Saturday, August 25, 2012

Can You Take It?

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
Leviticus 19:17

Hate speech.  It is a term that seems to appear more and more in the news and on the lips of many--including Christians.  There are many who seem to misunderstand the message of love that underlies a loving rebuke from God's word or a close friend.  In essence, anything that does not fit into our opinions, viewpoints, and beliefs could be labeled as hate speech.  However, the problem is that we are fallible, prone to error, and sometimes in desperate need of the kind of love that sets us straight.

Consider the verse above from Leviticus.  It is in two parts but has the same message--don't hate; love.  The first part of this verse informs us that we are to reprove another believer if we see grave error.  To not do so is hatred; furthermore, to see a friend or loved one in sin and allow them to go along in the delusion that it is OK is not seen by GOD as love.  An attitude that does not speak out against things that destroy is deceit plain and simple.  Is deceit love?  Think on the message of the following verses for just a moment:

Open rebuke is better than secret love.  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:5-6

He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.  Proverbs 28:23

Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.  Psalm 141:5

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  Matthew 18:15

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. Luke 17:3

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Galatians 6:1

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.   2 Timothy 2:4

There are many more, but these are enough to prove the point--are they not?

The second portion of Leviticus 19:17 gives us the reason for loving another enough to share a sharp rebuke.  Sin brings suffering.  To see someone struggling along with a sin which often dulls their senses and blinds their reasoning is to allow the effects of their error to hurt them or others they are associated with.  

Just imagine that you lived in ancient Israel and had knowledge that King David was about to commit adultery with Bathsheba.  Should you have confronted him?  Think for a moment.  What sort of suffering came from that one sin?  David murdered Uriah, as well as many other good soldiers who rushed the walls of Rabbah (see 2 Samuel 11:17 as more than Uriah died that day).  Think of the suffering of those families.  What about the death of the child, the rape of Tamar, the embarrassment brought by Absalom and Ammnon?  All of these events, and others, are directly related to that one sin.  So, in time, do you not think David would have been thankful?  

This post was intended to get to a prophetic verse from Hosea as GOD reveals that a people who will not take rebuke are already under judgment.  Many today consider anyone who lovingly rebukes another as being a hate monger while God sees it as an act of love.  The problem is that too many are focused on what the world says and not what "Thus saith the LORD."  Think about what the world is saying.  Just this week we saw a group put up billboards that said Jesus promotes hate and calls it love.  What would you expect the world to say?  Come out from among them and be ye separate.

I do know that there are those who are hateful and feel it is their mission to be a judgmental prude.  That happens. As an example, I knew a lady who believed that God gave her the spiritual gift of pastoral rebuke--no joke.  I am not talking about Pharisaical hypocrisy!  This is about those friends and loved ones who see the potential danger in our actions, and who warn us in a spirit of love.  More on this later.  Until then, keep your eyes skyward and your ears perked.  Jesus Christ is Soon2Come!

Hate or Love?


  1. The picture you posted of Jesus and Peter in the Sea got me to thinking....When Peter got out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus and took his eyes off Jesus and sank. What if Jesus would have looked at Peter and said, well I better not correct him and tell him he lacks faith or anything because it might just look like I am judging his faithlessness, and it might cause him a lot of embarrassment so I think I will just let him sink. Lol I think Peter was grateful that Jesus intervened don't you?

  2. And immediately Jesus stretched forth [his] hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? Matthew 14:31