“I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your festive assemblies.”
I am sure at one point in your life you have told someone you hated them. It may have just slipped out. Perhaps you really didn’t mean it, but out it came. Maybe you did mean it. Perhaps that person had hurt you so deeply all you could feel at the time was hate. Whether or not this has happened to you, you can understand the depth of that word.
Would it help you to know that God hates? Yep, He does. But He only hates those things we do (not us) that are against His commands. Amos told the Israelites that God hated and rejected their festivals that were filled with such hypocrisy. The Hebrew word for “delight” actually means savor or smell. He doesn’t even want to smell the sacrifices because He knows how they are given.
Oh, beloved. Listen to me. Be careful how you offer your “sacrifices” to God. He knows the intent of your heart. He knows when you drop that money in the offering plate or give online, how you felt about it. We are told to give with a cheerful heart, how we have decided to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
But our hearts are about so much more than our sacrifices to God. There is just no room in your heart for hate if the love of Christ is present. 1 John tells us that over and over. We can’t say we love Christ and hate our brother. We just can’t. So, lose that word from your vocabulary. Don’t allow your children use it. It’s a harsh word with harsh meanings and doesn’t belong in the mouth of a believer (unless he is talking about sin).
I just learned a new verse in Psalms. It’s Psalm 101:3. It says, “I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do. I will have no part of it.” That kind of hate is okay. Hate the sin but love the sinner. Can we try that today?
Father, give me a divine hatred for anything sinful. Let it burn my nostrils. Instead, let me show the love of Christ to all around me.