These are not those scales with flashing digital numbers, these are the ones that have the two big blocks of steel that run on a slide and when the indicator is balanced, that is your weight. My weight is measured by a counter weight on the scale. It stands opposing every fat cell in my body, and… IT DOESN’T LIE!
My weight is determined by the counter weight! Now that is worth pondering because the Christian life is very similar.
David, the former shepherd now King of Israel, rehearses this idea in one of his songs. In he draws the contrast between two seemingly opposing ideas, two counter balances. On the one hand he sings of the omnipotence and omniscience of YHWH while on the other he concludes the song with hatred! It does not seem to be fitting conclusion to the song. Praise then hatred. Strange!
How does one explain such contrast?
Perhaps the Lord gives us a peek here of his COUNTER BALANCES in this Christian walk. Both extremes are seen here, they are vocalized, embraced, and equal and acknowledged by YHWH.
My praise for the Father today also measures my hatred for wickedness.
David sees them both as something that compliments one another. After asserting, “How precious to me are your thoughts O God! How vast is the sum of them… I awake and I am still with you,” he then concludes the song with:
“O that you would slay the wicked O God. O men of blood depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take tour name in vain! Do I not hate those who hate you O Lord? And do I not loath those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.”
And then he seems to challenge the Lord with this audacious claim by saying:
“ Search me O God and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
This appears to be so bold. His hatred for the wicked is put up for examination before the Lord and he is completely confortable with the test.
The scope of Jesus’ majesty creates in me a single mind, a single eye that puts me at odds with the world. It surrounds me with His omnipotence and at the same time it surrounds me with enemies.
In our day David would be branded a bigot. Hatred for any reason is politically and socially unacceptable. But that is an illusion. Hatred will remain among us until Jesus returns.
Now it must be asked is it wrong to hate the wicked?
David would think it is not. He hates those who hate the Lord and then opens himself to the highest court for examination. He seems completely innocent in suggesting that the wicked be destroyed. But how does this flesh out for us with Jesus’ message of loving your enemies?
First, it is completely impossible to love your enemies if they are not your enemies to begin with. I think this is the point David makes in his song. But I would ask, “Should they remain your adversaries?”
David hates his enemies because he sees them as enemies of YHWH. That is why we hate! It is covenantal to hate those who stand against the One we are in covenant with and love the ones who are with Him. David is no stranger to covenant and his comments reflect so. Yet, Jesus comes to broaden the covenant with an invitation for all men calling them to come and lay down their weapons of resistance and become sons of the King.
The surest way to change your enemy is to make him your brother. For this reason we preach the Gospel to all men, men who were enemies of God but now are made sons through the redeeming task of Christ.
Secondly, Love and hatred always work in tandem with one another.
Amos put it like this, “Hate evil and love good…” () Love and hatred are like the scales I use each day to weigh myself. My weight is counter-balanced with the blocks of steel on the other end. My hatred is countered by my love and visa versa.
The world will tell you it is “unchristian” to hate but I think the Bible challenges that notion. Yet we are not at liberty to respond to this hate in the manner the world does. We as His children have been given the grace and the task to meet their wickedness with the love and truth of Christ.
We will not shrink from identifying the wicked nor will we reject them by being silent. We will proclaim the only One who can change an evil soul into a Saint.
We won’t rant and rave. We won’t use carnal methods to belittle or strike.
We will simply proclaim! Wickedness will be addressed either by His grace through Christ or by His wrath in judgment. Either way it will be addressed.
One final note: Are you over weight with either love or hatred?
Don’t get on the scales unless you are ready to learn the truth but then again you may be at the perfect weight!
HE IS THE PERFECT WEIGHT!
139:1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain!
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting! (ESV)