Short Meditations in Psalms: 5.5-2 The God who hates
Psa 5:5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.
I finished the previous meditation and was left with a sense of dissatisfaction. Somehow there was something more there to be said and as I have pondered on it, I realise what it is: how can a God who the apostle John stated was love (1 Jn 4:8,16) also hate people? I didn’t touch on that but should have done, so what is the answer?
Well, as I have pondered it the following are my conclusions and I hope you find them helpful. Because God is God, at any moment it is as if, to use a phrase we use of people, He wears several hats at the same time. None of them conflict but they are just different roles He fulfils or different ways He considers us.
The first hat the Lord wears (to use that expression) is that of Creator of the world. He is the all-powerful One, the One who brought all things into being and is therefore the One who knows all things and loves His creation, because He made it and it is precious to Him. We are precious to Him because we are made in His image (Gen 1:26,27).
The second hat that the Lord is forced to wear, if I may put it like that, is of a Judge. Justice is an inherent concept within the minds of sentient beings that demands fairness and points out actions by others that are wrong and which demand being dealt with by the Law. To establish and administer justice in creation, God has to act as a Judge, because it is a Fallen World with so much to judge. In distinguishing between right and wrong the judge senses and knows the goodness of right and the awfulness of wrong. We may have our consciences blunted or seared so that we don’t make right judgments in respect of justice, but God sees and knows what is right or wrong and FEELS the wonder of right and the awfulness of wrong. Because He is also the Creator of this wonderful world, as the Judge He feels acutely when His perfection is spoiled by sin and He hates the product of sin, hates those who spoil it – every person committed to wrong. This is Him as Judge.
The third hat He wears is that of the world’s Redeemer-Saviour. He comes in the form of His Son, who died on a Cross, two thousand years ago in time-space history to take the punishment due to sinners.
He loves people, the people on His created world and yet is confronted by the awfulness of their sin which He hates. The sin comes through a person and therefore person and their sin are indistinguishable to the Judge. Yet His love is not passive or static; it reaches out to people by His Spirit, to seek to draw people back to Himself. His love yearns for them to turn from sin to Him, for them to be saved, to receive all that He has done on the Cross at Calvary, the supreme act of Love.