But that knowledge is not enough. Psalm 119:128 tells us that there needs to be certain responses that we must have regarding those things.
The first response is one of esteem. We must consider all of God’s precepts to be right.
There is a consideration, an estimation, a value placed here on something to be right, or pleasing (as it is translated elsewhere). Beyond just evaluating life to figure what is in keeping with God’s Word, there must be a further estimation or value put on those things that are in keeping with God’s Word. This speaks to our affections. We must value what God values; love what God loves, and esteem what God views as worthy of esteem. It is not enough just to recognize and affirm God’s truth. We must highly value God’s truth.
And as we do this, something else will naturally flow from that.
The second response is one of hatred. We will hate every false way.
The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says about this word that it “expresses an emotional attitude toward persons and things which are opposed, detested, despised and with which one wishes to have no contact or relationship. It is therefore the opposite of love. Whereas love draws and unites, hate separates and keeps distant. The hated and hating persons are considered foes or enemies and are considered odious, utterly unappealing.” – II:880
Our unreserved love of God’s truth will lead to an unhindered hatred of falsehood. That which is opposed to God and His Word cannot have our love, but in fact must have our hatred. Other texts in the Old Testament echo this idea.
Psalm 97:10, “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.”
Psalm 119:113, “I hate vain thoughts, but thy law do I love.”
Amos 5:5, “hate the evil, and love the good.”
Hebrews 1:9 speaking of Christ, “thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity” quoting from Psalm 45:6-7
As Christians, we must learn to think in ways that honor God. We must think Biblically and critically in order to be discerning.
As Christians, we must learn to value what God values. We must choose to esteem highly what God esteems and love what God loves.
As Christians, we must therefore hate what God hates. We must choose to refuse to love that which is not in agreement with God and His Word.
May we commit ourselves to consider everything God says explicitly and by principle to be right; and may we therefore hate everything that opposes God’s character and God’s Word.