Murder = hate.
Proverbs tells us that God hates murder. In the book of Solomon, he writes about wisdom, prudence, understanding, and how to live. He specifically mentions six things God hates, actually seven that are detestable to Him.
As a child and even as I grew older, I assumed those things were not something of which a Christian could be guilty. For God hates sin, and those of us who belong to Him could not possibly be guilty of doing or being something He hates! Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Recently, I decided to take a close look at all seven of these things. I’ve read this scripture every year for the past dozen years, but I’ve never dug deep under the soil of these verses to find what is hidden there. Join me on this seven-week journey to learn more about the things God hates – and why.
What murder is
The dictionary definition of murder is: unlawful premeditated killing of someone. God’s Word has story after story of killings by the Israelites – commanded by God – in the Old Testament.
In the New Testament, Jesus proclaimed that His Kingdom was a new kingdom. He did not come to abolish (get rid of) the old law, but to fulfill the law. Jesus carried the “killing” one step further. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that to be angry with a brother, to call him names such as “empty head”, or to call him a fool is the same as murder. Let’s see, do words like “idiot”, “stupid”, “air head”, or “knucklehead” fit in there anywhere?
Jesus also reminded His listeners that if we want to be considered “great”, then we are to do and teach His commands. If, however, we try to relax His commandments and teach others to do the same, we will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus is not asking us to just “do enough to get by”. He wants us to go the extra step, doing the most and the best we can do, rather than the least. It’s one thing to not speak negatively to or about someone; it’s something else to speak positively toward someone we have trouble affirming. The bottom line is, it is a sin to hate.
James tell us that anyone who hates another person is a murderer. Hatred is defined as “intense and passionate dislike for someone.” It is also listed as “an angry or resentful emotional response to certain people or ideas. Hatred is often associated with feelings of anger and disgust . . . . ”
The struggle against hate is real
I was doing pretty good when I read the part about actually killing someone. We consider pre-meditated murder wrong and sinful. Even those who do not follow the cause of Christ consider “murdering someone in cold blood” wrong.
Then I got to the part about hating someone is the same as murder. I might not kill someone in cold blood, but I have been guilty of name-calling and of hatred. Oh, we disguise it as disgust toward someone, as a disagreement instead of anger, or of hidden delight in someone’s downfall, or using derogatory names because “that’s what he is!’. Yet the fact remains, when we harbor these feelings or emotions, we are guilty of murder. Forms of hatred equal murder, according to scripture.
Pretty strong statement, pretty strong stuff, I know. Yet, there is no way to get around it, is there?
Hate – and its cure
One way to guarantee excision of hatred is to get rid of our Self. Get rid of selfishness. Stop thinking you are better than someone else. Instead, think of others as better than you are – because in God’s eyes, they are.
Pride, jealousy, conceit, rivalry, and selfishness feed the emotions of hate. Get rid of those, and the hatred will be gone.
Start by recognizing who you are apart from God. Admit where you would be were it not for God. Then thank Him for what He has done for you. Get your focus off your Self and onto God. Follow the model set for us in Philippians. Empty yourself, and become obedient to His call.
It won’t be easy. You’re never done fighting the war, but you can win, one battle at a time.