I hate Him, and I Pray God Slay Him!

  What do you think about the “other” side?  Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35). The Psalmist writes:“Do I not hate. . . I hate them with a perfect hatred” (Psalm 139:21-22).

Though this Psalm is not considered one of the Psalms of malediction, or curse, or imprecation, it expresses a strong sentiment regarding hatred, which reflects some of the responses in a society that has just watched a contentious election. How should the believer now pray in response to what he or she might consider an “evil” outcome in the election, or against the “evil” people who sought to stymie the good outcome of the election? Shall the believer pray, “let an accuser [Hb. Satan] stand at his right hand. . . let his prayer be accounted as sin. . . Let his children be fatherless. . . Let curses come upon him” (Psalm 109:6, 7, 8, 9, 17)?

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Overcoming Spiritual Stagnation

A dark room that reeks of the musty smell that accompanies rot. Alone here, your mind wanders nowhere yet everywhere at the same time. A feeling of dread, loneliness or something wriggles through your bones. A sucking feeling in your gut tips you off that you are hungry but you are not sure. It might just be anxiety. All of this happened because of a keen experience of separation from God. A sort of spiritual anxiety. The Puritans described this feeling with the phrase, “the dark night of the soul.” They knew well about the malady of spiritual depression.

Spiritual stagnation is a problem that will bombard everyone at one point or another. Depression, fears and anxiety gush out, because we feel “separated” from God, from grace. We feel alone, sinful, dirty and unloved—or perhaps unloving.

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Harlot and the Beast

A nefariously ethereal scene. A beautiful woman sitting on an grotesque scarlet beast, as it lingers over many waters. The eldritch beast peers out in seven directions, for the simple reason that this eerie minion has seven heads. On the brute, ten horns protrude from his skin, demanding fear at the look of them. The woman wears deep purple with gold and pearls snaked around her form. She pours out promiscuity that flows long into the cups of kings.

Something stands out about this sycophant. On her forehead is written a mysterious name: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations” (Rev 17:5). When John saw this woman in the spirit (17:3), his categories of understanding blew right through.

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Jesus Revealed

Reading Revelation one is somewhat disconcerting. In the spirit, John portrays these fantastic visions of Jesus’ brilliance yet they seem so foreign, so different to us. But the imagery used by John was not so foreign or different to him and readers. In fact, the picture he draws of Jesus is simply pulled from the Old Testament. Like John, both Daniel and Ezekiel have prophetic visions and dreams about God’s plan for the world. In the line of visionary prophets, John simply pulls on his tradition to portray Jesus for who he is, the Alpha and the Omega.

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Ponder Horror to Cripple Your Sin

When internet porn looses its draw; when lying discards its perceived benefit; when gossiping misplaces its advantage; when laziness fails to satisfy; when any sin under the sun jettisons its gratification; then you have meditated on the horrors of the cross.

Our sin killed Jesus. Yes, I know that we didn’t physically put him on the cross.  But I also understand that he became our sin on the cross (2 Cor 5:21a). Put simply, Jesus transferred his righteousness to us, while we transferred our sin to him (2 Cor 5:21b). This allows us to live the life Jesus ought to have lived, while he died the death we ought to have died.

In this exchange, he died in our place and we live in his place. Jesus soaked up the wrath of God on cross, as the Father opened up the nozzle of his wrath on him. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” (Matt 27:46) yelled Jesus as he suffered God’s fury.

At a human level, we can view the exchange this way: You sin; your sin transfers to Jesus; Jesus pays for that sin. I know that the Bible does not teach Jesus suffered more because of the amount of sins he bore. Nonetheless, every time you sin you contribute to death of the Messiah.

Mediating on the horrors of the cross cripples your sin. When Paul says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil 4:8),  he surely meant the work of Christ.

How hellish is it to slander, lie, imbibe sexual thoughts and images and to do whatever else, while you contemplate the horrors of the cross?

Ponder horror to cripple your sin.