Out of His abounding love and perfect will, God made mankind in His image to reflect His glory and have a holy fellowship with His most important creation. The Garden of Eden was filled with love and perfection until the Devil wreaked havoc and sin that resulted in the ire and hatred of God.
The love-hate relationship between God and humanity has taken different forms of interpretation and perspective. From a biblical standpoint, the Old Testament spells out God’s anger and detestation towards the Israelites who transgressed His laws. He displayed His wrath by sending famine, catastrophe, and death to the people.
On the other hand, the incarnation of Jesus in the New Testament ushered in the principle of God’s grace and mercy. The gospels allude more significantly to the notion that “God hates sin but loves the sinner.”
- 1 Does God Hate?
- 2 Does God Hate Anyone?
- 3 Does God Hate People?
- 4 How Can God Hate?
- 5 How Can God Be Both Love And Show Hatred?
- 6 Conclusion
Does God Hate?
Sin And Wickedness
The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 6:16–19, clearly spells out the seven things or sins that the Lord hates:
- Haughty eyes
- A lying tongue
- Hands that shed innocent blood
- A heart that devises wicked schemes
- Feet that are quick to rush into evil
- A false witness who pours out lies
- A person who stirs up conflict in the community
Friendship With The World
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. — James 4:4
Christians know that the ways of the world are in direct opposition to the ways of God. Worldliness and materialism are two of the most common characteristics of our mundane lives. These values focus on the desires of the flesh and disregard the spiritual needs of humanity.
But we often compromise on these values. We both want to please God but also pursue our earthly and vile objectives. Those who choose to pursue a friendship with the world are often left feeling empty and unsatisfied, as worldly values cannot provide the lasting peace and joy that come from a relationship with God. God’s love is the only source of true contentment and joy, and it can only be found by rejecting the ways of the world and embracing the ways of God.
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. — 1 Corinthians 10:14
Idolatry is one of the most detestable sins, as it replaces our true God at the center of our lives with something else. It can be anything from money, possessions, or even people. When we put these things ahead of God, we are essentially worshiping them, and thus, we are committing idolatry.
Satan is the prince of this world, and he uses idolatry as a tool to keep us from being close to God. He wants us to think that our idols are what will bring us true happiness. But, in reality, God is the only one who can give us true joy.
- Idols and graven images. People revere and bow down to physical objects and images.
- Other people. Many people worship and adore pop stars, celebrities, and other people instead of God.
- Money. The love of money is the root of all evil.
- Possessions. Cars, jewelry, and other possessions rule our lives.
- Things of this world. Jobs, pets, honor, fame, and social acceptance are more important to us than God.
Does God Hate Anyone?
God Hated And Banished Satan
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit. — Isaiah 14:14–15
God hated Satan because of his pride and jealousy. Satan desired to be like God and wanted to be worshiped and adored. He convinced a third of the angelic minions to follow him, which ultimately led to his banishment from heaven. Satan’s pride and arrogance resulted in God’s hatred, and He could no longer tolerate his presence.
God was so disgusted with Satan’s behavior that He cast him out of heaven and banished him from ever returning. Satan’s pride and jealousy were so strong that he was willing to risk the wrath of God to fulfill his own selfish, sinful desires. God’s hatred of Satan was so great that He decided to punish him for eternity.
God Hated Esau But Loved Jacob
“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.” — Malachi 1:2-3
In the early days of the Bible, Isaac and Rebekah had twin brothers, Jacob and Esau. Esau was the first to be born, and as such, he was legally entitled to the birthright of the family, which included, among other things, the inheritance of the Covenant with God.
However, Esau traded his birthright to his younger brother, Jacob, for a bowl of stew. This decision cost him greatly, as God had already determined that Jacob should receive the inheritance. Despite this, God loved Esau. He did not hate him, but he had chosen Jacob to receive the birthright to become the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Does God Hate People?
