Know Your Bible

VOL. 11                                                                                                                                                                                October 28, 2012                                                                                                                                                                               NO. 40



The inspired wise man who wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes said:  "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven...a time to love and a time to hate" (3:1,8a). Most of us probably have a pretty negative view of hate. We think of it as a bad emotion. But in and of itself, hate is not any better or worse than love.  Both love and hate have proper objects, they are both appropriate feelings to have toward certain things at certain times.

      Sometimes love and hate are two sides of the same coin. Love for one thing might necessitate hate for some thing else (cf. Matt. 6:24).  That is the way it is with God and sin. If we love God, we must hate sin.  The Psalmist said:  "You who love the Lord, hate evil" (97:10).

      It is high time for those who claim to love God to start hating sin.  We must hate it in ourselves and in others, and hate it with an intensity of passion that is equaled only by the intensity of our love for God.

      Sin should not be hated merely as some abstract, vague concept, but as real and specific instances of trans- gression.  That is to say, we are not only to hate the idea of sin, but also every occurrence of sin. The Bible is very clear about this. Many plain statements of Scripture command or exemplify hatred of specific sins. These passages need to be examined carefully. Each of us needs to ask ourself: "Do I really hate this sin?"

      Do I really hate pride, arrogance and a perverse mouth?  Do we fully agree with the wise man who said:  "The fear of the Lord is to  hate evil.  Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the pervese mouth I hate" (Prov. 8:13)?

      Pride, arrogance and perverse speech are common sins in our society. We see them in politicians, sports figures, neighbors, and sometimes in ourselves. When we see our favorite football or basketball player lifted up with pride and arrogance, spewing forth obscenities, do we hate it as we should?

      Do I really hate lying? "A righteous man hates lying" (Prov. 13:5).  All of us, both righteous and unrighteous, hate being lied to, but the question is, "Do you yourself hate lying?"  Some may only hate lying if they are caught at it or up in it. The righteous man must loathe every instance of it in his life and in the lives of others.

      Do I really hate taking God's name in vain?  In Psa. 139:20-22 the Psalmist says:  "...Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You. I hate them with perfect hatred, I count them my enemies." There is not a day that goes by in which I do not hear someone take God's name in vain. Expressions such as "Oh my God," "God -- it" and just plain "God!" are some of the most frequently heard exclamations in the English language. Euphemisms for these expressions are very common as well.  "Oh my Gosh," "Gosh darn it," "Golly" and "Gosh" are merely mild substitutes for the same phrases. Language does not become correct just because it is common. We must not allow continual exposure to this sin to dull our sensitivity to it.  God is to be reverenced. His Holy name is to be blessed not cursed or used in vain (cf. Psa. 89:7; 103:1). God fearing people should consistently abhor the practice of profaning God's name.

      Do I really hate covetousness?  "He who hates covetousness will pro-long his days" (Prov. 28:16). The desire for what others possess is commonly depicted as a virtue in our materialistic culture.  Covetousness is defined as unlawful desire for that which belongs to another. Rather than allowing cultural influences to lull us into accepting and participating in covetousness, we should hate covetousness with every fiber of our being.

      Do I really hate violence? "The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates" (Psa. 11:5).  Since the Lord hates the very soul of the one who loves violence, wouldn't it be wise to completely remove any affection for violence from our hearts?  Do you enjoy movies, television programs, or books that contain violence?  Do you desire to solve problems at home, in the work place, among neighbors, or in the church through violence or threat of it? Do you hate violence, or do you love it?

      Do I really hate false teaching? In Rev. 2:6; 1:5, Jesus makes it plain that He hated the false teaching of the Nicolaitans and that He expected church members to do the same. Can we honestly say that  we really hate false doctrine when we refuse to "mark" and "avoid" those who teach it, because they "have been our friends for years," or they "are such kind and caring people"? Toleration of false teaching and those who teach it can scarcely be called hatred (cf. Rom. 16:17,18).

      Hating evil is not un-Christ-like. It is most Christ-like. Jesus hated evil more than anyone ever hated anything. The Book of Hebrews says of Him: "You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions" (1:9) Let us be like Christ; let us hate sin. To hate sin is to know love, for love "does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth" (1 Cor.13:6). "Through Thy precepts I get understanding, Therefore I hate every false way" (Psa. 119:104).  

---Steve Klein

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". . . our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." - 2 Peter 3:15-16

Does this passage say that Bible study and true understanding is out of reach for most of us? Not at all! We should reread the verses carefully and think about the matter.

     What the passage does not say:

     --- That some of Paul's writings are impossible to understand 

     --- That all of Paul's writings are hard to understand

     --- That Paul's writings are unclear or uncertain 

     --- That all Scripture is hard to understand

     What the passage does say:

     --- Paul's writings are part of the Scriptures 

     --- Paul wrote according to the wisdom given him 

     --- Some of what Paul wrote was hard to understand 

     --- All Scripture can be twisted by the untaught and unstable 

    --- The result can be our destruction, fall, being led away with


The problem is not with Scripture. It is with us! It may be our level of spiritual maturity. It may be our reluctance to accept the truth. It may be our surrender to the views of others. It may be our tendency to read too much in a passage. It may be our failure to search the other Scriptures to have an overall grasp of God's will. That some Bible matters are more difficult than others calls for our more careful attention, not for our surrender. That is how we "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior" (2 Peter 3:18).

---Robert Hines

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