BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“The LORD had clearly instructed his people not to intermarry with those nations, because the women they married would lead them to worship their gods. Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway” (1 Kings 11:1-2 NLT).
This scripture is a sad commentary on the life of Solomon, a king the Bible described as the wisest king. “Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was known in all the surrounding nations” (1Kings 4:30-31 NASB). Solomon insisted on loving what the LORD hated. That certainly wasn’t wise. Don’t love what the LORD hates! Don’t hate what the LORD loves! Be unwaveringly committed to obeying God’s words notwithstanding the circumstances. The psalmist said, “I have made up my mind to obey your laws forever, no matter what” (Psalm 119:112 CEV). That is wisdom. The proof of your love for the Lord is obedience. Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15 NLT). Obey the Lord, no matter what.
Solomon started his reign by loving the Lord. 1 Kings 3:3 says, “Solomon loved the LORD and followed all the instructions of his father, David, except that Solomon, too, offered sacrifices and burned incense at the local altars” (NLT). But rather than continuing to demonstrate his love for the LORD by obeying His instruction, King Solomon loved many foreign women (1 Kings 11:1) which the LORD had forbidden the Israelites from marrying (verses 1b-2a).
It wasn’t that the LORD hated these women for no just cause. The LORD forbade intermarrying with them because He knew these foreign women would bring into Israel their foreign gods but Solomon loved what the LORD hated. He insisted on loving these foreign women and ended marrying them in large numbers! He had 700 wives of royal birth (princesses) and 300 concubines. These women did turn his heart away from the LORD (1 Kings 11:3).
Verse 4 says in Solomon’s old age these foreign women turned Solomon’s heart to worship other gods instead of Solomon being completely faithful to the LORD his God. According to verse 9, the LORD was very angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD God of Israel who had appeared to him twice (1Kings 3:5, 9:2-3). Solomon was influenced by foreign wives who worshipped foreign gods. 1 Kings 11:10 says, “He [the Lord] had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the LORD’s command” (NLT).
What was the consequence of Solomon’s insistence on loving what the LORD hated? “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my laws, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants” (1 Kings 11:11NLT). The consequence was the LORD’s judgment to take the kingdom from him and give it to another person after his reign. This was fulfilled during his successor’s reign who was left to rule over only one tribe, Judah, according to the word of the LORD (1King 11: 12-13, 30-32, 34-36). Do you love what the LORD hates? Do you hate what the LORD loves?
The Bible says so much about what the LORD hates, and in the process, we also get to know what the LORD loves. The Bible also tells us what the LORD loves, and through that, we know what He hates.
What does the LORD hate?
Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us seven abominable things that the LORD hates: “These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren” (NKJV). According to Isaiah 6:8a, the LORD loves justice and hates robbery and wrongdoing. He hates cheating but delights in honesty (Proverbs 11:1). Verse 20 says the LORD hates people with twisted hearts (perverse heart, depraved heart, false heart) but delights in those who have integrity – those who’re blameless in their ways. Do you cheat or steal? Are you dishonest and lack integrity? If yes, it means you love what the LORD hates.
Amos 5:21 says the LORD hates religious hypocrisy. He hates the sacrifice of the wicked but delights in the prayers of the upright (Proverbs 15:8). The LORD also hates those who don’t keep their words but delights in those who do (Proverbs 12:22). Are you real or fake? Are you a promise-breaker? The LORD hates these negative traits.
Malachi 2:6 says the LORD hates divorce. Jesus said, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matthew 19:8 NKJV). Couples can always work things out when their hearts are controlled by the Holy Spirit and they hate what the LORD hates. But divorce is inevitable where the heart of a couple or the heart of one of them is hardened or unteachable. A spouse may not be able to prevent divorce where his or her partner loves it and his or her behavior is helping to realize it. God hates divorce; why should you, husband or wife, love and want it? “It was because you knew so little of the meaning of love that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives! But that was not the original principle. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife on any grounds except her unfaithfulness and marries some other woman commits adultery” (Matthew 19:8-9 J. B. Phillips).
No sin is too small to take one to hellfire! But as evil, as marital unfaithfulness or fornication is, it is not an unpardonable sin like blasphemy against the Holy Spirit that Jesus said would never be forgiven (Mark 3:29). A spouse can genuinely repent of sexual immorality and can be forgiven by his partner especially when the guilty partner is not known for a lifestyle of sexual immorality. The husband and wife can reconcile rather than terminate their marriage just because Scripture allows divorce on that condition. The Lord hates divorce.
