|Bishop T. Anthony Bronner, Turning the World Upside Down Covenant Fellowship
God’s Love Hates All Evil
Verse of Meditation: Psalm 97:10
“You who love the Lord, hate evil…”
Generally, when scholars speak of the evil that God hates, they are only referring to sin or immorality. Notice John Calvin’s commentary on Psalms 97:10, “He shows from the very nature of God, that we cannot be … acknowledged to be his servants, unless we depart from sin, and practice holiness [for] God must necessarily hate all iniquity…”! Clearly, John Calvin and other thinkers are correct. God hates the evil that is associated with sinning. “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity [evil]”. (2 Timothy 2:19)
As the apostle told the church at Ephesus, the believer, in essence, should be discarding and eliminating evil or sinful behavior and becoming a new person with righteous conduct (Ephesians 4:22-24). If you love God you don’t rejoice in evil (1 Cor. 13:5). As a matter of fact, the psalmist says “the lover of God hates evil”. You hate what God hates and love what God loves. Consequently, you hate all forms of evil including every false way (Psalm 119: 104); double-mindedness (v. 113) and lying (v.163).
Evil however, is not merely one dimensional. Even as sin and immorality are evil, so is injustice evil; and we must fight all forms of evil if we are to be a blessing to all people. It is not enough to simply BE good (abstain from immorality). We must also DO good (engage justice). God hates it when people, especially believers, are unfair. We should always be ready to do good and not evil. “Therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith”. (Gal. 6:10 MSG)
When the prophet said “love God and put away evil”, he was referring to social activism leading to social justice. “Go home and wash up. Clean up your act. Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I don’t have to look at them any longer. Say no to wrong. Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless” (Isa.1:16-17 MSG). The prophet further said that God does not listen to the prayers of those who pretend to love God while engaging in injustice and evildoing towards others: “When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening. And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody”. (Isa.1:15)
Simply and clearly, injustice and immorality are equally evil. We should either love God and hate evil – all evil, or do evil and leave God out of our lives! But God will not tolerate hypocrisy, two-facedness, or double-mindedness. There is no way we can cuddle with evil and share love poetry with God. “So, love what God loves which is helping and caring for the least, the lost, the last and the lonely; and show how much you love God by doing what is just, loving mercy and walking humbly with God”. (Micah 6:5)
Stand up against injustice and against the unjust. Let “justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”. (Amos 5:24)
Prayer Focus: Lord let my love for you show up in my character, conduct and civil treatment of your creation and your creatures, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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