lightening storm representing things God hates
Christian Doctrine Scripture Scripture Commentary

7 Things God Hates and Why You Should Hate Them Too

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him…

Proverbs 6:16

Have you ever asked the question, is it wrong to hate evil?

Almost certainly you have! Maybe after some great injustice, or an evil act of terrorism. After all, that opening verse from Proverbs above tells you that there are at least 7 things that God hates.

Let’s look at the verses that tell us more about these things that God hates. Then you have to ask, “Should you and I hate them, too?”

7 Things God Hates

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

Proverbs 6:16-19

Believe me, I know there are people who are going to be bothered by the idea that God could hate. It’s so much easier to consider God as the benevolent granter of prayers and the maker of flowers, butterflies, and puppies. After all, God is love and love is the opposite of hate, right? They’re incompatible, aren’t they?

Of course it’s true that God is love (1 John 4:8), but God hates evil. We know this because His word instructs us in this and His word is absolutely reliable. And yes, love and hate are opposites, but they’re not always incompatible. In fact, did you know that the Bible actually instructs us to love good and to hate evil?

Ecclesiastes 3:8 reminds us that there is “a time to love and a time to hate.” And the original Hebrew word used there? Despite how many teachers may try to conclude it’s something else, it literally translates “to hate, be hateful.” The Greek translated it as “to detest,” and the primary word for that was hatred.

Gene, hate and hatred? Isn’t that a little strong? I mean, how in the world does ‘there are things God hates’ fit in with my Christianity of loving my neighbor and praying for those who are against me?

Good thing you asked.

Biblical Hatred

gif of man throwing the bible at someone

Before you hit me in the head with a hundred verses on love, here’s how Biblical hatred works.

First, recognize that there certainly is evil and God himself hates it. His word says as much.

“And never set up sacred pillars for worship, for the LORD your God hates them.” (NLT)

Deuteronomy 16:22

Next, recognize that if God calls out certain things and detests them, then you and I should, too. You love your children, but if one of them has cancer, you hate that disease. You love spending time with your family, but if a rattlesnake joins your party and poisons your wife with it’s bite, you can hate that snake.

And as you probably already know, its a good idea to know what things God hates.

That’s just the way it is in this fallen world. There’s 2 sides to all of our coins. If there’s good, there’s evil. There is light, and there is darkness. If there is love, then there is hate.

The choice you have to make then is, will you love all that is right and detest what’s wrong? Or will you love sin and hate what is righteous?

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These are Things that God Hates

Haughty Eyes

Another way to say that is a prideful look. God hates pride because the prideful exalt themselves above Him, idolizing themselves. That’s what Lucifer did in heaven when, in pride, he sinned against God (Isaiah 14:13-14).

David said in Psalm 131:1 that his “heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp.”

If we’re going to listen to someone talk about the destruction of pride, it might as well be King David. He was no stranger to that process.

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him…

Proverbs 6:16

A Lying Tongue

Dishonesty. God hates it and we’ve all done it. Once again, something King David was familiar with. Remember when he had sex with his neighbor’s wife, and that guy ended up being one of his most loyal military officers? Remember when David tried to cover that up and ultimately had that man killed? That dishonesty eventually broke David’s spirit and may have been one of his huge regrets that led him to pray and confess as he did in the 51st Psalm.

Hands that Shed Innocent Blood

chalk outline of victim on sidewalk
Image by John R Perry from Pixabay

That’s fairly self-explanatory. Murder is wrong and punishable. There’s an ongoing debate that says pro-life automatically equals anti death penalty. I can’t jump to that conclusion. The typical argument presented is that the life of the murderer is considered to be “precious life” once it’s on trial.

I would agree that the soul of the murderer is precious, and that God loves him and Jesus died for him. While I certainly do not rejoice in capital punishment, I’m not ready to establish my own standard against God’s word that teaches a murderer is to be punished. The intentional, violent spilling of innocent blood is an abomination to God. These are His words, not mine. And God hates the hands that shed innocent blood.

Did you notice how these first 3 things God hates are characteristics of Lucifer? Pride, deceit, and violence…

A Heart that Devises Wicked Plans

Jesus mentions this as well. In Matthew 15:19, he said, “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.” That’s 7 things he listed, by the way.

Another way to look at this verse is “a deceitful heart.” Our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) and telling someone to follow their heart is just bad advice. It’s much better if you pursue what God loves and confess what’s in your heart, surrendering those thoughts that you don’t want anyone to know about.

Feet that Make Haste to Run to Evil

person walking on paved path
Image originally from Pixabay

Running quickly to sin. How many of us can say, “Whew. At least I don’t do that!” I can say that I don’t live in any habitual sin, but how many times do I hesitate before tearing myself away? Do your eyes linger a little more than they should on that enticing advertisement? Do you ever stew a little too long against someone who irritated you? You may not habitually “run to evil,” but do you always flee from sin as quickly as you should?

