You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child.” Exodus 22:22 (NKJV)
Fill in the blank: God hates __________. That may have thrown you for a loop, because we often and unintentionally allow a false version of God to seep into our hearts and minds… a version that has Him loving absolutely everything and hating absolutely nothing.
It’s true, God is love (1 John 4:8); and love is the basis by which He desires for us to relate to Him. However, His love doesn’t completely exclude hatred. In fact, love requires that there be some measure of hatred. If God only loves, then He can’t truly love at all because then He would love sin. So we need to understand that there are certain things that God does hate, and that’s a good thing.
Back to the blank. What would you fill it with? In Exodus 22, God fills it for us. He starts by prohibiting anyone from afflicting any widow or orphaned child. He then goes on to express the following: “If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless (Exodus 22:23–24 NKJV).
That puts things squarely in the “hate” column! God hates it when the widow and orphan are mistreated in any way. And while the consequences for doing such a thing have been altered as we are now living under the reign of grace, we agree that it’s wise to know what stirs God’s wrath so we can steer way clear of it!
“What I’m Sayin is”, we’re missing the point if we restrict this passage to widows and orphans. Specifically, they definitely have a special place in God’s heart. But more generally, they also represent those who are disadvantaged for other reasons.
The takeaway truth here is this: God hates it when the disadvantaged are taken advantage of. It’s profoundly inconsistent with the Lord’s heart to do such a thing.
In fact, His heart is always moving in the opposite direction… to come alongside to support and bless the disadvantaged.
If we’re truly following Him, the same should be true with us. Is it?
Think About It…
Answai T. White, B.S., M.Div., C.P.E.