• Chris Steele

God Loves; God Hates

Chris' Corner - Sunday, April 11, 2021

As human beings, we can love and hate, so we can understand the Bible’s teaching on love and hate. These characteristics were given to us by our Creator because He possesses both of these and made us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27).

Some folks take the short sentence “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and think God is only love. They blind themselves to any negative thought of God showing hatred, let alone punishment of those who do what He hates. However, the Bible presents a balanced view of the Almighty.

“Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off” (Romans 11:22).

We have said quite often, God loves sinful people, but hates the sins they commit. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” How thankful we are for God’s love and Jesus Christ coming to this earth to die for us sinners! And because we still fall into sin, we often feel like “the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’” (Luke 18:13; cf. 1 John 1:7-10).

On the other side of God’s love is His hatred for many things—as seen in Proverbs 6:16–19. “These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.”

A search of the words “hate, loathe, abomination” in connection with God will reveal many more things God detests Here are just a few: idolatry (Deuteronomy 12:31); ill-gained offerings (23:18); dishonesty in business (25:13-16); worship of the unfaithful (Amos 5:21); false oaths (Zechariah 8:17); divorce (Malachi 2:16); false doctrine (Revelation 2:6).

Although we are made in the image of God, we are human and come up short. We must work diligently at being more like Him. Therefore, we would be wise to think more like God thinks by loving what He loves and hating what He hates. David refers to this as “perfect hared” in Psalm 139:21–22, “Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.”

Perfect love is loving what God loves, and perfect hatred is hating what He hates. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).

Lest we forget, while this love will bring us closer to those like ourselves, who love what God loves (1 John 3:23; 4:7, 16), it also will bring trouble from those who love the things He hates (John 15:18, 24; 1 John 3:13).

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