Did you notice that these first 5 things God hates deal with the moral character of a person? They also each represent a body part, working from the head to the heart and then the feet.

A False Witness who Breathes out Lies

This goes beyond the lies of “a lying tongue.” This represents someone who takes an oath and then intentionally spreads lies and misinformation. This can be someone on the witness stand of a courtroom, but it can also include those who misrepresent God.

You’ll never find a sinless pastor, but stay away from Bible teachers and pastors who don’t have accountability in their lives and who misrepresent the Gospel in and out of the pulpit. And when you give your word, keep it true.

One who Sows Discord Among Brothers

These are the saboteurs around you. In the workplace, among your friends, in your church, and probably even in your family, there’s that one person who causes trouble for everyone.

The term ‘among brothers’ used in this verse leads me to conclude that this is directed closer to home. This is speaking to the person who stirs up strife among relatives and within the fellowship of the church, causing misery where the nurturing of a family should be.

If this is you, seek forgiveness and stop it. If it’s someone you know, pray about how to address the problem. And then address it. Sorry, we don’t get to ignore things that God says he hates, and he hates strife and confusion within the family, whether it’s in your church or among your relatives.

Take This Home

Maybe some of these make you uncomfortable. Or maybe not. But if so, remember that scripture is like a mirror and sometimes when we see ourselves in that reflection, we either look away or we look more deeply.

small broken mirror
Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

God desires that we take that deeper look. His word can be convicting, and sometimes even condemning. However, the value of God’s word is that it builds us up and prepares us to glorify Him. Discovering things God hates and being honest about them is a best practice to take home.

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, in order that the person of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17

40 thoughts on “7 Things God Hates and Why You Should Hate Them Too

  1. Thank you, Gene! I especially love that you pointed out God using a body part to represent moral characteristics. I wouldn’t have noticed that unless you pointed it out, and it helps to create a better mental image for understanding. Great work!

    Rachel x

    1. Hey Rachel, that illustration of the body parts just stood out to me for the first time while I was putting this post together, like a light turning on 😀
      I’m really glad you have found that to be helpful! Thank you for reading, and for your encouragement!!

      1. Hey Gene, well done. I went over these verses with kids in Children’s Church a couple of years ago. Now I will do it again and point out these truths you have so well conveyed. Thanks Brother.

        1. Hi Danny, wow, that’s really humbling that this could be used to help kids understand God and His word a little better. I’m honored by that! Thank you for sharing that really encouraging piece with me!

  2. Hey Gene! I pray you and the family are doing well. Just read The Things God Hates article. Thanks for sharing, it was insightful. I liked it. Shalom

    1. Hi Lance, I’m happy to hear from you and trust you are all doing well! Thank you for checking this out and for your message. Blessings to you and the family!!

  3. Good day brother in Christ.

    May Abba Father the giver of every good and perfect gift continue to bless your ministry. I recieve you as a righteous man of God and i glorify God for His Lion of the Tribe of Judeah BOLDNESS in your writing that the true bride of Christ counts as Joy and that the body of Christ so desperately needs to hear. Time is unraveling quickly… the Truth needs to cause people to choose in this hour whom they will serve because there is now no more grey area. If you are not with Christ you are against Him. We must keep our garments without spot wrinkle or blemish as we await the coming of the Lord. Such articles are Holy Spirit breathed and timely for “such a time as this”.

    Praise be to Jesus Christ who came to earth as a man in the flesh, who is God and who is the Son of God seated at the right hand of Power!!!

    Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus Christ is Lord!

    Glory to God!
    Spreading His Holy Fire…
    Autumn (season of harvest)

    1. Powerful. Am so much blessed. Thanking God for you. May the good Lord keeps you and preserves you more and more as you serve in His vineyard.🙏🙏

  4. Thank you Gene for your article and I needed that. Gene, do you have some more bible verses or a book on this subject – the seven things God hates?
    When I get mad at someone for doing me wrong – I’ll tell a friend about that person and how I can’t believe that they did that to me – then I check my heart and ask God – do I do that to You like that person did to me? That’s when I have a change of Heart and I go and pray for them and for me – then I go and bring peace between us and apologize to bring Honor to our Lord.
    Thank You Again Gene,
    Larry Frazier

    1. Larry, you bring up a very real thing in wondering if you do to God what others do to you. Man, that’s something I get hit with now and then as well. How many times I react poorly to someone, while I turn around and treat God in some similar manner, all the while just expecting that He’ll accept it! Repentance is a daily thing, isn’t it?

      Well, I have searched for more resources on the subject and there are a few books, but I don’t know and find very little about the authors or where they stand theologically, and that’s a big deal to me before I could suggest their work.

