A God of Hate

In a discussion with a friend, he took exception to my description of God as ‘hating’ sin.  It’s not uncommon for people to be confused about human descriptions of God.  Particularly to people who are prone to thinking of God as nothing but a wish-fulfillment of a bunch of people, the use of human emotions and actions to describe God seems only to support the idea that God is something we made up, not the other way around.  

God describes himself using human terminology.  Being human and not divine, it makes sense that God would attempt to communicate truths about himself in ways that we can understand and relate to – albeit imperfectly.  And so it is that God ‘hates’.  Deuteronomy 12:31.  Deuteronomy 16:22.  Psalm 5:5.  Psalm 11:5.  Proverbs 6:16-19.  Isaiah 1:13-15.  Isaiah 61:8.  Jeremiah 12:8.  Jeremiah 44:4.  Hosea 9:15.  Amos 5:21.  Zechariah 8:17.  Malachi 1:2-4.  
The running thread through each of these assertions of God’s hatred is that He hates things that are contrary to His holiness and righteousness.  He hates the lies we tell ourselves and each other and attempt to tell God.  He hates the lies that enslave us to false ideas, false beliefs, false promises.  He hates the things that separate us from Him and from one another.  
I think about our friend who committed suicide last week.  I think about the pain that consumed him.  The anger.  I think about the blindness that must envelop someone to the point that they can’t see any other option, any other avenue than death.  I think about the ghosts and demons that must have whispered and goaded and encouraged the madness that leads to self destruction.  I think of the wife and child he has left behind.  I think of others like us who knew him and ache for him, wishing we had known what to do or say that might have changed the course of events.  
And I understand God’s hate a little better.  
I understand how God could hate the evil and lies and deception that ravage our world.  I understand a little bit how God could hate the cruelty and injustice and oppression and hypocrisy.  As a father who loves my children, I can imagine the hatred that could easily consume me for anyone or anything that actively seeks to harm them, to wound them, to drag them down to the grave.  
I don’t think I could respect a God who doesn’t hate that sort of evil.  I don’t think I could respect a God who would not do everything possible to rescue His creation from that kind of evil.  And I know people who rail at God as cruel and oppressive don’t understand these things in the same way.  They look at the suffering of individuals and the world and claim that this is God’s fault, God’s responsibility to prevent.  But that requires that we first excuse ourselves, deny our own culpability and the ways that we fail to make the world and ourselves a little better every day.  
I’m glad that God hates these things.  I hate them.  And I hate the parts of me that perpetuate them, and look forward eagerly to the time when I am delivered of them by the love and grace and mercy of God.  

One Response to “A God of Hate”

  1. Lisa Denninger Says:

    Thank you. Once again, you have brought me closer to God.

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