Saturday, November 13, 2010

Does God hate? If God is love, how can He hate?

Many believers in today’s fast paced world are unable to drag time and energy in pondering the Word of God and its reasoning. Simon Peter; Apostle of our Lord clearly instructs us to have a reason for our faith to answer or defend those who question it. (1Peter 3:15) The series will provide you with some of the prevalent questions faced by the believers.


Answer: It seems a contradiction that a God who is love can also hate. We are created with the capacity to both love and hate; it is part of our being created in the image of God. The fact that we are all tainted with sin does not negate the fact that the ability to love and hate is part of the image of God that was created within us all. Therefore, if it is no contradiction for a human being to be able to love and hate, then much more so would it not be a contradiction for God to be able to love and hate.

When the Bible does speak of God hating, the object of God’s hatred is usually sin and wickedness. Among the things God hates are idolatry (Deuteronomy 12:31; 16:22) and those who do evil (Psalm 5:4-6; 11:5). Proverbs 6:16-19 outlines seven things the Lord hates: pride, lying, murder, evil plots, those who love evil, false witness, and troublemakers. Notice that this passage does not include just things that God hates; it includes people as well.

The question that begs to be answered at this point is why does God hate these things? God hates them because they are contrary to His nature—God’s nature being holy, pure and righteous. In fact, David writes, “For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you” (Psalm 5:4 emphasis added). God is holy and hates sin. If He did not hate sin, He would not be holy. God is love, but He is also wrath, justice, and vengeance. But His wrath is a holy wrath and His justice and vengeance are holy as well. God’s love is holy. Therefore, He cannot "love everyone all the time no matter what they do," as some like to claim. Nothing could be further from the truth. God loves righteousness and holiness and hates sin and evil. If He did not, He would not be God.

So if God hates sin and loves holiness, how does He love us? Simple. He loves us because we have the righteousness of Christ who became sin for us on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). He poured out His wrath and vengeance against sin on His Son, so that He could pour out His mercy and love on us. But without that sacrifice credited to us, His wrath and hatred remain on us because He hates our sin. The Bible never says He "hates the sin, but loves the sinner." In fact, He is “angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11). Is there a sense in which God loves everyone? Yes. Does that love preclude God from also hating sin, wickedness, and evil? No.

Recommended Resource: The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God by D.A. Carson.

Questions Asked by God, Questions 11-15

I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Job 40:7
When God asks us questions He is not giving us an intellectual quiz. God is not trying to see how smart we are or how well we can study or cram for an exam. His questions are usually short, simple, and direct. God asks us questions, not to test our IQ, but to test our hearts, to have us examine our ways, and to bring change to our lives.
Here are 5 more questions asked by God. Even though God asked these questions to others, we can all think about how we would answer these questions if God directed them to us.

11. Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? Isaiah 53:1
This question points us to the heart of unbelief within people who reject the message of the Gospel and the person of Jesus Christ. When Jesus went about proclaiming the Gospel and demonstrating the Kingdom of God, He marveled at the unbelief that remained within people’s hearts (Mark 6:6). We, as believers in the Gospel, also wonder why so many people reject the free gift of God’s love, forgiveness, and salvation through Jesus Christ. Thank God for His mercies. John 3:16 continues to assure us that... whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
12. “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy?”  Isaiah 55:2
God asks us a question that goes to the core of what we live for and what we consider important. It is amazing how much effort and energy are put into things that leave us empty and unsatisfied once we have experienced them. Those who fail to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness may want what’s real but will end up with the fake; may look for what’s true but will follow the false; may want what’s fulfilling but will remain dissatisfied; may hunger for living bread but wind up with indigestion.
13. Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Jeremiah, what do you see?" Jeremiah 1:11
This question speaks to us about our focus. God wants us to clearly see and understand His Word as He has revealed it to us, being careful not to add or subtract anything from what He has spoken. When God says “Trust in Me” what does He mean? He means He wants us to trust in Him. When God says “Follow Me” what does He mean? He means He wants us to follow Him. God has not called us to teach, preach, speak, or follow what we think, but what He has said.
14. “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:36-37
What a question! Could we ever be asked anything that is more sobering? It causes us to weigh what is temporal against what is eternal; what rusts and fades away with what lasts forever. This question should help each of us put everything in our lives into its proper place. Jesus is reminding us that there is much more to lose than there is to gain—whether our material possessions are great or small, if we miss Salvation, if we miss Jesus, if we miss heaven, than truly we have missed it all.
15. Jesus said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Mark 10:51
What would you like Jesus to do for you today? It’s a question that can be answered with the voice of faith. Do you need healing? Comfort? Assurance? Guidance? Help? Provisions? Purpose? Are you ready to come to Jesus and ask Him for what you need? Be clear, be open, be honest, be simple, be trusting. Answer His question with your heart-felt request.

Blogs/Websites for your reference