Because of the many detestable acts that the Canaanite nations did in the name of their gods, including burning their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods, the LORD gave their land to the Israelites and commanded the Israelites to destroy them and not to emulate them (Deuteronomy 12:29-31). But did they listen? No. They loved what the LORD hated. “However I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, ‘Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!’ But they did not listen or incline their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense to other gods. So My fury and My anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as it is this day” (Jeremiah 44:4-6 NKJV). Don’t love what the LORD hates, and don’t hate what the LORD loves.
In 2 Chronicles 19:1-2, the LORD, through the prophet Jehu, rebuked King Jehoshaphat of Judah, a good king, for accompanying an evil king, Ahab, to a war despite divine warning by the prophet Micaiah that they shouldn’t go. Jehoshaphat nearly died in that war but Ahab was killed (2 Chronicles 18). Jehu said, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Therefore the wrath of the LORD is upon you” (2 Chronicles 19:2 NKJV).
Do you hate what the Lord hates?
Compare the accusation against Jehoshaphat to what David said in Psalm 139:21-22: “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” (NLT). Here, David was mainly expressing his commitment to the LORD and love for Him contrary to the enemies’ hatred for the LORD, blaspheming His name. It wasn’t about personal hatred for the enemies by David. In the New Testament, while we must love the Lord, be committed to Him, we must also love our enemies (Matthew 5:44) and pray that those who hate the Lord will repent before it’s too late. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17 NKJV).
Don’t love what the Lord hates. “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4b NKJV). Don’t love what the Lord hates and don’t hate what the Lord loves. “Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever” (1 John 2:15-17 NLT).
Hate what the Lord hates, and love what the Lord loves. David said in Psalm 26:5 that he hated the gathering of those who did evil and refused to join in with the wicked. He said again in Psalm 31:6 that he hated those who worshipped worthless idols but trusted in the LORD. David also said, “I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all crooked dealings; I will have nothing to do with them” (Psalm 101:3 NLT). What David said in the first part of the last scripture is similar to what Job said in Job 31:1 that he had made a covenant with his eyes not to look with lust at a young woman. He hated what the LORD hates. The Lord hates sexual immorality including mental adultery. Jesus said, “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-29 NLT).
Further in Psalm 119, the psalmist said he hated every false way of life (verse 104, 128), hated those who were undecided about the LORD but loved His law (verse 113), and hated all falsehood but loved the law of the LORD (verse 163).
Even though, under the new covenant, you’re not to hate anyone i.e. relating with them in hatred, you must not relate with them in a way that suggests endorsing their sinful lifestyle. You must not only avoid loving what God hates, you must not be seen to be encouraging others to love what God hates (Romans 1:32). You must not be partakers with them or participate with them in their sins (Ephesians 5:7). “Come away from her, my people. Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her” (Revelation 18:4b NLT). Hate what the Lord hates and love what the Lord loves. Sinners must not be in doubt that you hate their sinful indulgences. You must love the people but hate their sins. Don’t love what the Lord hates.
Conclusion: One word that fully captures all that the Lord hates is sin. Sin is an abomination to the Lord. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NLT). That is spiritual death. The person who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4).
Run from sin. Sin is darkness; righteousness is light. Light and darkness are not friends. There is no fellowship between the two (2 Corinthians 6:14). Don’t hate the light and love darkness. God is light (John 1:5). If you’re of God, you shouldn’t love darkness – sin. John 3:19 says, “The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil” (NLT). Evil deeds are synonymous with darkness. Do you love the darkness more than the light? Do you love sin or love righteousness? Don’t love what the Lord hates and don’t hate what the Lord loves. Romans 13:12 says, “The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So don’t live in darkness. Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes. Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light” (NLT).
Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12) but the world hates Him (John 7:7) though He is the beloved Son of God (Matthew 3:14, 17:5; Mark 1:11, 9:7; Luke 3:22). Don’t hate Jesus; don’t hate the light. Don’t hate what the Lord loves; don’t love what the Lord hates.
What to do
1.If you’re not born again, give your life to Jesus. Unless you’re born again, you can’t see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3).
2. If you’re born again but you love what the Lord hates, repent and rededicate your life to Christ (1 John1:8-10).
3. Daily renew your mind in the word of God (Romans 12:2). Through that, your thoughts shall begin to agree with that of God (Isaiah 55:8).
4. Receive the grace to resist temptations and resist them with the help of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 12:4).
5. Avoid the company of those who love and do what the Lord hates. Walk with those who love what the Lord loves and hate what He hates (Proverbs 13:20; 12:26; Psalm 1:1-2).
6. Do what the Lord loves (John 14:15). Don’t nurse any secret love for what the Lord hates.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T.O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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