Wait…God Hates?

Wait…God Hates?

I read a disturbing Psalm this week during my daily Bible reading.  It said some things that I never want to associate with God.  At the top of the Psalm, it simply says, “For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by the flute.”  There is no description of when David would have written it and what context in which he would have written it.

It starts as a cry for help.  “O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.  Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you.  Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.  Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”

That part of the Psalm gives us a picture of a desperate man crying out to his God.  I wonder if it was written as part of David’s plea to God for the rescue of the son born out of wedlock to David and Bathsheba.  If you look at 2 Samuel 12:16 it says that David begged God to spare the child.

As David pleads with God he expresses that God is the only God he prays to, he expectantly waits for God’s answer, and each morning he makes his requests to God.  I think there are some lessons in there about our prayer life.

That isn’t the part that bothers me, though.  The Psalm goes on, “O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.  Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you (wait for it) HATE all who do evil.”  That’s the part.  God hates all who do evil.

I don’t like associating God with hate.  David sings that God will destroy those who tell lies and that He detests murderers and deceivers.  But, David goes on to sing, “Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.”

Even though God hates evil and those who do evil, He still allows us (who have all done evil) to enter His presence to worship Him.  The more I think about it, the more I think maybe David did write this as a reaction to being told his son would die.  I don’t think God liked it when David sinned with Bathsheba.  He murdered, he decieved, and overall did evil.

But God forgave Him.  David goes on to sing about his enemies in this Psalm.  No doubt, some knew what David did and disagreed and were disgusted by it.  Some may have been enemies.  Bathsheba’s grandpa became an enemy of David over this.  You can read that one for yourself.

In verse 11 of the Psalm David sang, “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice.”  Even when we do evil, God is ready to forgive.  However, I think first we need to confess that sin, repent of that sin, and take refuge in our Holy God.  When we do that, the hate that is expressed by God can be turned into forgiveness and love.

Make no mistake.  God hates sin.  His wrath is poured out on those who are sinners.  However, as most of you know, there is an avenue to turn that wrath into love and that is through Jesus.  Take heart, fellow sinners.  Take your requests to God.  He will listen, He will answer, and He will forgive.