IS GOD CAPABLE OF HATE AS WELL AS LOVE? (PSALM 5:5)

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Any description of God will necessarily use terms and ideas solidly anchored in humor experience. Our own experience, after all, is our only reference point for knowing God. It should be no surprise, then, that most of the emotions people feel are attributed to God at some time: jealousy, fatigue, rapture, love, and even hate.

What kind of hate would God fear? Not the hate born of hear, as a soldier hates any enemy. Not the hate born of blind rage, as a jealous lover hates his competitor. Not the hate that seeks to conquer, as a tyrant hates people living just over the border. Not the hate of political intrigue, as an office-holder hates the other party.

God’s hate is directed at evil. It is hate that burns at offense against God’s own character, which is altogether holy and good. God’s hate smokes when creation witnesses to a reality other than God, namely, a reality based on greed and anger. God’s hate is directed toward purification, not annihilation. God’s hate seeks recovery, not death.

Does God hate people? A careful distinction must be kept here. The Bible is clear that God wants all people to know His forgiveness and grace. But some will refuse, mocking God’s character and rejecting His overturn of mercy. When that refusal becomes entrenched, God promises judgment apart from the mercy of Christ. When rebellion against God becomes the identifying mark of a person, that person must become the object of God’s righteous hatred.

We can safely say that God has a steady hatred toward sin and a reluctant hatred toward committed sinners. In an odd way that reaches beyond human experience, God hates as a function of His love. That is, God’s defining characteristic is love. Included in God’s love is hatred for all that stands opposed to His character and violates His intentions.

PSALM 5:5- The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hates all workers of iniquity. 

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