O you who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the lives of his saints;
he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
It’s funny how, in one verse, we can find things that we love and things that we often ignore. WE love the last two lines of the above verse. We love God providing for and taking care of us. But we are not overly fond of the command to hate evil. That’s so radical. That’s so, well, intolerant.
God commands his followers to actually hate evil. That does not mean that we play with evil. That does not mean that we enjoy just a little evil every now and again. That does not mean that we look at evil and say that we wouldn’t’ do it that way, but to each his own. No, we are actually supposed to have a hard-core heart reaction to evil. We are to hate it.
How does this happen? Does God want us to become angry-faced and cranky all the time? Does he want us to become hunters of all that is imperfect so that we can walk around with a permanent scowl? I know people who seem to have that scowl permanently etched on their faces, who are always looking at seemingly everything, shaking their heads, and saying, “Isn’t that terrible.” (In fact, some of those folks like to read my blog regularly to see if they can catch me saying something that they can use against me—bless their hearts.)
No, God is not telling us to go look for evil so that we can hate it. But God is telling us that, when we see or experience evil, we are to hate it. The way to do this is not to practice on evil. Instead, the way to do this is to more deeply love our God. You see, when we love God, we will learn to react against that which opposes and dishonors him. Just as my wife reacts with deep emotion when somebody is cruel or harsh toward me, the Christian who loves his God will have natural and strong emotion against that which dishonors the Lord. We hate evil by loving God more and more. As we love God more and more, we will naturally stand against what is ungodly.