I do not like green beans. When I was a kid at Thanksgiving time, my mom would make me eat green beans with the rest of my meal. I learned a very simple trick to mask the taste of green beans- I mix them into my mashed potatoes. To this day, I will mix almost any food with mashed potatoes because I love them so much (Have you ever tried to eat mashed potatoes between two pieces of bread? Delicious mashed potato sandwich!
On the other hand, my father in law HATES cilantro. Just one leaf of cilantro in an otherwise normal dish makes the whole meal inedible to him. He cannot handle even the smallest amount of cilantro. Which was unfortunate, at one point, because I went through a phase in my cooking where I just loved using cilantro!
God hates sin. But he does not hate sin in the same way that I hate green beans. He hates it in the same way that my father in law hates cilantro. The problem is that we treat God as if he will accept our sin mixed in with the “mashed potatoes” of us living pure. God cannot overlook sin. He cannot simply say, “I see that bad stuff you did, but the good stuff you did makes up for it.” No, sin is an affront to the character of God, it goes against everything he is and everything he does. Even our righteousnesses, to him, are as filthy rags.
That is why the love of God is so AMAZING! You see, God hates sin but he loves you. The death of Christ on the cross is evidence that God loves you equally or more than he hates sin. We will never be able to fully grasp the deep hatred that God has for sin. On the same token, we will also never be able to fully grasp the love that he has for us. It is no wonder that Paul refers to the gift of salvation as “unspeakable” in 2nd Corinthians 9:15. Remember today just how much God loves you!
Listen to this episode from Nahum about how God feels about sin!