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THEOLOGY > Sin > The Character of Sin > Hatred of God  


Reference is made in the Scriptures to man's hatred of God and hatred of His Christ:

Your hand will find out all Your enemies; Your right hand will find out those who hate You (Ps. 21:8);

Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? and do I not loathe those who rise up against you? (Ps. 139:21);

All who hate Me love death (Prov. 8:36; v. speaks of the personification of wisdom);

If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you (Jo. 15:18);

But because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you (Jo. 15:19);

Whoever hates Me hates My Father also (Jo. 15:23);

They have seen and hated both Me and My Father (Jo. 5:24);

They hated Me without a cause (Jo. 15:25).

All opposition to God arises from within, from the thinking and plotting of man; for “out of the heart proceed evil thoughts” and all other manifestations of evil (Matt. 15:19). If internally there is no fear of God (see: No Fear of God), which would be considered a negative feature, then on the positive side, because of the absence of fear, there is hatred of God. Man does not have the fear, therefore he does have the hatred; because of the lack of fear there is the materialization of the hatred—hatred of God is the natural extension of the absence of fear of God.

Hatred is against the One the wicked man knows to be real and yet the wicked suppresses the truth about Him (Rom. 1:18-20). Out of this scenario the wicked, every man in Adam, resents God, desires to overthrow God, and in fact, hates God. The unbeliever hates the One he knows within his heart is there because if He is there, then the unbeliever is accountable; and the unbeliever refuses to accept accountability. Thus God is either ignored or denied. But to assume either posture is to reveal opposition to God and ultimately hatred of God.

To have hatred of God is to have no regard for Him; it is to “rise up against” Him, to oppose Him. Hatred of God rejects who He is and the position He occupies. It is the futile attempt by man to blot out any consideration of God in practical living or in intellectual pursuits. In other words, God has no place in the area of morals (man is free to do as he pleases) nor in the area of academics (God cannot be tested so He is regarded as a non-entity). In all of this God is removed from the market place and the school room. And the concerted actions of non-believers reveals a deep hatred of the One they cannot ignore.

Hatred of God will not allow God to be what He is, the Lord of Creation. It is the denial of  His Sovereignty, not allowing Him to rule that which He has brought into existence (see: God is Sovereign). With the rejection of God, an unfathomable vacuum is created in the thinking and in the living—the vacuum must be filled with something. And man fills it with himself; he becomes to himself his god and thus replaces the true God with the deification of self. Humanism replaces Theism.

In Psalm 139:19-20 those who hate God are called God’s “enemies” and are said to speak against God with “malicious intent,” a speaking that reveals a fixed and evil disposition; it is active opposition to God—the opposition is a display of hatred, a hatred that has “malicious intent.” Those who form this group are called “enemies” of God.

This relationship of hatred and opposition, of opposition and hatred, is seen in the treatment of Christ. Several times in the Gospel of John Christ speaks of hatred of Him (see vs.  above), a hatred that consistently and violently opposed Him and that culminated in His crucifixion. The hatred would not allow Christ to live; it wanted Him dead and wickedly worked toward that end. The conclusion is inescapable that those who hate Christ and want Him removed from all areas of life also desire that the God of heaven be removed from heaven and no longer rule with a rule that requires accountability. To improperly esteem Christ is to reveal hatred of His Father; Christ Himself pointed out that “whoever hates Me hates My Father also” (Jo. 15:23). “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light” (Jo. 3:20).

Failure to love Christ is to face certain judgment if there is no repentance for the evil; for not to love Christ is to be cursed: “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed” (I Cor. 16:22). “I Yahweh your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers of the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” (Deut. 5:9). Moses informs the people: “Know therefore that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who . . . repays to their face those who hate Him, by destroying them” (Deut. 7:9; see v. 15). The Scriptures are clear: God destroys those who hate Him.

Related to this is the fact that believers who do not hate God but love Him, honor Him, and worship Him are hated by the world which hates the God and His Christ that the believers adore. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you” (Jo. 15:18). To be identified as a believers is to be hated by non-believers. But it must be remembered that the issue is not personal and existing on the horizontal level, but the issue is metaphysical and exists on the spiritual level. The believer in God is hated because the God of the believer is hated by the non-believer. The follower of Christ is hated because those who do not follow Christ hate the Christ followed by the believer.

The intensity of one’s hatred of God relates to one’s perversity in sin. To increase in hatred of God is to give oneself more fully to the practice of sin; the prophet speaks of those who “hate the good and love the evil” (Mic. 3:2). Neutrality is impossible; if the good is hated then the evil is loved, and if evil is loved then good is hated. Every individual is constantly moving in one of these two directions, either toward the right or toward the wrong. Scripture confirms this movement: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good” (Ps. 14:1); following the denial of God there is the doing of “abominable deeds.”

On the other hand, hear the words of wisdom: “The fear of Yahweh is to hate evil” (Prov. 8:13). One’s attitude toward evil is inseparably related to one’s sentiments towards God. If there is no fear of God and therefore there is hatred of God, then evil flourishes; but where fear of God prevails, then evil is detested.

The believer is not only to love the good, but he is to hate evil (Amos 5:15). Again, there can be no middle ground; in fact, there is no middle ground in the posture of an individual. Everyone has a bias for evil, or an inclination for the good because of the experience of Grace in the life that transforms the thinking and the desiring causing one to have affection for the Lord and a distaste for wickedness. “O you who love Yahweh, hate evil” (Ps. 97:10).

“Hatred” of God by unbelievers provokes in the lover of God hatred for the one who hates God and hatred for evil deeds. Consider the following:

But Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord” (II Chron. 19:2);

I hate the assembly of evildoers (Ps. 26:5);

I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols (Ps. 31:6);

O you who love Yahweh, hate evil (Ps. 97:10);

I hate the work of those who fall away (Ps. 101:3);

I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep Your commands (Ps. 119:158);

Do I not hate those who hate You, Yahweh? and do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies (Ps. 139:21-22);

The fear of Yahweh is to hate evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate (Prov. 8:13);

The righteous hates falsehood (Prov. 13:5);

Hate evil, and love good (Amos 5:15).

Righteous indignation or hatred of evil and evil doers is characteristic of God; consider the following:

every abominable thing that Yahweh hates (Deut. 12:31);

you shall not set up a pillar which Yahweh your God hates (Deut. 16:22);

The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; you hate all evildoers (Ps. 5:5);

Yahweh tests the righteous, but His soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence (Ps. 11:5);

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness (Ps. 45:7);

Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates (Isa. 1:14);

I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies (Amos 5:21);

Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated (Rom. 9:13; Mal. 1:2-3);

You hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate (Rev. 2:6).

See: Gen. 3:15

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