READ: Proverbs 6, Mark 10, 1 Peter 2
All sin is sin, and even the “smallest” sin separates us from God. Because we are all sinners, we cannot condemn others for their sin just because it is different than ours. Yet Proverbs 6:16 and the verses following make it clear that there are some things that God hates, and of these things there is one thing that is abominable. God super hates the one who sows discord among brethren. It is interesting that this passage goes on to warn of adultery (vv. 20-29). Adultery is a uniquely evil way of sowing discord between those in covenant; it is no surprise that God also super hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). In Mark 10 Jesus talks about His design for marriage: flesh unions that God has intentionally joined together never to be broken up (vv. 5, 8-9). God hates the persons who sow discord in marriage, who separate what God has joined, including those who separate themselves.
Hate is potentially the most misunderstood of God’s attributes since man has so often abused or misunderstood its nature. The scripture is clear that God hates and there are multiple citations to prove God hates certain things, even certain people. When God hates someone or something, it means He is so utterly against them or it that He will destroy them or it. In this sense only God can purely hate, for only He has the authority to destroy life or send to hell. Let us not arrogantly strip away from God what belongs to Him. Our abuse of hate does not remove God’s sovereign right to destroy what is in rebellion. Granting that it is for God alone to grant life or remove it, we still must share in His passions. In order to safely do so when hate is concerned, let us turn those passions inward–not in self loathing but in sobering self correction.
Let us hate anything in ourselves that breeds discord among brethren. Butch Fry said it well: “We tend to judge other peoples dramatic sin while we indulge in gluttony and gossip–usually at the same time.” The Christian tongue has done unfathomable damage to its own body. We must ruthlessly search our own hearts and lives for any thing (words or actions) that undermines authority, that assassinates character, that betrays confidence, that introduces suspicion, that tears down brothers and sisters. We must learn to hate and destroy that within us that hates and destroys others.
Let us hate anything in ourselves that leads to sexual sin. Sexual sin destroys the very soul of all connected (Prov. 6:32). The warnings of God about sexual perversion (and the calling of God towards holiness and purity) are so incessant, for the great Bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25) knows just how destructive sexual sin is to all it touches. Sexual sin reduces us to a crust of bread, burned and seared (Prov. 6:26-28); thus we must hate any small thing in us that makes us vulnerable. It is a loving act to hate what God hates. Let us in fear and awe learn to wield this dangerous sword by first hating in us what God hates.