Saturday, January 20, 2018

Not a Four-letter Word, but… – The Sixth Commandment

Monday, November 17, 2008, 8:13
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Exodus 20.13; Deuteronomy 5.17

“You shall not murder.”

Leviticus 19.17

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.”

A curious but apt connection.

The connection between murder and hate is curious, but apt. Hate is the root of murder, as well as various other kinds of hurtful violence. Jesus made the connection explicit (Mt. 5.21-24), but this Levitical case law which is associated with murder is probably the foundation upon which His teaching is based. So “hate” is a four-letter word, right? Well, no. Hate is an affection every one of us has felt at one time or another – that deep, inward burning desire to do violence. We all know what that feels like, and it’s not just because we’re all affected by the fall and the law of sin. Hate is a legitimate affection, when it is properly focused. We are not to harbor hate in our hearts toward our neighbors; God calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves. But we are, indeed, commanded to hate evil (Ps. 97.10). Just as Jesus, in fierce rage, drove the merchants out of the temple, seeing that they were corrupting the holy house of prayer, so we must nurture similar affections against all sin. We hate sin because it is an offense to God and a tragedy for men. We hate sin because it cuts off fellowship with God and robs us of His blessings. We hate sin because God hates it so much He sent His Son to do away with it, once and for all. If we nurture proper hate toward sin, we will not allow it to affect our love for God or our neighbors.

Can you say that you hate sin? How does that show up in your life?

“In the Gates” is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).

Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001,2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Editor’s note: The use of a translation other than the Authorised Version in an article does not constitute an endorsement in whole or in part by The Christian Observer.

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