November 06, 2008

Love and Hate

Psalm 45:1-9

You love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Psalm 45:7


This psalm is a song of celebration for the wedding of a king. It reminds the king that his rule is to be marked by service to the Lord and his people. The king is to demonstrate godly virtues by hating wickedness and loving righteousness.

Earthly rulers often compromise righteousness and downplay wickedness in order to accommodate their personal behavior. But don’t we also do that? We would rather have a sliding scale that allows us to give ourselves a passing grade on the basis of everyone else’s performance. We cheat our scores up on the loving side and down on the hating side. We do anything we can to make ourselves look better.

Our God hates wickedness. That’s why he dealt with its power and pollution in a decisive move: God poured out the anger that should have been directed toward us on his own Son. And God heaps vast quantities of love on us simply because of sheer grace.

This awesome contrast between love and hate puts God clearly on display. It also reveals a great deal about us. Unlike God, we tend not to hate wickedness; we coddle or excuse it. And we tend to love not out of grace but out of personal motives. “I want the object of my love to do something for me!” we cry. How unlike God! God’s investment of love is beyond all calculation.

Lord, create in us hearts that imitate you. May we love as we have been loved and hate only what you hate: our own sin and pride. May we seek your righteousness. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Brink

Rev. Harvey Brink has retired from active ministry in the Christian Reformed Church, having served congregations in Michigan, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Illinois, and
Washington. He and his wife Maxine live near their children and grandchildren in western Washington.

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