Hatred

* Hatred blinds us to our sins

Ahab still refused to admit his sin against God. Instead, he accused Elijah of being is enemy. When we are blinded by envy and hatred, it is almost impossible to see our own sin. (NLT)

1 Kings 21:20 – “So my enemy has found me!” Ahab exclaimed to Elijah.

“Yes,” Elijah answered, “I have come because you have sold yourself to what is evil in the Lord’s sight.

* Hatred builds to an obsession

Hatred and bitterness are like weeds with long roots that grow in the heart and corrupt all of life. Haman was so consumed with hatred toward Mordecai that he could not even enjoy the honor of being invited to Esther’s party. Hebrews 12:15 warns us to “watch out that no bitter root of unbelief rises up among you, for whenever it springs up, many are corrupted by its poison.” Don’t let hatred and its resulting bitterness build in your heart. Like Haman, you will find it backfiring against you (see Esther 6:131; Esther 7:9-102). If the mere mention of someone’s name provokes you to anger, confess your bitterness as sin. Ignoring bitterness, hiding it from others, or making superficial changes in behavior is not enough. If bitterness isn’t completely removed, it will grow back making matters worse. (NLT)

Esther 5:9 – What a happy man Haman was as he left the banquet! But when he saw Mordecai sitting at the gate, not standing up or trembling nervously before him, he was furious.

* Why David said he “hated” his enemies

David’s hatred for his enemies came from his zeal for God. David regarded his enemies as God’s enemies, so his hatred was a desire for God’s righteous justice and not for personal vengeance. Is it all right to be angry at people who hate God? Yes, but we must remember that it is God who will deal with them, not us. If we truly love God, then we will be deeply hurt if someone hates him. David asked God to search his heart and mind and point out any wrong motives that may have been behind his strong words. But while we seek justice against evil, we must also pray that God’s enemies will turn to him before he judges them (see Matthew 5:444). (NLT)

Psalm 139:21-24 – O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who resist you? Yes, I hate them with complete hatred, for your enemies are my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

* Is there ever a time for hatred?

When is there a time for hating We shouldn’t hate evil people, but we should hate what they do. We should also hate it when people are mistreated, when children are starving, and when God is being dishonored. In addition, we must hate the sin in our life—this is God’s attitude Psalm 5:55.(NLT)

Ecclesiastes 3:8 – A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.

* Hating our enemies keeps us from sharing God’s love with them

Nineveh was a powerful and wicked city. Jonah had grown up hating the Assyrians and fearing their atrocities. His hatred was so strong that he didn’t want them to receive God’s mercy. Jonah was actually afraid the people would repent. Jonah’s attitude is representative of Israel’s reluctance to share God’s love and mercy with others, even though this was their God-given mission. They, like Jonah, did not want non-Jews (Gentiles) to obtain God’s favor. (NLT)

Jonah 1:3 – But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction in order to get away from the Lord. He went down to the seacoast, to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping that by going away to the west he could escape from the Lord.

* Why many Jews despised Nazareth

Nazareth sat in the hilly area of southern Galilee near the crossroads of great caravan trade routes. The town itself was rather small. The Roman garrison in charge of Galilee was housed there. The people of Nazareth had constant contact with people from all over the world, so world news reached them quickly. The people of Nazareth had an attitude of independence that many of the Jews despised. This may have been why Nathanael commented “Nazareth! . . . Can anything good come from there?” (NLT)

Matthew 2:23 – So they went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what was spoken by the prophets concerning the Messiah: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

* Why many Jews hated Samaritans

Israel had been divided into three main regions: Galilee in the north, Samaria in the middle, and Judea in the south. The city of Samaria (in the region of Samaria) had been the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel in the days of the divided kingdom before it was conquered by Assyria in 722 B.C. During that war, the Assyrian king took many captives, leaving only the poorest people in the land and resettling it with foreigners. These foreigners intermarried with the Jews who were left, and the mixed race became known as Samaritans. The Samaritans were considered half-breeds by the “pure” Jews in the southern kingdom of Judah, and there was intense hatred between the two groups. But Jesus himself went into Samaria, and he commanded his followers to spread the Good News there. (NLT)

Acts 8:5 – Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah.

* Following Jesus may cause some to hate you

Because the world hated Jesus, we who follow him can expect that many people will hate us as well. If circumstances are going too well, ask if you are following Christ as you should. We can be grateful when life goes well, but we must make sure it is not at the cost of following Jesus halfheartedly or not at all. (NLT)

John 7:7 – [Jesus said] “The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of sin and evil.”

