Does God hate sinners? Ps.5:5-6
Psalm 5:4-6 says, “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.”
Because God is holy, He does not have any pleasure in wickedness. I Peter 1:14-16 says, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, BE YE HOLY; FOR I AM HOLY.”
It is hard for us to fully comprehend how a totally holy person would hate sin, because we have sin natures that are attracted to sin like a magnet is to metal. Romans 7:21-25 says, “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
Because of our sin nature, our flesh gets pleasure out sin, to a certain point. Hebrews 11:24-26 says, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” Sin has its pleasure, but only for a season — it is short-lived. A truly holy person understands that.
It is hard for us to imagine how repulsive sin is to God, because of our sin natures. James 1:12-15 says, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Some have wondered about the above passage, because it says that God cannot be tempted with evil, but Matthew 4:1-11 says that Jesus was tempted by the devil. “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”
In the above passage, the devil tempted Jesus to sin, but Jesus was never tempted to do it. Does that make sense? It is like this: the devil was throwing temptations at Jesus, but Jesus was never even considering them. Jesus was not mulling over in His mind whether He should give in to the temptation or not. The problem with man, is that man actually thinks it over in his mind whether to go ahead and sin, or whether to resist and refuse to sin.
Notice the difference between Jesus and Eve when temptation was coming. Genesis 3:6 says, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Jesus did not consider the devil’s temptation in the least, but Eve did. She was thinking it over in her mind, whether it would be profitable to go ahead and sin.
We can see the same tremendous difference in Jesus and Achan. Joshua 7:20,21 says, “And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.” Achan’s problem was just like Eve’s. They both actually considered in their minds whether they should go ahead and sin, or not. Once you let the flesh start thinking about temptation and considering its pleasures, you are on the road to destruction. Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: THE SPIRIT INDEED IS WILLING, BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK.” If you let the flesh think about the pleasures of sin, it will always choose wrong.
Our sin natures are like magnets, and sin is like steel. That old sin nature is attracted to sin like a magnet is attracted to steel. But in Jesus’ case, it was different. Jesus was born of a miraculous virgin birth; thus, He did not have a sin nature like you and I. Psalm 51:5 says, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” But Jesus’ birth was different. Luke 1:34,35 says, “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” He had a totally holy nature. When someone tried to tempt Him, it was like turning two magnets so that they actually push away from each other — not attract each other. Jesus never entertained temptation in His mind, because the idea of sin was always repulsive to Him.
Only when we try to comprehend how a totally holy person views sin, can we understand how God has to hate sin; and thus, in no way could find pleasure in those committing sin. Once again, Psalm 5:4-6 says, “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.” A truly holy person could think no other way about sin or sinners, because that is His nature — absolute holiness. Psalm 7:11 says, “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”
Now, we must view another attribute of God — love. I John 4:7,8 says, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” John 3:16 says, “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.”
Here is another attribute that we really do not understand, as sinners. When people wrong us, then we get pleasure out of seeing them punished for it. But true love for a person would mean that we would NOT get pleasure out of seeing him hurt, but in seeing him repent. Even so it is with God, who is perfect in love. He finds no pleasure in seeing the wicked punished, but in the wicked repenting. Ezekiel 33:11 says, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die…”
We have another fault in our thinking. When we do love someone, we are prone to let them do wrong, and not get punished. But true love does not think that way, either. Proverbs 13:24 says, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Hebrews 12:6 says, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” True love understands that when evil is allowed with no punishment due, then evil will only increase. That is why it is unloving to let a person do evil with no consequences for it. In the long run, it will hurt them more.
That is why God did not just overlook man’s sin, but sent His very own Son to be born perfect; to live a perfect life; and then to die and pay the punishment that our sin demanded. II Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
So on one hand, God hates sin and those who are doing it, because He is absolutely holy. But on the other hand, God is love, and thus gets no pleasure out of seeing people die in their sin. His attribute of love gets pleasure out of seeing man repent of sin and respond to His offer of salvation. If that seems contradictory, it is only because we are neither truly holy, or truly loving. If we were 100% holy, and 100% loving, we would see that this makes perfect sense.