Psalm 97: Love-Hate Relationships

Read Psalm 97:1-12

A Love-Hate Relationship

Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.
(Psalm 97:10-11)

If you love the Lord, then you’ve got to hate! Hate evil, that is.

You see, it is impossible to love God with all your heart, and at the same time mindlessly embrace the values of this fallen world. You are actually called to hate those values. You see, the very foundation of God’s rule over both the larger universe and the smaller world of your life is righteousness and justice. (Psalm 97:2). In other words, from the center to the circumference of his being, God is holy and fair.

Now tell me, what is there in this present world that is fundamentally holy and thoroughly fair? Not much! For sure, you can find pockets of righteousness and justice here and there, but the prevailing forces of this present world are anything but. Everywhere you look—the media, the courts, the economy, the entertainment industry—most of what you see is unrighteous and unfair.

Now the scary thing is, we are so continually and strategically pounded with the systemic evil of this world that we start to become immune to it. It is highly likely that the daily barrage of unrighteousness and unfairness has brought us to the point of not even seeing it anymore—and if we do see, we’re not even bothered by it. That is scary, sad and wrong!

And that has got to change! It is time to embrace a love-hate relationship with our current situation. We belong to a righteous and just God, whom we are called to wholeheartedly love. But our love for God requires us to wholeheartedly hate this unrighteous and unfair world in which we live for the time being.

So it is high time we change the way we think about our temporary residence. The Apostle Paul’s call for the transformation of our worldview is long overdue. Romans 12:2 says,

“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (The Message)

A passionate love-hate relationship is called for. It will be a little risky to hate what is going on in your world. In fact, you will be hated back by the very world you hate—that is understandable—so get comfortable with it. But here’s the deal: God has promised to guard your life, deliver you to a better place (Psalm 97:10), shine his favor upon you and fill your heart with joy (Psalm 97:11) if you throw in with him.

Love God—hate evil! That’s what I’m going with!

“Jesus Christ did not say, ‘Go into the world and
tell the world that it is quite right.’”
~C. S. Lewis

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