We are all doing things – either in thought, word, or deed – that God hates. Not because He hates us but because He hates the effects our sins are having upon our natural world (a cherished part of his creation). He hates the effect of our sins upon the societies in which we live. He hates the consequences of our sins upon the people living in those societies.  God loved our world (cosmos) so much that He sent his one and only Son to die here as a perfect human sacrifice so that no one need perish but that all, through faith in God’s Son, could have everlasting life.

My prayer: Father God, thank you for Jesus the Christ (the Messiah), whom you sent to die in my stead for my sinfulness. I receive the grace and forgiveness purchased for me by his sacrifice. May I, day by day – and each day more than the last – put away from me those things that you hate, pride, and malice, and cunning, and selfishness, and deceit. May I hate them when I see them in my thoughts and behavior just as much as I hate them in the behavior of others. Teach me to hate the things you hate.

Note: this meditation was inspired in part by, and follows the format of, Joshua DuBois' excellent new book, The President's Devotional: The Daily Readings That Inspired President Obama. I recommend it highly. It is beautifully and non-politically written.

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