To speak about what God hates is a difficult subject, because the love of God is more preferred. There is majesty, beauty, and hope to the idea of God’s love. The words of John 3:16 and following immediately come to mind. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
But then John goes on in the same context to declare, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). There is condemnation for those who reject God’s Son. The Divine condemnation will find its fullest expression in the wrath of God in a place of eternal torment called hell. That is the Biblical revelation about God which is hard to comprehend, or accept.
The Christian should not be surprised that hatred is a facet of God’s essence, because the Bible sets forth those things that God hates. “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Prov. 6:15-19).
God hates pride.
God hates lying.
God hates murder.
God hates wicked thoughts.
God hates slander.
God hates injustice.
God hates discord.
There are other things God hates.
God Hates Idolatry. J.I. Packer says it like this: “It is impossible to worship nothing: we humans are worshipping creatures, and if we do not worship the God who made us, we shall inevitably worship someone or something else.”
“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 knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers. 4 Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate. 5 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods. 6 Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day” (Jer. 44:3-6).
God Hates Sexual Immorality. The various sins associated with homosexuality receive special attention in Scripture.
“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet” (Rom. 1:24-27).
God Hates Divorce. “For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore, take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously” (Malachi 2:16).
God Hates Certain Individuals.
“Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:6-13).
Even if the word “hated” (Gk. miseo, to detest (specially to persecute); by extension, to love less) the force of the text is plain. God has less favor, less affection, and less love for some than others. Why? Paul explains.
“That the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth” (Romans 9:11b).
Is God unfair or unjust for His Divine selection of Jacob and preference for him over Esau?
“Is there unrighteousness with God?”
The strong answer is, “No!”
“Of course not!”
“God forbid that such a thought should even cross the mind of the creature.”
“God forbid that the creation stands in judgment and moral condemnation on the Creator.”
“God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.”
“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Romans 9:14).
“Therefore, hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (Romans 9:10).