Pastor Dave Arnold strikingly flashes vivid images of how hatred is abhorrent and devastating to the living soul, and tears at the very core of one's self.
In Proverbs 10:12, we read, "Hatred stirs up strife." The infamous 19th century feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys started with a fight over a razorback hog. The men who started this bitter hatred were William Hatfield and Randolph McCoy. The two families fought for nearly twenty years, and 12 were killed. Hatred is not always this blatant. It can be as subtle as a minor insult. However, once it starts, it can gradually damage and destroy families, churches, and lifelong relationships.
Hatred is forbidden. Leviticus 19:17, "You shall not hate your bother in your heart." Colossians 3:8, "Put off...malice" ("malignity, ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity"). Edith Cavell, an English nurse in World War 1, helped more that two hundred English, French, and Belgian soldiers escape to England during the German occupation of Belgium. She was captured, court-martialed, and sentenced to death, as a spy, by the Germans. Just before her execution, she said to the English chaplain: "I have no fear of death. I willingly die for my country. But, standing as I do, viewing God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred toward anyone."
Hatred is called "murder." 1 John 3:15, "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." Elmer Rivera arrived home from work to find a bomb under his bed. It was discovered that his wife and her boyfriend had planted the device, which, thankfully, never exploded. Detective Ray Schilke said, "Both defendants made it perfectly clear that their full intent was for Elmer to die." (His wife) "didn't see divorce as an option." E. Stanley Jones remarked, "A rattlesnake, if cornered, will sometimes become so angry it will bite itself. That is exactly what the harboring of hate and resentment against others is – a biting of oneself. We think we are harming others in holding these spites and hates, but the deeper harm is to ourselves."
Hatred is a sign of a deceitful heart. Proverbs 26:24, 25 says, "He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself. When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations within his heart." Ahithophel, a wise counselor of King David, bitterly developed hatred towards his long-time friend David, because David had committed adultery with his granddaughter, Bathsheba (compare 2 Samuel 11:3 and 23:34). He harbored this hatred, refusing to forgive, and deceitfully sided with Absolom in a rebellion. Instead of accomplishing his deadly intentions, his hatred took his own life. Harry Rimmer said, "The only permanent pain and harm that can come to me from the offenses committed against me is the irreparable injury I do myself by hatred of those who wrong me!"
Hatred is living a lie. 1 John 4:20,21, "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this is the commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."
"No man is able to force me so low as to make me hate him!" (Booker T. Washington).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654