Hatred and Love

June 10, 2020

"Hatred stirs up strife,” (Proverbs 10:12a)

 

WOW! Could there be a better verse for a week like this last one in the USA? All across the USA unscrupulous professional “race baiters” (those who keep promoting the racist idea that the thing that is most important about a person is the skin color God lovingly gave him in the womb) trained, equipped, and led others to “protest” the murder of a man. The hope of the leaders was that these protest marches would degenerate into riots.

 

Their dream came true. Why? Because they encouraged HATRED toward people of different skin colors and toward law enforcement officers.

 

Why did they do this? Because satan, loves HATRED between people because it divides people more than they already naturally are divided in the flesh. The devil knows this:

 

"Hatred stirs up strife,” (Proverbs 10:12a)

 

The word “hatred” comes from the Hebrew word “śin’āh”; it is used to describe a hate that causes unrest and dissension between people, yet not necessarily leading to violence. As we saw this past week, this hate can be so strong that it leads to murder – whether by the hands of a rogue cop or by the hands of rioters whose emotions are being used by professional outside agitators for the purpose of causing “strife” in communities.

 

This word “strife” is accurately translated in the plural (“strifes” - KJV) in several versions of the Bible. It comes from a Hebrew word that, according to The Complete Word Study Dictionary, “refers to a quarrel or dispute that cannot be stopped once it starts (Proverb 17:14); or to arguments and contentions that create barriers between persons (Proverb 18:19)”.

 

"Hatred stirs up strife,” (Proverbs 10:12a)

 

Think about that. For many years good, loving people have worked hard to see all people as that…as PEOPLE. These saw people the way God does: as human beings not as those minimized by their race or skin color. According to God, we ALL came from the original two He made with His own hands. He wants us to be One in Him.

 

Satan hates that.

 

So, he gives an evil heart to those spiritually gullible and foolish enough to fall for it. According to the Bible, an evil heart spreads dissension and strife (Proverb 6:14 and 6:19) as does hatred:

 

"Hatred stirs up strife,” (Proverbs 10:12a)

 

There IS, though, an antidote!

 

"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins." (Proverbs 10:12)

 

That word "covers" can mean to "clothe something" but also means to "fill in hollows".

 

The truth is that people who provoke others to riot, burn property, steal from others, physically harm or even kill others are often motivated by jealousy and envy. They put these in the souls of the ones who mindlessly follow them along with those evil hearts.

 

All sin takes bites out of our soul. Satan would love to fill those holes with infection (hatred) so that we can have diseased souls.

 

Let's deny our enemy that joy.

 

“love covers all sins." (Proverbs 10:12b)

 

Let's allow the Lord to clothe us instead with health and righteousness.

 

You know, the very same devil who puts HATRED in the hearts of those lawless ones rioting in the streets want to put HATRED and FEAR into you. It really doesn’t matter to him which emotions control you; he knows that if he can get your emotions to rise up and overcome your reason…he can control your entire life.

 

As satan tries to dig pits in our souls using fear, hatred, and other emotions let’s commit to allowing the Lord to clothe us…to fill in those hollows.

 

“love covers all sins." (Proverbs 10:12b)

 

Let’s cooperate by allowing His love to flow through us. Let’s actively love those around us…our neighbors who live near us and those who are our temporary neighbors in line at the store or anywhere we are.

 

Let’s apply love, the antidote to hatred, wherever we can Let's choose to love those who hurt us. We Christians are sons and daughters of God...only Christians can say that truthfully.

 

Let's live that out.

 

I’d like to close this Proverb devotional with a passage from the Gospel of Mark. The setting is that a scribe, who was trained to see people in terms of their differences, has approached Jesus hoping to best Him in a scriptural test. He asks which commandment is the most important. It’s a trap.

 

“Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: 'HEAR, O ISRAEL, THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE. AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these.’” (Mark 12:29-31)

 

The scribe’s mind has been blown. His trap has failed. When Jesus spoke so simply and eloquently it was evident that He was speaking pure truth about what matters most to God. AND, it was plain to him that Jesus considers us loving God and us loving our neighbor (whoever is nearest to us at any given time) to be intimately interrelated.

 

It is worth noting that Jesus didn’t put any qualifiers in His reply that had to do with earthly races or skin colors.

 

This touches the scribe so deeply that it seems he no longer sees Jesus as a “them”; rather as an “us”. Jesus, speaking love, removed the division between them. Listen to the scribe:

 

“So the scribe said to Him, ‘Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.’” (Mark 12:32-33)

 

Next, Jesus says something earth-shattering to the scribe.

 

“Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ But after that no one dared question Him.” (Mark 12:34)

 

It is my prayer that we Christians respond to whatever is happening around us with love and conduct ourselves in such a way that were Jesus to appear before us right now He would say to us, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

 

Amen.

 

 

 

Pastor Mike McInerney        

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.

Decatur, TX

© June 10, 2020

 

 

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