How often do we consider the attributes of God? For the most part, it seems as though love is the only one that is mentioned or that love is somehow superior to the others. How many times have you heard someone say that God loves the sinner but hates the sin? Have you ever wondered where that saying comes from? because I have yet to see it in scripture.
Does God truly hate the sinner and not just the sin?
5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evildoers.
6 You destroy those who speak lies;
the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
The subject of the two verses is God. Hate, destroy and abhor are the predicates. Thus from Psalms 5 we can see that God is the one who is hating, destroying and abhorring. To whom or what then is God doing these things to? Is God hating the evil that is done by the doer, or is God hating the doer of the evil? In verse six, it is the man who is bloodthirsty and deceitful, clearly it is the man that God hates and not just his actions.
God hatred is not arbitrary, it is focused upon those that are in rebellion against Him. His wrath is righteous and it is demanded by His holiness and justice. His holiness would be lessened if He did not hate or demonstrate His wrath upon the wicked. A lack of hatred and wrath would be a blemish on a perfectly holy, just and loving God. It is that He has been and continues to be merciful and shows grace on some that He likewise demonstrates hatred toward those that are outside His grace.
It is God’s holiness that demands retribution and it is His holiness that demanded for the substitutionary work of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ death and punishment on the cross wasn’t just one of the many ways in which God could’ve saved His people, it was the only way. God hates sin so much, he cannot bare to look upon it that He sent the God the Son as the sacrifice that would be a satisfaction to God the Father, in our place. The only means by which we can have communion with God is through the intercessory work of Jesus. The hate and wrath that we deserve, has been poured out on Jesus Christ, though He knew no sin He became sin in our place.
It is not a mean god that hates but rather a loving all powerful God that is so holy and just that he hates that which contrary to Him. It is that He delights in that which is lovely that He likewise hates that which is ugly. The sooner we realize just how ugly and vile our sin is and how much God hates it, than we can truly understand and appreciate His love for us.
edit: I found this video by Dr. Bob Morey after writing the above.