Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What God Loves and Hates

There is much the Bible reveals about those things that bring God pleasure and conversely his anger.  God has the attribute of personhood and is therefore emotional.  His emotions, though are right and are always in right proportions.  In what not be wrong to say that God's joy and hatred are beautiful.  Moreover when we worship God or when we seek to live wisely one method is to learn what He hates and what He loves and prayerfully seek to adopt these outlooks for our own.  What follows is a rough but likely helpful list of what God delights in and what He hates from both the Psalms and Proverbs.

1.      God delights in wisdom.  God hates foolishness.
a.       Proverbs 8:30, “Then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always.”
                The “I” of verse 30 is “wisdom” personified (“I, wisdom,” in Prov 8:12).
                The “him” of verse 30 is God (“The LORD possessed me” in Prov 8:22).
                The work being done is creation (“at the beginning of his work…when he established the heavens” in Prov 8:22, 27)
                So, God delights in wisdom and so He used His wisdom when He created.

2.       God delights in honesty.  God hates lying.
a.       Proverbs 11:1, “A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight.”
                God delights in honest business practices, such as a scale that properly measures money and ensures fair dealings.
                God hates dishonesty in business practices, such as a balance that unfairly or improperly weighs money.  Such swindling God hates.
b.       Proverbs 12:22, “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight.”
                God delights in those who stick to their promises, even if it costs them more.
                God hates those who twist words, stretch the truth, tell a white lie, or deceive.
                One thinks of the many shady attempts to manipulate others and the flip-flopping car salesman or slippery politician.
c.       Proverbs 20:10, “Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the LORD.” (see also Proverbs 20:23)
                As before, dishonesty in business dealings earns the hate of the LORD.
                Those who work in retail should be careful to sell products fairly, without unfair prices, arbitrary markups, or false taxes or fees.

3.       God delights in integrity.  God hates crooked scheming.
a.       Proverbs 11:20, “Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD, but those of blameless ways are his delight.”
                God delights in those who seek to live in such a way that others cannot successfully accuse them of sinning against them.
                “Blameless” does not mean perfect, but whole, complete or dealing with integrity.  In his dealings, the blameless man does all of what he says.
                God hates the heart of the man that deals crookedly, deceitfully, or in such a way that others will justly cast blame.
                This is similar to honesty, but God hates deceitful or crooked methods even when done “honestly” or “legally”.  God hates dealings performed with the intent of not being wholesome.
                One thinks of cheap products, false advertising, or all manner of scheming.
b.       Proverbs 3:32, “The devious person is an abomination to the LORD, but the upright are in his confidence.”
                God delights to reveal Himself to those who seek to walk in His ways and to deal rightly or lovingly with others (according to God’s laws).
                God hates the devious person, the perverse man, the one who has turned aside from God’s straight way of living.
                One thinks of those who seek to live according to God’s summary of the law “love God; love others” as those in whom God delights.  Whereas those who live by their own law of a Me-Centered universe God hates.

4.       God delights in righteousness, but hates wickedness.
a.       Proverbs 15:8, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.” (See also Proverbs 21:27)
                God delights in those who pray to him from a heart that seeks to walk in God’s righteous ways, according to His moral laws.
                God hates those who come to him presuming He will accept external religion when inside they are wicked.
                One thinks of those who make a good show on Sunday but have are quick to                 shed their wool when outside church.
b.       Proverbs 15:9, “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but he loves him who pursues righteousness.”
                God delights in those who seek to walk on “Right way”.
                God hates those who walk down “Sin Street”.
                The “way” is everything that makes up a character or lifestyle, as the popular proverb says, “Sow a thought reap an action.  Sow an action reap a habit.  Sow a habit reap a character.  Sow a character reap a destiny.”
c.       Proverbs 15:26, “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, but gracious words are pure.”
                God delights in words that are not only true and right, but gracious.  Such     undeserved favor spoken represents the purest form of language.
                God hates those who think about wickedness, committing thought-sins.

