How to Handle God's Hatred

One of the earliest passages of Scripture the Holy Spirit used to press into my life was Proverbs 6:16-19. There are things God hates. The idea of God hating never made me feel uncomfortable; at least not about his character. The discomfort I felt had to do with the reality that what he hated existed in my life-- in me. God hates. Obviously, he's not a "hater" in the popular sense of that word, being jealous of another's success or skills. But there are some things God truly abhors.

There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV)

God hates. What are we supposed to do with that? First, let's clarify some of these things God hates.

1. Haughty eyes doesn't refer to the way we look at another, but a heart of pride that swells with self-importance. God hates this kind of self-centeredness that puts both him and others beneath the individual.

2. A lying tongue addresses the sins of deceit and the withholding of truth. One may not intend to hurt another, but greed, vanity, or selfish ambition motivates them to lie. God is a God of truth who hates falsehood.

3. Hands that shed innocent blood covers unjust violence, murder, and even murderous hearts. Our God of justice hates the harm of the innocent.

4. Hearts that devise wicked plans is not simply having a sinful thought, but is the creation and cultivation of evil mediations and schemes. Our God hates the act of savoring evil.

5. Feet that make haste to run into evil refers to a quick tempered response to carry out what is already in our hearts. Such impenitent impatience God hates.

6. A false witness is not just a liar (see #2 above), but one who lies at the expense of his or her neighbor. This sin is not just for the exaltation of self, but also for the harm of another, and God hates this.

7. One who sows discord among brothers is someone who creates strife and quarrels where there should be peace. God hates this disruption and destruction to community.

God hates these things, and I must say that I have committed these very sins. So, how do we handle God's hatred? We don't. We can't. But Jesus has handled God's hatred for us.

JESUS:

1. came in astonishing humility and condescending love to save the proud in heart. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11 ESV)

2. is the Truth in whom liars find life. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)

3. shed his own blood to cleanse men and women with guilty, bloodstained hands. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:6-9 ESV)

4. followed the good plan of his Father to rescue the rebellious. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:38-40 ESV)

5. is patient with impatient, quick-footed and fisted sinners. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16 ESV)

6. is our Advocate who stands in our place and is our defense. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2 ESV)

7. establishes peace between God and his enemies. For in [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him. (Colossians 1:19-22 ESV)

It is in our humble, true, sacrificial, obedient, patient, defender, and peacemaker, Jesus that God's righteous hatred is answered. He is the wisdom in Proverbs personified who saves the fool through his life, death and resurrection.