* Persecution proved that Paul was preaching the true Good News. If he had taught what the false teachers were teaching, no one would be offended. But because he was teaching the truth, he was persecuted by both Jews and Judaizers. Have friends or loved ones rejected you because you have taken a stand for Christ? Jesus said not to be surprised if the world hates you, because it hated him. Just as Paul continued to faithfully proclaim the message about Christ, you should continue doing the ministry God has given you—in spite of the obstacles others may put in your way. (NLT)

Galatians 5:11 – Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why would the Jews persecute me? The fact that I am still being persecuted proves that I am still preaching salvation through the cross of Christ alone.

* Even apostles not free from hatred

The apostles experienced power to do miracles, great boldness in preaching, and God’s presence in their lives; yet they were not free from hatred and persecution. They were arrested, put in jail, beaten, and slandered by community leaders. Faith in God does not make troubles disappear; it makes troubles appear less frightening because it puts them in the right perspective. Don’t expect everyone to react favorably when you share something as dynamic as your faith in Christ. Some will be jealous, afraid, or threatened. Expect some negative reactions, and remember that you must be more concerned about serving God than about the reactions of people. (NLT)

Acts 5:17-18 – The high priest and his friends, who were Sadducees, reacted with violent jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in jail.

* Hatred akin to murder

John echoes Jesus’ teaching that whoever hates another person is a murderer at heart. Christianity is a religion of the heart; outward compliance alone is not enough. Bitterness against someone who has wronged you is an evil cancer within you and will eventually destroy you. Don’t let a “bitter root” grow in you or your church. (NLT)

1 John 3:15 – Anyone who hates another Christian is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.

* Things God hates

The book of Proverbs notes 14 types of people and actions that God hates. Let these be guidelines of we are not to be and do! (NLT)

Violent people – Proverbs 3:31 – Do not envy violent people; don’t copy their ways.

Haughtiness, lying, murdering, scheming, eagerness to do evil, a false witness, stirring up dissension – Proverbs 6:16-19 – There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord among brothers.

Those who are untruthful – Proverbs 12:22 – The Lord hates those who don’t keep their word, but he delights in those who do.

The sacrifice of the wicked – Proverbs 15:8 – The Lord hates the sacrifice of the wicked, but he delights in the prayers of the upright.

The way of the wicked – Proverbs 15:9 – The Lord despises the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue godliness.

The thoughts of the wicked – Proverbs 15:26 – The Lord despises the thoughts of the wicked, but he delights in pure words.

Those who are proud; pride is the inner voice that whispers, “My way is best.” It is resisting God’s leadership and believing that you are able to live without his help. Whenever you find yourself wanting to do it your way or looking down on other people, you are being controlled by pride. Only when you eliminate pride can God help you become all he meant you to be. (NLT)

Proverbs 16:5 – The Lord despises pride; be assured that the proud will be punished.

Those who judge unjustly; few acts are as cruel as making fun of the less fortunate, but many people do this because it makes them feel good to be better off or more successful than someone else. Mocking the poor is mocking the God who made them. We also ridicule God when we mock the weak, those who are different, or anyone else. When you catch yourself putting others down just for fun, stop and think about who created them. (NLT)

Proverbs 17:15 – The Lord despises those who acquit the guilty and condemn the innocent.

1 Esther 6:13 – When Haman told his wife, Zeresh, and all his friends what had happened, they said, “Since Mordecai—this man who has humiliated you—is a Jew, you will never succeed in your plans against him. It will be fatal to continue to oppose him.”

2 Haman’s hatred and evil plotting turned against him when the king discovered his true intentions. He was hanged on the gallows he had built for someone else. Proverbs 26:273 teaches that if you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. What happened to Haman shows the often violent results of setting any kind of trap for others. (NLT)

Esther 7:9-10 – Then Harbona, one of the king’s eunuchs, said, “Haman has set up a gallows that stands seventy-five feet tall in his own courtyard. He intended to use it to hang Mordecai, the man who saved the king from assassination.”

“Then hang Haman on it!” the king ordered. So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had set up for Mordecai, and the king’s anger was pacified.

3 Proverbs 26:27 – If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will roll back and crush you.

4 By loving and praying for our enemies, we can overcome evil with good. But Jesus says we are to love our enemies. If you love your enemies and treat them well, you will truly show that Jesus is Lord of your life. This is possible only for those who give themselves fully to God, because only he can deliver people from natural selfishness. We must trust the Holy Spirit to help us show love to those for whom we may not feel love. (NLT)

Matthew 5:44 – [Jesus said] “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”

5 Psalm 5:5 – Therefore, the proud will not be allowed to stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil.

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