God in the Psalms No.8
Psa 5:4,5 You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong
In theses two verses we focus on the last phrase: you hate all who do wrong. How, we might think, does this fit with the God who is love? Let’s check, first of all, what the Bible says about the things or people God hates.
Deut 12:31: You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
Deut 16:21,22 Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build to the LORD your God, and do not erect a sacred stone, for these the LORD your God hates.
Psa 11:5 The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.
Prov 6:16-19 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
That will do for now, a good selection. God made the world perfect. Sin came in and spoilt it, yet it is still possible for men and women of faith to enter into relationship with the Lord and receive His ongoing restoration. Such people who turn to Him, He calls His children (e.g. John 1:12). For God, perfection is normal and natural. Thus Jesus was able to say, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48). Perfect there means whole or complete, i.e. let God restore you by His Holy Spirit and the work of the Cross, so that you are the complete being He wants you to be in the likeness of Jesus.
Now because God is perfect, He loves what is perfect, all He has made, and those He is restoring but, conversely He hates anything that spoils or mars the wonderful world that He has made. Thus whenever He sees sin He hates it, in the same way that a surgeon may hate cancer cells, knowing that unless it is eradicated it will destroy. Thus in the verses above we find a variety of expressions of sin that God hates because He knows that unless it is dealt with it will destroy His people, His creation.
But people? Yes, even people. Look carefully at their descriptions: the wicked, the arrogant. These are not people who just occasionally do these things, these are people who have settled into this way of life. Like an infection in the body these are “carriers” that cause sin to spread. What to you do with a life-threatening infection? You destroy it by whatever means you can before it destroys you. No wonder God hates or detests these “carriers” of sin. They are working to destroy the wonder of all that He has made.
But note something else. As soon as this person comes to repentance, if that is possible, then God is instantly there for them. The second they turn to God He is there for them. Here is a mystery. We can see someone who we would describe in the language used above, and then somehow God moves in their life, they pause, they question, they seek and they submit, and we see God’s salvation was there for them just as it was for us. Jesus told us to pray for and love our enemies (Mt 5:44). Is it possible that God loves and hates at the same time, or is it that He sees the possibility of repentance coming in this person, and although He hates what they are at the moment, He knows they will respond and become one of His – pre-chosen! (Eph 1:4) A glorious mystery!