Psalm 139 and The Perfect Hatred

Psalm 139 is wrecking me. I used to see it as the "pro-life, oh-look-God-knows-my-thoughts" psalm ... but it's so much more than that. The psalmist begins by saying:
"O Lord, You have searched me and known me."
and then describes the intimacy of God's knowledge of him.
"For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether."
The psalmist then speaks of the protective restraint he feels in this intimate relationship with the Living God:
"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?"
Marveling at this inescapable relationship, he knows he will never be able to flee God, however far he may run. Expressing awe at God's personal perspective of his private creation, the psalmist acknowledges the writing of his entire life before he was even in the womb. He is overwhelmed by the vast personal affection this Living God has for him.
"How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!"
The psalmist then turns his thoughts to the present:
"When I awake, I am still with You."
As he acknowledges his present existence and relationship with the Living God, thoughts of his pen take an interesting turn ...
"Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. For they speak against You wickedly;"
His heart is churned by the lies spoken of God by selfish men.
"Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?"
Hate? Loathing? We were just celebrating the deep knowing God has of our souls ... how did we start talking about this? I submit to you, the psalmist is moved with grief by the contrasting lifestyles of those who blaspheme the Living God. This grief is the impetus of righteous anger.
"I hate them with perfect hatred."
"Perfect Hatred?" How can the psalmist say such a thing?! Especially when he's deeply experiencing God's most holy love? From my perspective, it is the very Love of God received in this soul-exposing relationship that causes him to hate those who despise God. Perfect Love causes Perfect Hatred.  Before you think this is nonsense, let's use real life terms. Think of your favorite person/band/team/youtube channel. For example, I am a huge fan of Blimey Cow. If someone disrespected or lied about Blimey Cow, their videos, or even one particular beard, I would stand up and express my disagreement. When we passionately express our opinion on topics as subjective as the New England Patriots, politics on The Bachelor or red bell peppers (don't ask!), we are in a very small way, mirroring God's passion for holiness. On the topic of holiness, however, there is only one right opinion and that is that God is always holy and we are not except when covered by His blood. God will not allow His most holy love to be defined by those who would manipulate it for their profit.  Thus, Love Hates. The psalmist is simply a recipient of feelings felt by his Father, the Living God. Having begun saying "O Lord, You have searched me and known me," the psalmist ends by asking God to search him again.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting."

Psalm 139, NKJV

photo © 2010 Matei Domnita , Flickr
Let me get real with you ... There is only one thing I hate more than the words and actions of those who willfully disrespect and/or misrepresent God, be they outside the church or within. More than anything else, I hate my wicked deceitful heart which daily has full potential to do the same: stealing glory belonging to God for myself, leading people away from Him and generally transforming my person back into the most self-absorbed bitch the world has ever known. That is the Perfect Hatred: Hatred of my own sins and the sins of others which lead people away from God.


In accordance with the sentiments expressed here, my next post will be specific questions I want you to ask me if you ever see me getting even slightly off course from following Christ with complete truthfulness and humility. I live inside out for a reason. And no, it isn't easy ... what part of following Christ is?


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