Friday, September 6, 2013

Does God Have Our Permission to Hate?

"Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the Lord. Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals."
Malachi 1:3

Surely this is just the God of the Old Testament, venting His anger. We all know how mean the God of the old covenant could be. But, like fine wine, He has mellowed with time and now He is a God who can only love. We won't have it any other way. God is love, case closed.

I was in a local church study group. I am not sure what it was about, but I am certain it was not about the Bible. Beautiful sunrises were discussed ecstatically, I remember that. When the goodness of things was mentioned, I thought I would join in. I said how much better people are today than in the days of our parents and grandparents. Had they noticed it? The effect was like smacking people in the face with a wet fish.

I felt the conflict in peoples' minds. If they believed that "every day, in every way, the world is getting better and better," they would be dishonoring the memory of their relatives. The fact that Peter and Paul wrote in their last letters that things would get worse and worse in the latter days, was not mentioned in this church. It would be that horrible concept of negative thinking.

I expect the young to be filled with joyous expectations. They need this outlook to go forth into the world. But when I am in a church gathering of mature people who believe in positive thinking, I am really upset. Has life taught them nothing? I think it has, but they deny reality. Fixed smiles are to me the sign of brainwashing, not the lessons of life.

In the preceding group I read the following: "Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated" (Romans 9:13). The group recoiled in dismay. "What translation are you reading from?" When I got home I checked six translations which all referred to God's hatred.

God dares to think "negatively". Just like us, He can both love and hate. What a shock to such a group! I part from such people. Have they lived to have gray hair and not learned that life is seasoned with tears? Do they not know that God is the same in both Old and New Testaments?

If a battery only had positive poles, no energy would flow. To me, this makes His love, all the more precious.

No comments:

Post a Comment