Summary: Let us consider some Bible passages where the word “hate” is used in connection with God. But before we do that it would be beneficial for us to understand the Biblical meaning of the word hate and how God truly feels concerning this word “hate.”


April 2016

Let us consider some Bible passages where the word “hate” is used in connection with God. But before we do that it would be beneficial for us to understand the Biblical meaning of the word hate and how God truly feels concerning this word “hate.”

Hebrew – śânê' – used 68 times in the OT and its primary meanings are hate, enemy, foe, hateful, haters, and odious.

Greek – “miseō” - used 41 times in the NT and its principal meaning comes from a primary word “misos” which means to pursue with hatred, enmity, or to detest (especially to persecute); by extension to love less.

The Bible uses this term hate in two ways; one is used in the pursuit of righteousness and the other as an unrighteous emotion of sin. In the pursuit of righteousness we see it used in Psalm 97:10a; “Let those who love the Lord hate evil.” In the unrighteous emotion of sin we see it used in the Sermon on the Mount “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:22). In fact this emotion is so distasteful to God that in 1 John 2:9, 11 we are told that a man who hates is said to be walking in darkness, as opposed to the light, which means that he is opposed to God. 1st John 1:5-6 tells us that “This is the message which we have heard from Him (Jesus) and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (6) If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia gives this definition and explanation of how “hate” is used Biblically. A feeling of strong antagonism and dislike, generally malevolent and prompting to injury (the opposite of love); sometimes born of moral resentment. Alike in the Old Testament and New Testament, hate of the malevolent sort is unsparingly condemned (Numbers 35:20; Psalm 109:5; Proverbs 10:12; Titus 3:3; 1st John 3:15), but in the Old Testament hatred of evil and evil-doers, purged of personal malice, is commended (Psalm 97:10, 101:3, 139:21, 139:22, etc.). The New Testament law softens this feeling as regards persons, bringing it under the higher law of love (Matthew 5:14, 43, compare Romans 12:17-21), while intensifying the hatred of evil (Jude 1:23; Revelation 2:6). God himself is hated by the wicked (Exodus 20:5; Psalm 139:21; compare Romans 8:7). Sometimes, however, the word “hate” is used hyperbolically in a relative sense to express only the strong preference of one to another. God loved Jacob, but hated Esau (Malachi 1:3; Romans 9:13); father and mother are to be hated in comparison with Christ (Luke 14:26; compare Matthew 10:37).

Devilish hatred comes in two forms open and subtle both have but one purpose that is to hurt, steal, kill and destroy (Ref. John 10:10; 1st Peter 5:8). Open hatred is easily recognized and there is no need to expound on the forms it takes. However the subtle types of devilish hatred are harder to recognize and deal with because they come in un-noticed and soft and concealed forms. They often are presented in ways that are billed as beneficial and appealing. Abortion for example; when first presented was a beneficial procedure eliminating and unwanted physical manifestation of “making love.” Never once was it presented as murder of an unwanted living human being. In fact for many years it was said that the fetus was not human nor was it alive. Thank God we now know better and anyone who aborts a fetus is made aware that they are committing murder, even though they are also told of all the benefits of such a procedure.

Ever really notice pharmaceutical ads on TV? The first 25 seconds are about the benefits of a new drug. Take special notice however of the last 5 to 10 seconds; extremely quick and barely understandable are presented the side effects. The one I noticed was the one regarding green toenails. You remember it had this adorable green blob as the bad guy! He was removed from his place of residence with continuous use of the new drug. Well at the end of the ad we were told about the side effects some so severe that they included strokes, heart attacks and even death. Many people, because of the subtlety in which they were presented did not even acknowledge them or notice them or worse they considered them unimportant. Ask yourself why do companies write these evils in what is called “small print?” Could it be that they know we will not take the time

to confront them or if presented just right we would not even take notice? Could this be the reason that the Bible warns us to “be sober, be vigilant” because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour? Yes, I believe so!

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