Russell and Duenes

The Lord Hates Us

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“Because the Lord hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us.” ~ Deut. 1:27.

So said the Israelites in the burning desert when confronted with walled cities and giant men occupying the land they were told to go in and possess. I am not so different from them. I have known this sentiment in my heart. I, too, have voiced it in not so many words (sometimes in worse words). I shudder sometimes when I think about it.

Moses tries to tell the people that God will surely vanquish them against their foes, just as he did when they came out of Egypt. He will carry them just as he carried them in this desert, “as a man carries his son.” But to no avail. They were unmoved. As Daniel Fuller says, they gave God a vote of “no confidence.”

It’s interesting, in saying that it is the Lord who hates them, the Israelites at least recognize that the prime actor, the sovereign of their circumstances, the one controlling it all is the Lord, and not some other force or being. They aren’t railing against the devil or wicked spiritual beings bent on their destruction. No, they reckon this sovereign God as one who despises them; it is he who holds them in contempt, who hates them, to the point of bringing them into this miserable desert only to slay them and their children. And it’s not disappointment they express, but defiance. It betrays the heart of a person who not only believes that God hates him, but worse, who also finds God himself hateful and contemptuous, as though he never did anything good for him and has determined to make a hash of his life.

God’s response to it, when they later wept before him, was to shut his ears to them. No wonder the apostle Paul warns us to learn from their example, lest we “crave evil things as they also craved.” (1 Cor. 10:6). O Lord, that we would have hearts confident that you go before us on our way. (Deut. 1:32).

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

September 25, 2014 at 8:22 pm

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