It is fundamental to our faith that we love what God loves. This is the part we should have heard from the beginning. This is Christianity 101. As the people of God, we are being changed into the men and women we were made to be, a people who reflect God’s character to the world. So we are becoming our true selves as we begin to love the things God loves.
As we start to love holiness, to embrace obedience, to pursue justice in our world, we may not realize it, but we have also taken on a hatred of lies and an opposition to the devil. In the process of seeking to love what God loves, we have begun to hate what God hates. And what does God hate? King Solomon lays it out clearly to us when he writes:
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.
I imagine Solomon sitting with a paintbrush, starting at the eyes and working down to the feet, drawing a picture of me at my worst. I feel I am looking at one of those really bad pictures that make me look like everything I do not want to be- but the camera does not lie.
The Lord hates man in rebellion against him. Eyes that should look to him are gazing lovingly in the mirror. Tongues that were made to speak truth are hijacked to speak lies. Hands that were made to give us the capacity to create are being used to destroy. Hearts that were made to respond to the love of our Father are turned inward, against themselves. Feet that were made to carry the wholeness of the image of God are used to rush into war against their Creator. All in all, this is a description of a liar, a deceiver, a schemer, and a slanderer.
This is humanity at the depths- man against God. This is humanity in a desperate state. This is humanity only faintly resembling any humanity that bears witness to reality. It would only make sense that God, Father, Son and Spirit, would hate what has become of his creation. In a word, everything God meant for good, we have used for evil.
This type of hatred cannot be more different from what we would ordinarily call ‘self-hatred’. God’s is a hatred that mourns what would otherwise be. Man was not made to be conceited, alternately impressed or depressed by his own reflection, but joyfully embracing his place beneath God. God does not hate the proud man as a rival, but as a distorted version of Adam. The dispicable part of man and God at war is simply that this is not the way it was designed.
And so it is why the great mystery of God with man is not that there exists such a thing as hate, but that love abides. With that same love with which he crafted us in the beginning, he calls us out of our half-life existence. He calls us to walk with him in the light of reality.
He calls us to become true women and true men.
Even in the hatred of God, we are sought out by the fury of his love.