Love and Hate

Today’s Bible Passage: Micah 1

Scripture: Micah 1:2-3: “Attention! Let all the people of the world listen! The Sovereign Lord has made accusations against you; the Lord speaks from his holy Temple. Look! The Lord is coming! He leaves his throne in heaven and comes to earth, walking on the high places.”

Micah warns the people that God is coming to judge them because of their idolatry. The people were rebellious against God, treating him as an object rather than a person or totally ignoring him in deference to false gods, idols.

“Left to ourselves we turn God into an object, something we can deal with, some thing we can use to our benefit, whether that thing is a feeling or an idea or an image. Prophets scorn all such stuff. They train us to respond to God’s presence and voice” (from The Message Introduction to Micah).

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We have a loving God who hates sin. In fact, it is both his love and his hate that compelled him to send his only son, Jesus to die for us. Micah provides us with an accurate picture of God as one who loves us but hates our sin, our rebellion and idolatry. He wants nothing else to compete with our love for him, because he knows that nothing else in this world truly satisfies us. He loves us too much to let us settle for less than him.

“As you read Micah, catch a glimpse of God’s anger in action as he judges and punishes sin. See God’s love in action as he offers eternal life to all who repent and believe. And then determine to join the faithful remnant of God’s people who live according to his will” (from the Life Application Bible Introduction to Micah).

To be a man after God’s heart, I must also be a loving person who hates sin. It’s not up to me, though, to judge or punish, but to determine to live my life according to God’s will. To be a leader after God’s heart in my family, small group, and church, I must live as a model of someone who loves God and others but hates sin as much as God does. I must be in a real, abiding relationship with God as my Father, not see him as an object or just a means to my own ends. I must not have other things in my life that compete with God for my affections and devotion.

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My Father, I thank you that I can and do have a relationship with you. May nothing compete with that for my affections and devotion today. Help me to be a model for others of someone who loves you and other people and hates sin. I ask that your love–and your hate–overflow from me as you pour into me today.

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