All of us have seen the signs of the fringe, so-called, Christian group that protest at military funerals. They seem to have the belief that they know exactly who God hates. Ridiculous!
As if all the sins and mistakes of all the people in the world who have ever lived all combined together and multiplied by a thousand plus ten could overpower God’s love and peace! Really, God’s peace and God’s love is weaker than human sins? If that’s the case then we’re all doomed.
But it isn’t the case. The truth is we created humans have no power over God. Individually, our sins can never overpower Him. Collectively, our sins cannot exhaust Him. If that were remotely possible, He would not be God. Taking this further, if you think for one second that God “can’t” forgive you and that you have sinned so much that not even God Himself can redeem you, then you’re worshipping an idol and not the God of the Church or the Scriptures. And your arrogance and pride have reached a level that you believe yourself so powerful that your sins overcome God’s mercy. Dearest, that is delusion at the highest level. You just ain’t that powerful.
But somehow our human pride and “I’m the center of the universe” attitude so pollute our thoughts that we diminish God in our eyes. This human poverty is at the heart of our greatest temptation and challenge in becoming a true lover of God and not merely using God to “make me happy.”
All three of our Scripture Lessons today really drive this point home. Isaiah 6:1-12 shows us that the Lord is “high and lifted up” and He not only calls us to His service, but prepares us for that service as well. Genesis 5:1-24 has Moses recalling the lives of the ancients and ends with the story of Enoch, that mysterious figure who left a legacy that he “walked with God!” Kinda reminds you of Adam’s relationship with God before the Fall. The passage ends with the cryptic words “Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24)
But the passage from Proverbs is what really calls us from arrogance to humility. This passage reveals that there are some things God hates, but it isn’t people!
In Proverbs 6:3-20 the writer reveals “There are six things which the LORD hates, seven which 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 a man who sows discord among brothers. My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.” (Proverbs 6:16-20)
Each item the writer mentions is how someone misuses the faculties the Lord has given us all. From eyes to tongue to hands to heart to feet to mind, and even our human ability to influence; all misused to selfish ends. God hates these things. Do you know why He hates them? He hates them because these things destroy persons God loves. He doesn’t hate them because they “offend” Him. How childish. No, He hates these things because of the destructive power they wield in the lives of people He created and for whom He died and rose again.
Today, are you gripped with the narcissistic lie that God “can’t” forgive you? Are you trapped in behaviors that are self-destructive? Falling for that old slander against God that He is “angry” with you or is “disappointed in you” is all a trick of the evil one to keep you a slave. God is too humble to be angered by petty human sins. No, He hates what He hates because what He hates hurts you, and He loves you so very much. Even more than you, yourself, know how to love. Let’s abandon the prideful notion of a God Who hates people and embrace the Orthodox understanding of our Gods Who hates what hurts people.