According to Merriam-Webster Online, hate means “a. intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury; b. extreme dislike or disgust.” Generally speaking, Christians understand the need to love instead of hate (Matt. 5:44), but Christians are supposed to “hate every false way” (Ps. 119:104).
“Hate” is a strong word.
Have you ever wondered about the things God hates?
Perhaps before we look at what God hates, it would be best to understand that there are many who hate God. Not only is the evidence all around us in an increasingly Godless society, but the Bible is full of passages that talk about those who hate God:
“You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me” (Ex. 20:5, emphasis mine throughout).
“So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said: ‘Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, And let those who hate You flee before You’” (Num. 10:35).
“If I whet My glittering sword, And My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My enemies, And repay those who hate Me” (Deut. 32:41).
“Bless his substance, Lord, And accept the work of his hands; Strike the loins of those who rise against him, And of those who hate him, that they rise not again” (Deut. 33:11).
Not surprisingly, there are also many biblical examples of those who hate the people of the Lord as well:
“Have mercy on me, O Lord! Consider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death” (Ps. 9:13).
“Consider my enemies, for they are many; And they hate me with cruel hatred” (Ps. 25:19).
“Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned” (Ps. 34:21).
“Let them not rejoice over me who are wrongfully my enemies; Nor let them wink with the eye who hate me without a cause” (Ps. 35:19).
With this in mind, let us now look at the things that God hates. Perhaps the most famous passage dealing with things the Lord hates can be found in Proverbs 6:16-19. However, there are other passages that show things the Lord hates too:
Proverbs 8:13 says: “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.” These are things that the people of God are to hate, and the reason that is implied here is that God hates these things as well.
Isaiah 61:8 says: “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offering; I will direct their work in truth, And will make with them an everlasting covenant.” Some translations state that “burnt offering” should actually be translated as “wickedness” here. Either way, we find here that God hates robbery (gaining material wealth through dishonesty or stealing).
Jeremiah 44:3-4 says: “Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers. However I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, “Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!” The thing hated in this text is idolatry, for the Lord despises the worship of false gods instead of the true and living God. He is a jealous God (Ex. 34:14).
Malachi 2:16 says: “‘For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.’” Indeed the Lord hates this sin that is rampant in society today.
Let us conclude by now breaking down the famous passage from Proverbs 6:16-19: “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.”
“Six, yes, seven”: This is an interesting expression. It adds emphasis to what Solomon is about to say in the following verses.
“Abomination”: Merriam-Webster Online defines this word as “something regarded with disgust or hatred,” and the Hebrew meaning according to Strong’s is, “something disgusting (morally), that is, (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol: – abominable (custom, thing), abomination.”
“A proud look”: Pride is at the root of many sins because it places the individual above God in one’s own mind (cf. Prov. 13:10.; Rom. 12:16; Gal. 5:26; 1 John 2:16).
“A lying tongue”: Lying is condemned in the Bible (cf. Rev. 21:8). The very first sin mankind committed was encouraged by a lie. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), while our heavenly Father is truthful (John 8:26).
“Hands that shed innocent blood”: God has always despised the shedding of innocent blood (cf. Lev. 18:21; Deut. 12:31; Jer. 7:31; Ezek. 16:20-21). The modern-day equivalent to these atrocities includes the abomination of abortion.
“A heart that devises wicked plans”: Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9).The idea behind this is plotting and scheming new and inventive ways to commit evil. This describes a depth of perversion which is also described by Paul (Rom. 1:18ff). This is why we must keep our hearts with all diligence (Prov. 4:23).
“Feet that are swift in running to evil”: The idea behind this is a person that can’t wait to commit more and more sin. This is the natural outflow of the previous attitude – those who love to devise wicked plans. It only makes sense that they would also be in a hurry to commit iniquity.
“A false witness who speaks lies”: Interestingly, this is reiteration of lying that has already been mentioned in this list. The subtle difference is that a false witness is a more specific type of liar who is trying to underhandedly gain advantage over his neighbor by spreading misinformation about him (cf. Ex. 20:16).
“One who sows discord among brethren”: Sowing discord has to do with purposely trying to cause problems between brethren. Sometimes this is done because of jealousy, while other times pride can be to blame. A New Testament example of this sin would be the sin committed by Diotrephes (3 John 9-11; cf. Prov. 16:28; 26:20).
Since God is light and sin is darkness, one can certainly see that the two have no business mixing whatsoever. Like oil and water, our God who is light cannot bear with our put up with the evil of darkness (1 John 1:5ff).
He hates it.