Does God Hate?

This topic probably didn’t get a lot of airplay from your childhood Sunday school teacher –and understandably so. Generally speaking, it is wrong to hate.

The issue of God’s hatred is not just a theological riddle. The way we answer this question cuts to the heart of our understanding of God and the gospel.

The simple answer is “yes,” God hates. More specifically, God hates sin. Proverbs 6:16-19 is just one scriptural proof:

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

If it still seems strange to say that God hates something, keep in mind that to love what is good implies a hatred of what is evil. This is vital to our understanding of God’s righteousness. If we believe that God is passionate about righteousness, we must believe that he is equally wrathful against sin.

For instance, imagine an innocent child being kidnapped and tortured.  Now imagine God supernaturally writing a message in the sky saying, “Don’t worry about prosecuting the kidnappers –its not that big of a deal.”  Would that reflect the holiness and righteousness of God? Of course not. Why? Because His passion for righteousness insists upon His hatred of sin. Otherwise, He would not be a good God.

The issue gets even more personal. Consider Ephesians 2:3, which states that without Christ, we were “children of wrath.” God’s wrath toward sin was pointed toward us because we were born into sin.

But here is the beautiful part. God the Father decided to pour out His wrath toward us upon His Son, Jesus! “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Forgiveness in Christ is not just a disappearing act for sin. Something had to happen to our sin for God’s wrath to be satisfied –justice had to be served. Christ took the wrath on our behalf so that God the Father would still be just and at the same time be the justifier of sinners (Romans 3:26). What a sacrifice! What grace!

Such a work of God in our lives does not leave us unchanged. Instead, we are called to reflect God’s wrath toward sin and passion for righteousness. “O you who love the Lord, hate evil!” (Psalm 97:10). Indecently, this is all that we are called to hate. All other hatred is sin because it is essentially pronouncing our desire for damnation upon the object of our hate (which is a reflection of the intent of God’s hatred). That’s why we must be adamant to teach our children not to hate school, friends, teachers, etc.

So, don’t tell your Sunday school teacher, but there is one good reason to hate!