God’s Love and Hate

A couple days ago I was thinking about how God loves believers and unbelievers. The central question is: does God love them differently or do they merely stop the flow of God’s love because of their rebellion?

I imagine this is an unanswerable question to some degree, trying to define an attribute of God that is deeper than our comprehension.

At another point, I think Scripture reveals some things that can help us think better on the issue.

God’s love is demonstrated many ways, some of which don’t always look loving to the external view–having His only begotten Son crucified looked pretty mean, but was in actuality a great demonstration of love.

So, right off the bat we have to admit we are poor judges of what true love really looks like.

We also must take one of God’s attributes in light of all His attributes. God is love and God is also holy, holy, holy. God is righteous and just. You can’t just rip an attribute out of the whole and elevate it or press it out of measure.

God’s love is holy, righteous, and just and all attributes are those things perfectly. God does indeed love all people in the world. Based on my understanding of Scripture, Christ died for the sins of the world. Rejecting His offer of salvation, trampling under foot the Son of God, puts you in a very bad place and indeed you have stopped the flow of God’s love.

At the same time, we have to understand a couple other verses on the subject like Psalm 5:4-5

For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

And we’ll throw in Psalm 11:5 for good measure:

The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

God doesn’t just stop the flow of His love toward the wicked person; He hates them!

Does man merely thwart God’s love, or does God remove His love based on the faith/obedience of the person?

I would answer this question with a resounding YES!


10 thoughts on “God’s Love and Hate”

  1. Sounds more to me like the Psalms! Westboro Baptist is a caricature of this. Most Psalms have stuff in it about God’s wrath, anger, vengeance, wiping out bad guys. I’ll throw in another, “God is angry with the wicked every day” Psalm 7:11. The fact that mentioning God’s hatred of sin sounds so out of place in our day merely points out how lousy the church has been at teaching what the Bible says.

  2. I’m going to start at Psalm 1 & go thru them slowly. I don’t know what to make of this blog, never having heard any of this before!! Ah, you’re making me think!! The pain, the pain!!!!

  3. “…having His only begotten Son crucified looked pretty mean”

    Yes, and I’ve seen some taking this to the extreme of calling the act “divine child abuse”. However I think this shows our limited understanding of the triunity of God, recognising the “tri” more than the “unity”.
    In seeing Father Son and Spirit we can view them as being more separate than they actually are and overlook the Father’s SELF sacrifice when He gave His Son.
    Instead of seeing Jesus’ crucifixion as something the Father had done TO Jesus – we ought to see it as a sacrifice the Father willing took upon HImself. It was a shared sacrifice suffered by ALL of God, not merely “one third” of God.

  4. The love of God has been emphasised so much that we have been blinded to the fact that He also hates. And the idea of “love” we’ve attached to God is often more a sentimental idea of love than a biblical view.

    We get the idea that “God loves the world SO much” – from a misreading of John 3:16, where we overlook the fact that “love” in that verse is past tense and the term “so loved” is not expressing immensity, it is expressing method. Literally it is saying God loveD the world in this way…

    In other words, at a point in time, God demonstrated love to the world in the giving of His Son, providing the opportunity to obtain everlasting life.

  5. A quick additional note to what I said above regarding the “sentimental idea of love” that we project upon God. We should also be wary of projecting a similar human definition of “hate” into the parts of scripture that speak of God hating something.
    Human expressions of hate tend to be highly emotional and vindictive.

    God’s hate is more related to His holiness and justice, directed at those things that offend those aspects of His character.

  6. All good points and very well stated Onesimus. One of the main problems we have in understanding God is making God in our image, assuming that His emotions are like ours, His actions mean what our actions mean. Remembering that He is all together higher than us, perfect in all His ways, should make us careful before drawing conclusions about Him.

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