Summary: God’s Word speaks not only of the love of God, but also of “the wrath of God” (Rom. 1:18). In Romans 11:22, we also read: “Behold then the goodness and severity of God…”
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, (even) his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves: for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due. And even as they refused to have God in (their) knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Romans 1:18-28, ASV).
God’s Word speaks not only of the love of God, but also of “the wrath of God” (Rom. 1:18). In Romans 11:22, we also read: “Behold then the goodness and severity of God…”
But there are those who tend to note or consider only the “goodness,” kindness, or the love of God. Because of 1 John 4:8, which says, “God is love,” they regard that it is a contradiction for Him to manifest great anger. (Perhaps, they could easily accept there is no contradiction in the doctrine that there is one God in three Divine Persons.) They find it hard to believe that God could even hate the unrepentant sinners.
We should not overlook the attribute of God that is emphasized in His Word: He is Holy.
We read in Isaiah 6:3, “"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory" (NIV). We also read in Revelation 4:8, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come" (NIV).
Not only His people and His angels acknowledged His Holiness, but He Himself claimed it. He instructed Moses to tell the Israelites:
“I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy” (Lev. 11:44-45, NIV).
And notice Revelation 15:4, “Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy” (NIV).
“Who will not fear you, O Lord…?” And the next sentence says, “For you ALONE are holy.”
His Holiness makes Him unique, distinct, separate and above than His creation. We see our lowliness, insignificance, nothingness in His Holy Presence (Isa. 57:15; Ex. 15:11).
His Holiness makes Him to hate the wicked (Psalm 11:4-5) and to “pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath…” (Rev. 16:1, NIV) in giving of judgment (Rev. 16:1-5).
We say that God hates the sin and not the sinners, but the Holy God cannot overlook the sinner in judging sin.
Psalm 5:5-6 states, “The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors” (NIV).
Also we read in Psalm 11:5, “The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates” (NIV).
There are those who will protest that those quotations are from the Old Testament. But, if we believe and accept the declaration of David that so great is God’s love for those who fear Him (Psalm 103:11), then we should also accept that God hates “the wicked and those who love violence.”
Paul quoted from the Old Testament, which reads: “Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated’" (Rom. 9:13, NIV). The Hebrew word “hated” in Malachi 1:3 is “TO HATE (PERSONALLY)” (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.).
When Paul wrote it in Romans 9:13, surely, he did not mean that “…Esau I no longer hated”!