King Solomon wrote, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven… a time to love and a time to hate” (3:1, 8). Most of us probably have a pretty negative view of hate. We think of it as a bad emotion, but in and of itself, hate is not any better or worse than love. Both love and hate have proper objects; they are both appropriate feelings to have toward certain things at certain times.
Sometimes love and hate are two sides of the same coin. Love for one thing might necessitate hate for something else (Matt. 6:24). If we love God, we must hate sin. The Psalmist David said, “You who love the Lord, hate evil!” (Ps. 97:10).
It is high time for those who claim to love God to start hating sin. We must hate it in ourselves and in others, and hate it with an intensity of passion that is equaled only by the intensity of our love for God.
Do I really hate pride, arrogance and a perverse mouth? Do we fully agree with the wise man who said, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate” (Prov. 8:13)?
Do I really hate lying? “A righteous man hates lying” (Prov. 13:5). “I hate and abhor lying: but your law do I love” (Ps 119:163). The Devil is a liar and the father or it (Jn 8:44). In 1 John 2:4-5 the apostle John wrote, “He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.” Liars deny Jesus is the Christ (1 Jn 2:22). Liars say they love God and yet hate fellow brethren (1 Jn 4:20). Liars add to God’s Word (Prov 30:6). All liars shall have their part in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8). Of the seven things God hates, a lying tongue is among them (Prov 6:16-19). If God hates lying, so should we!
Do I really hate taking God’s name in vain? In Psalm 139:20-22 the Psalmist said, “. . .Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.” There is not a day that goes by in which I do not hear someone take God’s name in vain. God is to be reverenced. His holy name is to be blessed (Ps. 89:7 cf; 103:1).
Do I really hate covetousness (unlawful desire for that which belongs to another)? “He who hates covetousness will prolong his days” (Prov. 28:16).
Do I really hate violence? “The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates” (Ps. 11:5).
Do I really hate false teaching? In Revelation 2:6 and 1:5, Jesus makes it plain: “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate”. Christians are warned against false teachers. John wrote, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). And so did Jesus, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt 7:15).
Hating evil is not un-Christ-like. It is most Christ-like. Jesus hated evil more than anyone ever hated anything. The book of Hebrews says of him, “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (Heb. 1:9). Let us be like Christ; let us hate sin. To hate sin is know love, for love “does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). “Hate the evil and love the good and establish judgment in the gate…” (Amos 5:15)