5.       5. God hates pride, lying, violence, wickedness, evil deeds, false witnessing, and quarreling.
a.       Proverbs 6:16-19, “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”
                These verses draw a picture of the man God hates. 
                His eyes look with pride and arrogance, looking down on others.
                His lips speak falsehood, distorting the truth.
                His hands drip the blood of those who did not deserve violence.
                His heart plans out wicked things.
                His feet run swiftly to carry out evil deeds.
                His lungs push out air with notes of false witnessing.
                His whole body is bent on breeding quarrels and pitting brother against brother.
b.       Proverbs 16:5, “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”
                God hates arrogance, pride, and those who think far more of themselves and far less of others than He does.
c.       Proverbs 17:15, “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.”
                There are those men and women who are given authority to judge, to decide, or to bear witness in such a way that their words determine the lives of others.  Those who are entrusted with such authority (judges, law enforcement, court witnesses) must choose carefully their words, for God hates those who abuse that authority to promote wickedness and condemn righteousness.

For us, we learn from David that it is a godly thing to hate what God hates and to delight in that which delights Him:
  •          Psalm 26:5, “I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.”
  •          Psalm 31:6, “I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the LORD.”
  •          Psalm 97:10, “O you who love the LORD, hate evil!  He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.”
  •          Psalm 101:3-4, “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.  I hate the wok of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.  A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.”
  •          Psalm 119:104, “Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.” (see also Psalm 119:128, 163)
  •          Psalm 119:112, “I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.”
  •          Psalm 139:21-22, “Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?  And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?  I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.”
  •          Psalm 35:27, “Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, ‘Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!’”
  •          Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
  •          Psalm 119:35, “Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.” 
  • (See also Psalm 119:14, 16, 24, 47, 77, 92, 143, 174)

So, putting it all together, God here is my prayer:
You delight in wisdom and hate folly.  Help me to delight in wisdom and to hate folly.
You love truth, honesty, and integrity but hate falseness, lying, and deceit.  Help me to love all that is true, honest, pure, and blameless.  Put in me a heart that hates what is false, words that are not true, and motives that seek to deceive.
You love the desires, words, and actions that are right according to your laws.  You hate the desires, words and actions that are evil, transgressing your laws.  Help me to love the whole way of righteousness, according to your laws.  Give me a heart to hate any departure or turning aside from your ways either in thought, word, or deed.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Getting Into the Bible 12-Day Devotional

Welcome to an exciting 12-day adventure in God’s Word.  The Bible claims to be the inspired (God-breathed) Word.  Whether you are reading this as a believer, or just curious, dive into this reading journey with an open mind.  Before you read each day pray and ask God to help you understand and apply the passage.

Day 1 – God Spoke and It Was
Read Genesis 1:1-2:24

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” 

What do you find most incredible about this account?

The Christian worldview begins with One Creator-God who has the power to speak creation into existence.  He chose to make man out of the delight of His heart, and made both man and woman in His image.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

God, Grant Us Repentance

Have you ever been tempted to sin, reasoning that "well afterwards I will just repent and God, because He is so merciful, will forgive me"?  Oh fellow pilgrims, may we consider briefly how we repent:

Thursday, December 21, 2017

What is Love?

According to the artist “Haddaway” love is best known as, “Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more.”  Google defines it as “an intense feeling of deep affection.”  A cynic on urban dictionary defines love as “nature’s way of tricking people into reproducing.”  How about the Bible?  Can we get a reliable definition of love from God’s perspective?  Yes, in Jesus.

When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.  John 13:1

John prepares us for the picture of love in the life of Christ.  Jesus is the best definition of love - a faithful unbroken love to the end.  Consider five pictures in Jesus’ final hours we get of love:

Monday, November 27, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Clear Winter Nights Book Review

Book Review
Author:                 Trevin Wax
Title:         Clear Winter Nights: A Journey Into Truth, Doubt, and What Comes After
Publishing Company: Multnomah
Copyright Year: 2013
Pages:         162
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Topic(s):          Apologetics, Evangelism
Rating (out of 10):  6/10

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Vacation Bible School (VBS) for God's Glory

Vacation Bible School (VBS) is something I participated in as a child.  I think I remember the cleverly decorated room, the sugary snacks, and the fun recreational games.  Now, as an associate pastor, I help our church during this fast-paced week of children's ministry.  Amidst all of the jumping and running children, the sun and planet decorations, and the tired volunteers, we have seen the following blessings from continuing to do Vacation Bible School.