The God of Love and What He Hates
Did you know that even though God is a loving God, He also hates? How can you hate if you are depicted as a loving being?
There is a philosophy floating around that if God is a loving being, He accepts everyone and makes exceptions for all of our sins and weaknesses. If God is love, He will not judge anyone. If God is love, He can’t hate, because love is tolerant, not easily offended, never gets angry, holds no one accountable, etc. He is a God who has no feelings, except positive, generous, magnanimous ones towards all people, in all nations, at all times.
While I do not want to believe that God hates anyone, from my reading of Scripture I find evidence that would be very unsettling for many people. There are many passages that deal with what God hates – and even people he hates. In the Old Testament God had Israel wipe out entire cities because of the wickedness of the people and their disregard for human life.
“Hate” is a pretty strong negative feeling.
Dictionary.com defines the verb “hate” as “to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest”.
“But how can God hate?” you may ask, “Because are not love and hatred opposites?”
Yes, they are. And therein lays the center point of my argument. You cannot love someone and not hate things that hurt that person. For instance, you can’t love people and love murder, lying, stealing, cheating, backstabbing – things which hurt people. You can’t love a person and accept their sin, because you know that the outcome of sin is harm to the person committing it and to other lives touched by that life. There is not a sin you can name that does not hurt someone – and always more than one person.
God hates sin. Let’s take a look at the evidence from Scripture.
- God hates false religion and false displays of religion
Deut. 12:31 “. . .You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.”
Amos 5:16-21 16 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord: . . . 21 I hate, I despise your feast and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.”
God hates false religion because it keeps people from spiritual life, which is only found in His Son:
1 John 5:12 – “He that has the Son has life and He that does not have the Son of God does not have life.” NIV
- God hates wickedness:
Jer. 44:3-4 “ . . . because of the wickedness that they committed, provoking me to anger, in that they went to make offerings and serve other gods . . . I beg you not to do this abominable thing that I hate!”
- God hates false self-security:
Amos 6:8 “The Lord God has sworn by himself . . . “I abhor the pride of Jacob and hate his fortresses . . .”
There are those who feel they can get along very well without God, that they don’t need Him. And for a period of time, that may appear to be true. But there will always come a time when that false self-security will break down, at death if not before.
- God hates divorce
Malachi 2:16 “For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel.”
This one is a no-brainer. Divorce always hurts people – especially children. It leaves people feeling betrayed, inadequate, deserted, unloved, rejected, often burdened with debt, discouragement, and bitterness. I realize that there are good reasons for some divorces – that God hates the sins that lead people to the need for divorce – but He still hates divorce.
- A few other things God hates
Prov. 6:16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, [pride]
a lying tongue, [lies]
hands that shed innocent blood, [murder]
a heart that devises wicked plans, [plans for harm]
feet that make haste to run to evil, [eagerness to sin]
a false witness who breathes out lies, [the liar]
one who sows discord among brothers. [the one who stirs up strife]
God’s extreme love for mankind is reflected in his hatred for sin – no matter how “harmless” or minor it is – no matter if we attempt to excuse it or hide it or rationalize it by saying, “Everyone guilty of something.” Our Heavenly Father has to deal with it, or He doesn’t love us.
Is there a way back to God if we are guilty of some of the things God hates? Yes. We come back to Him the same way we get to Him in the first place: through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross.
1 John 1:9-10 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”
God has no need to be politically correct or culturally positioned. He is God. He is not responsible to us, nor answerable to us. We did not create Him, He created us. He does not have to excuse our sin or accept our excuses for spiritual bankruptcy and outright rebellion.
Which side of God’s love are you walking in? The blessing side, or the side He has to discipline because He hates what it will do to you?
©2012, Marcy Alves
Posted on May 17, 2012, in Christian Growth, God Encounters, Reflections and tagged divorce, false religion, God of love, hatred, love and hate, love and sin, sin, what God hates, wickedness. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.