“Hate is a Strong Word”
BIBLE READING: Jeremiah 41-45
As a child I can remember being scolded by my parents and grandparents that I should not say the word “hate”. “You should not “hate” anyone or anything because that is just not nice to say”, they would tell me. Well I’m not one to rebuke my parents, but even God is said to “hate” some things (Proverbs 6.16-23). Now I completely understand where my parents and grandparents were coming from because I have said the exact words to my children. It is true that I should never say I hate someone because it doesn’t matter what they did; they were still created in the image of God and have something good to offer. Nor should I say I hate certain things because I am blessed beyond compare with physical blessings, and even though I may not like someone, I am still better off than 90% of the world. But should I not be like God and hate the same things that He does? For instance, in Jeremiah 44 God is declaring judgment on all of those who had committed idolatry by saying “do not do this abomination that I hate” (Jeremiah 44.4). God is letting the people know that idolatry is something He “detests”, something that gives off an “odious scent”, something that He cannot stand to be near. Although my family was right, “hate” is a strong word, but God is also a strong God who cannot be in the presence of idolatry and sin. The reason why He “hates’ it so much, is because it separated us from Him. God loves us so much that anything we place between Him and my relationship with Him, is worthy of being hated.