God is Love, but Does He Hate?

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love, does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:7-8 ESV

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, where you’ve shared openly or answered a question fully, yet the one “listening” only hears part of what you said and assumes the rest?!? That happens a decent amount to me, and it’s SO frustrating!! I wonder if God feels similarly, when people take nuggets from the Bible and use them for their purposes/agendas, hearing only what they want to, and not understanding Who He is or what He meant.

In the previous two posts, the LORD directed me to write about the fruits of the Spirit; these attributes of God are produced in and through us only when we’re joined together with Jesus, through the Spirit of God. The first fruit listed in Galatians 5:22 is “love.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard many cite “‘God is love,’ so we should…[fill in the blank with any unaccountable response to something immoral in God’s eyes].” The LORD is clear, in His Word: He IS love, but there ARE things He hates, because they just don’t align with His holiness. In fact, the kind of love, referred to in Verse 22, is what God prefers, morally; it’s not a response we design. This means hating the sins He hates and handling situations in a way He says to.

Love = What God Prefers, Morally

To find out what He prefers, let’s take a look at some things He doesn’t...

12“A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks with a perverse mouth,

13who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet, and motions with his fingers,

14in whose heart is perverseness, who devises evil continually, who always sows discord.

15Therefore, calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment, he will be broken beyond healing.

16There are six things that the LORD hates; seven that are an abomination to Him:

17A proud look [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil,

19a false witness snorting lies, and someone sowing quarrels between brothers.

Proverbs 6:12 NASB 1995; 6:13 NIV; 6:14 NHEB; 6:15-16 ESV, 6:17 AB, 6:18 CSB, 6:19 ISV

The things, listed in Verses 12-15, must’ve been important enough to reiterate them in Verses 16-19; they exhibit a lack of moral principles, opposite of God’s character, and the LORD hates them! In fact, we, as His people, should also hate them!

“The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and a perverted mouth, I hate.”

Proverbs 8:13 ESV

“O, you, who love the Lord, hate evil!”

Psalm 97:10a ESV

If you’re confused by Proverbs 6:16 and wonder why Solomon says “six,” but then “seven,” you’re not alone! It seems he should know the number before writing it down, doesn’t it?! Which one is it? Six or seven? Check this out:

“This passage uses a pattern common to books like Proverbs, giving a number for a list and then adding one more (Job 5:19; Proverbs 30:21). This is mostly a poetic flair, but sometimes highlights the last item as especially important. In this case, the last point is about those who create division, which is the common theme of the previous six ideas.”

“What does Proverbs 6:16 Mean?” BibleRef.com, https://www.bibleref.com/Proverbs/6/Proverbs-6-16.html (accessed May 12, 2021).
Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

Something else that may’ve made you wonder, as you read Proverbs 6:12-19, is why “winking” would’ve made this list. The core? Evil. Winking, in many situations and cultures, is disrespectful, a flirtatious advance (often unwelcomed), or it lets one person in on something (“Hey! Play along with this!”) while deceiving someone else. These things can cut deep at the core and cause trouble. (This isn’t referring to a playful wink between husband and wife or a reassuring wink between friends; that’s far from malicious and promotes unity, rather than discord.) Each situation and motive has to be examined at the wink’s core; if it’s meant to do damage, it’s an issue to God. Even motions made with the feet, how people walk, finger movements, etc., used to send signs to others relating to something deceitful or malicious (harmful), are included here and hated by God, as evil is at the heart of them.

Let’s look at another hated behavior…

“Balances of deceit [are] an abomination to YHWH, and a perfect weight [is] His delight.”

Proverbs 11:1 LSV

“Balances” refers to scales used to weigh, measure, test, prove.1 I find it interesting that the Hebrew word used for scales, in the above verse, is referring to multiple scales and balances, not just one, and it’s root’s figurative meaning is between “two ears,” “to ponder.”2 That gives us something to ponder, doesn’t it?! We need to test our hearts and minds in order to prove if our motives and thoughts are deceitful or harmful to others in any way, or if they are true and morally right (choosing God’s preferred way), which delights Him. Let’s continually test what we think against all Scripture; It’s the perfect scale that can measure our motives and thoughts with multiple checks and balances, to weigh if we’re aligned with God’s preferences. Unity and justice, as we see throughout Scripture, are ultra important to God, and unity with Him is what brings us back to love:

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love, does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:7-8 ESV
Photo by Emmanuel Phaeton on Unsplash

1Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, “239. azan,” BibleHub.com. https://biblehub.com/hebrew/239.htm (accessed May 12, 2021).

2Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, “3796. mozen,” BibleHub.com. https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3796.htm (accessed May 12, 2021).

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