Christianity 201

September 8, 2011

Hating What God Hates

Today’s post is from Pastor Kevin Behrens who blogs at Church on the Rock where this first appeared under the title Hatred.

Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Ps 139:21-22 (NIV)

As teenager in a Christian school, we all were required to memorize chapters of the Bible.  We would take our turn standing in front of all our peers and try our best to land it “word-perfect.”  Of the four years of memorizing, Psalm 139 is the one that meant the most to me.

This part of the chapter always caught my curiosity.  The New King James says, “I hate them with a perfect hatred…”  Pretty strong language from the guy who had captured God’s heart.  What does that mean though?

In fact, if you will notice, David goes from the wonderful poetic words about how great are God’s thoughts, the number of which are greater than sand, to

Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.
Ps 139:19-20 (NKJV)

Today we still have wicked around us.  There are still men and women who are bloodthirsty, some even like to go see movies relating to blood thirst, people still speak about God wickedly, and many still take the Lord’s name in vain.  Hmmm, we are not so different from those in David’s era.  Can’t you hear the desperation of David.  Perhaps he is sitting trying to write his feelings about his God, the anointing is flowing… AND THEN, he gets interrupted with carnality!  We don’t know…

I know that in our lives today as Christians, we can be flowing in the Spirit of God, have the latest worship song echoing in our thoughts, the glow of God’s Presence shining on us… AND THEN, we get interrupted by carnality.  There is no shortage of opportunities for us to lose it!

David is actually PRAYING that God will wipe those people out!  Remember, Jesus says,  “…love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,”  Matt 5:44 (NKJV)  So we are to BLESS with our prayers not pray that God shows up with the sword.

But back to where we started, the emphasis that I want to bring is to vs. 22, David says, “I hate them with a perfect hatred” AND “I count them my enemies!”

So my question for me, all these years and still today is:

Do I hate what God hates?

I have heard many sermon illustrations, probably even used it myself, about how would you feel if Jesus were PHYSICALLY with you everywhere you went.  How would you feel if someone was inappropriate, or cursing, or using the Lord’s name in vain?   Would you or I be more uncomfortable with Jesus PHYSICALLY standing beside us?  Do I hate what God hates?

David ends that scripture with closure,

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Ps 139:23-24 (KJV)

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matt 6:10-13 (NASU)

That is my prayer today… “Lord, I want Your kingdom here, now, just like in Heaven, reveal to me any wickedness, temptation and lead me in Your way everlasting!”

~Kevin Behrens