I confess that even typing the title of this piece makes me shudder. God’s hate? As a child I was told that was a phrase you should never use.
There are only occasional references to such an idea in the Bible. Plainly God is pleased with creation (Genesis 1 & 2) but then greatly saddened by his creatures’ actions (Genesis 3). In both Proverbs and Job, there are verses where the text is sometimes translated “hate,” though a preferable reading might well be “God does not know or acknowledge . . .”
But one of the most formative books I have ever read speaks clearly about what God does hate. Alan E. Lewis penned his life’s major work, Between Cross & Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday:
The good news of Easter Saturday is that God will not befriend our death in its tragic and destructive aspect. At Christ’s grave, as the Father and the Son endure the infinite pain . . .we may see how perfect, uncompromising, and implacable is God’s hatred of death’s curse and all it does to us—the lengths to which the triune community will go in the struggle to confront and overthrow that which hurts, disfigures, and destroys the creatures of God’s hand.
Formed in the struggles of apartheid, and dying of another form of cancer, Lewis offers life and hope in God’s hate of death.
We are coming close to the time when we remember again the “very form of the One who died for me.”
Remember and be glad that because Jesus was at both Calvary and Gethsemane “nothing in death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
If you would like to view past editions of Hello from Harvey,
follow this link: https://capitaldistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/