“Because sinful people cannot storm the gates of heaven to dethrone and destroy God himself, they turn on what is dearest to him and nearest to his image. And so they act out their wickedness against other people. They hurt them, harm them, main them, kill them.”
(Tim Challies, 2017) Over the past few weeks I have been exploring what God hates. I have done this by looking to the Bible to search for those things God flat-out says he hates or things that he describes as “despicable” or “abominable.” We have seen that God hates idolatry, sexual immorality, injustice, hypocrisy, deceit, pride, and evil thoughts. Today we will wrap up by looking at God’s hatred for the wicked.
God Hates Wicked People
Psalm 11:5 puts it bluntly: God hates wicked people. “The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence” (Psalm 11:5). He hates wicked people from his soul, from the very depth of his being. God hates their ways (Proverbs 15:9), their thoughts (Proverbs 15:26), their worship (Proverbs 15:8), their actions (Proverbs 6:18), and their evil deeds (Psalm 5:5). He singles out as a special object of his hatred the blasphemous deeds of the Nicolaitans, those who seduced God’s people with idolatry and sexual immorality. “Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Revelation 2:6).
Clearly, God hates the thoughts, deeds, and desires of evil people. But further, in some way he hates the evil people themselves. His soul reacts to them with righteous revulsion as his arm extends toward them in holy fury. But who are the wicked? All of us. We are all wicked, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).