God Detested The Nicolaitans
But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. — Revelation 2:6
The Nicolaitans appear to be part of an early sect group that was devoted to pagan worship and led by a man called Nicolas at the time. During Roman rule, sacrifice to their gods was required. Emperors like Decius attempted to weed out Christians by enforcing sacrifices to a variety of Roman deities. Those who refused to submit were subject to persecution and perhaps execution.
Although it seems that the sect of the Nicolaitans has faded into historical obscurity, God hates those who espouse these ideologies that seem to persist today. In modern culture, Christians are faced with the choice of blending in with society or standing out as individuals within this culture of compromise.
The Wicked And The Unrighteous
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction. — Psalm 1:6
The New Testament says that He will separate the sheep from the goats, and those He loves will be saved, while those He hates will be thrown into the fire. Those who are loved by God will be blessed and have a place in His kingdom.
They will be able to enjoy the riches of heaven and live in peace and joy forever. On the other hand, those who are hated by God will be condemned and sent to hell. There they will suffer for eternity, separated from the love and mercy of God. It is clear that God hates the wicked and the unrighteous, and it is important to make sure that we are living a life that is pleasing to Him.
How Can God Hate?
The Wrath Of God
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people who suppress the truth of their wickedness. — Romans 1:18
God’s wrath is very different from that of a human being. It is always justified and holy, whereas the wrath of a man is never righteous. Divine wrath is a result of human sin and disobedience in the Old Testament. The prophets often spoke when God would be wrathful towards those who loved evil things and refused to follow His will by sending fire, drought, and other catastrophes.
Because God Himself is holy and perfect, like His plan for mankind, God’s wrath towards sin and disobedience is perfectly justified as well. Because of His divine nature, He must hate evil. Repentance is a way to gain divine favor and thus turn God’s wrath away from sinners. It is the rejection of God’s perfect plan that incurs God’s righteous wrath. By rejecting Satan and sin, we inculcate God’s love, mercy, grace, and favor.
Discipline And Punishment
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. — Proverbs 3:11–12
God loves and disciplines us like our earthly father. He does not take pleasure in punishing us but instead seeks to bring us back to the right path. A stark example of God’s discipline was experienced by the Israelites in the desert after their slavery in Egypt.
Despite God’s help in delivering them from their bondage and giving them provisions on their way to the Promised Land, they complained and grumbled. As a result, God let them wander in the desert for forty years instead of just eleven days. God disciplines us with love and mercy, not out of anger or vengeance. He desires for us to turn back to Him and accept His forgiveness.
How Can God Be Both Love And Show Hatred?
God Is Love
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:8
The Bible says that God is love. But we ask: Does God hate? He sent His only begotten son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that all sinners could be saved. God hates sin but loves sinners. Jesus Christ even ate with sinners. He loves us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His only son for us.
Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again so that we could have eternal life. Through His death and resurrection, we can have a relationship with God and be forgiven of our sins. God is love, and His affection is unconditional. He desires that, through saving faith, all sinners come to Him for forgiveness and salvation.
Love Your Enemies
But to you who are listening, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. — Luke 6: 27–28
One of the hardest teachings of Jesus Christ is to love our enemies. We ask: How can I forgive and love a person who has done me wrong and brought harm to me and my family? Instead, we picture in our vengeful minds that such a person deserves punishment and equal or more harm. But the Great Commandment dictates that we love our neighbors as ourselves, no matter the condition. God loves the righteous and sinners and gave His life for our salvation.
In our earthly lives, we often ask, “Does God love me?” but we forget why God created us and the purpose of our existence. We were made in the image of God and designed for eternal fellowship with Him.
Because of God’s love, He must hate evil and the iniquities that separate us from Him. Our fallen nature makes us sinners in this imperfect world. But God is a righteous judge. Through our faith in Jesus, His only son, we are saved. Romans 8:1 reads, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Most importantly, God demonstrated His abounding love for us when, while we were still sinners and God-haters, Christ died for us.