Why Does God Hate Me?

by Jul 3, 2024Devotional3 comments

Malachi 1:2 “I have always loved you,” says the LORD. But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?” And the LORD replies, “This is how I showed my love for you: I loved your ancestor Jacob, 3 but I rejected his brother, Esau, and devastated his hill country. I turned Esau’s inheritance into a desert for jackals.”

      When someone feels hated by God, it is a hard place to come out of. The Psalmist Heman the Ezrahite wrote Psalm 88, and he seems to have been in a state of despair. Heman’s thoughts and self-doubt are expressed out of anguish, and basically, he seems to be saying that God hates him. Of course, this was not true, but the feelings were in his heart and he felt raw and vexed of soul. Psalm 88:14 LORD, why do you reject me? Why do you hide your face from me? 15 From my youth, I have been suffering and near death. I suffer your horrors; I am desperate. 16 Your wrath sweeps over me; your terrors destroy me. 17 They surround me like water all day long; they close in on me from every side. Heman’s groans can be felt, and his thoughts are filled with emotional despair which causes him to make a final statement of loss, and its reason hurts the heart to think about it. Psalm 88:18 You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend.

      How many people have felt like darkness was their closest friend while living out their faith in our Lord’s salvation? History states that Heman was a grandson of Samuel the prophet, and was one of the composers of the music that was written for the Psalmist who had inspiredly written the Psalms. Heman would have seen firsthand and heard of the greatness of God. He would have participated in the praise that declared the wonders of God’s goodness. Yet, within this environment, he thought God had not favoured him in life nor had he felt God’s friendship. To say that darkness was his only friend implies a feeling of being noticed but not seen, or not found to be valuable to God. How many times have we felt the sting of rejection, and wanted to scream out of frustration at the angst playing havoc in our hearts? Many a strong person, would at this point, shout out loud, “Why does God hate Me”?

      Whenever the statement is made, “God does not hate anyone,” without fail, someone says, “God hated Esau but loved Jacob.” It is interesting to see the word God uses to express this statement. The Word of God says, that in effect, Esau hated his birthright. Gen. 25:34 Then Jacob gave some bread and lentil stew to Esau, who ate and drank and then got up and went away. Thus Esau despised his birthright. Some translations say that Esau showed contempt, scorned, slighted, belittled, and treated his right as firstborn with disdain. The Hebrew word for hate is sânêʼ, (saw-nay’) which suggests how Esau valued his birthright, and how he hated the responsibility of that birthright. When God says he hated Esau, God is using the same word sânêʼ that Esau used to belittle his birthright. God saw no value in Esau, the same way Esau saw no value in the gifting and responsibility God had given him through birth. Rom. 9:13 As it is written and forever remains written, “JACOB I LOVED (chose, protected, blessed), BUT ESAU I HATED (held in disregard compared to Jacob).”

      I can handle God not seeing any value in me, because I too, see no value in my existence compared to God’s values. I can agree with God if He appeared to me and said, “Norm, I don’t see any value in you.” I could say, “Yes Lord, we are on the same page, I don’t see any value in me either. However, Lord, I could never rise from You hating me in the sense of that word’s usage today. I would be in the deepest despair of existence. For truly Lord, it would have been better that I not have been born.” At least being of no value is a starting point for hope in the goodness of God, and the possibility to mature into a position of Godly value. I’m not saying that I am not valuable to my wife, children, friends and some segments of society. I may have earthly value, but it is reasonable to believe, I have no heavenly value at all. Therefore, the question might become, “Why do I feel God sees no value in me, rather than why does God hate me?”

      I can see why God treated Esau in the manner He did because Esau treated the things of God with pure contempt. There was more than the contempt towards the birthright that Esau disdained. He also did not honour his parents and married outside of God’s recommendation for righteous living. Esau married Hittite wives who were idol worshipers and would also bring grief to Isaac and Rebekah. Gen. 26:34 At the age of forty, Esau married two Hittite wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon. 35 But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah. No matter the dispensation God is instructing His people within, the wages of sin are still death, disintegration, and dissipation of character and soul. Esau chose to hate God and what God valued, and God returned to Esau what he had sown in life. Mal. 1:3b I turned Esau’s inheritance into a desert for jackals.

      Many people feel a burning stare of God’s expectation upon their lives and falsely interpret that feeling into thinking they are hated. The dilemma they are facing is that they are trying to measure up to the All Mighty within their fragile existence and self-righteousness. However, God is love and has given us His holy gift in Jesus Christ to be able to come home to Him. The Psalmist Heman, and the many people in the Bible who felt like they had fallen short of God’s love, protection, or standard had simply met the reality that God’s righteousness is beyond what anyone can imagine it to be. There is nothing on Earth or in the universe to compare God’s righteousness to, nor has anyone understood within the realm of our existence the fullness of its grace. We all fall short of the Lord’s perfection. Only through Christ can we start life’s holy journey. Even within a lifetime of walking with the Lord will still be required to realize that we have nothing to offer toward God’s salvation plan except to receive that eternal grace-filled gift He has offered us. It is all God and Him alone who brings us along into His holy existence.

      Timothy Keller said, “We tend to put much emphasis on the quality of our faith rather than the object of our faith.” With this in mind, we might take responsibility for the question and ask, “Why do I hate myself, and blame that feeling on God?” Perhaps the solipsistic nature of our souls causes us to seek the reasurance of salvation in the performance of our faith, rather than the object of our faith which is Christ the Lord. Maybe it is because we cannot resist our willingness to be in control of God that we cannot see our desperate need for His deliverance. Like the Apostle Paul, we wrestle with our inner man as we conform to the image of Christ, crucifying our flesh day after day. Rom. 7:15 For I do not understand my own actions I am baffled and bewildered by them. I do not practice what I want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate and yielding to my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity.

      As I accept my need to be in God’s presence while being fully immersed in the work of His sacrifice, I hope to come into a mature measure of authentic faith and ask, “Why does God love me?” This is a far better question to resolve in my soul. The answers are much more faith and soul-building rather than the never-ending questions of dark sayings that ask, “Why does God hate me? I think the devil would be far too pleased to fill you in on the many reasons that question invokes. No saints, we need to find our rest and assurance in the finished work of the cross and accept the love it took for Jesus to take our deserved place on that cross. God does not hate you, He loves you and He will bring you through difficult suffering, growing heart pains, and higher expectations to prove His love for you, and one day you will hear Him say, “Well done faithful friend.” May we all hang on to these words of life. John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

 

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3 Comments

  1. “We all fall short of the Lord’s perfection. Only through Christ can we start life’s holy journey“. All the more need to learn to accept God’s grace.

    Reply
  2. Yep Yep Yep. You said it well Norm. When the object of our faith is Christ crucified and maintained there, the rest of God and the peace of God comes gently into our souls. All that striving has gone. No more searching for our grand purpose.
    We become free to love God and His plan for our lives. It’s blessed assurance.
    God is good.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Helen. Yes, we tend to complicate something God did so well for us – period!!

      Reply

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