      However, here are a few other blogs that should be pretty solid:

      I hope that’s helpful, and who knows…maybe some day I’ll get more in-depth with this and publish it in some way!

  5. I have served the Lord almost 50 years now and I have always kept these scriptures close to my heart from early on in my Christian experience. To me if someone calls themselves a child of God and can’t grasp or be a doer of the word, then there walk is in vain with the Lord. These particular scriptures are a must in one’s walk with God. You did a good job on these scriptures. Keep up the good work, Thank you.

    1. Wow John, 50 years… what a legacy! I have seen so many as you’ve pointed out whose lives contradict what they say they believe. It’s frustrating and heartbreaking at the same time. Thank you for your encouragement as well, I will press on as long as God allows.

  6. Gene you have broke this now very well, something that I always wanted to do for years.
    I’ve always love taking a particular scripture or a word and doing a lot deeper research on it and find all the information I can in the meanings of the word or scripture. A big thank you👊
    This scripture lets us see into the mind and heart of God. (at least in part) How he feels, what he thinks, what he loves and what he hates. We all should have that same heart.
    Again thank you!

    1. Hey John, thanks again for that encouraging word. When I was researching this topic, I was surprised at the things that were found, like the idea that I referred to as “Biblical hatred.” I didn’t think we could (or should) put those words together, but our God is a holy God and we can only follow him, not contain him. You’re right, we should have a heart like his and cultivating a heart that is more like his requires that we continuously move closer to him through his word.

  7. God is perfect love. Jesus thought us perfect love by never hating anyone.. if god is perfect love there is no place for hate in him

    1. Hi Jorge, I can accept what you’re saying, Jesus didn’t hate any person. What’s more, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son…” It’s clear throughout scripture that God is love. We also know that he is merciful, patient, and he is also righteous and just.

      And he hates sin.

      “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him…” -Proverbs 6:16
      “…a time for love, a time for hate…” -Ecclesiastes 3:8
      “And never set up sacred pillars for worship, for the LORD your God hates them.” -Deuteronomy 16:22

      His nature, who he is, how he feels are all things about him we must get from scripture. Clearly scripture does tell us there are things that not only displease him, but things that he hates and also things that are abominations to him.

      And he tells us those things in scripture because he loves us and wants us to stay far from the things that displease him, cause him grief, and the destructive things that he tells us that he does hate.

  8. One weird thing is that my family are christians while I am Atheist it’s not because I hate god or because I think he’s not real, I know he exists but it’s diffucult to follow him with people around who are happy who enjoy spending time with each other and they do a whole lot of sins and they are still happy they have great laughs and are always trying to do better and to do good, that is why I decided to become an Atheist and to be honest life is still hard but so far, I can see a good path, either way I am questioning my religion…can you help me?

    1. Hey Genesis, thank you for you very honest words. I don’t know whether or not I can help, but I can be truthful!

      First, I’m not going to agree that you’re actually atheist. By definition, an atheist is one who has no belief in the existence of God, or any other deity. You admit he exists, yet choose not to follow him. I would classify that as anti-theist rather than atheist.

      Not meaning you hate him, but if you’re not following him, you are by choice and by default, against him. Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.”

      I want to respect your honest questions and be as honest as I can in reply. The path you are choosing is one that leads to destruction and eternal separation from God. I would not wish that upon anyone, not ever. I can’t imagine admitting that God is, and then deliberately choosing to walk the opposite way, especially based on the actions of those around you whom you have mentioned. In all seriousness, don’t put your salvation into the hands of anyone else and follow them to hell.

      Is it that they sin, or that they call themselves Christians but walk in a sinful lifestyle of habitual, ongoing, unrepentant sin? There is a big difference. We all sin but those who are in Christ ought not walk in habitual sinful lifestyles.

      Regardless of their choices, for you to place your relationship with a loving creator God who sent his son to save you from your own sin in jeopardy because of the poor choices of those around you is foolish. Don’t walk that path. You know God is and I’m telling you in case no one has, he loves you and died for you, and that is between you and him and none other.

      Choose God and seek his path, not those who have chosen destruction.

  9. Hi Gene, I find so much truth and understanding in your words . Through your teachings I am looking into my own mirror and realizing my shortcomings. I want to learn to walk in the path of the Lord and trust Jesus yo steer my life.

  10. I’m a heartbroken believer as I wanted to believe in a good God but I don’t see it. I m a rape and near death survivor who was basically ignored and pushed aside as if being raped and discarded like trash wasn’t enough. I’m harassed even years later from those people I’m unable to receive justice I can hardly function than because I’m a decent looking women I’m made fun of and can’t seem to get help. I’m beyond distressed. Years upon years of difficulty.

    1. I’ll tell you why I care about your name: because you matter. That doesn’t mean you have to share your name, it’s your right not to, but believe me when I say, you do matter.

      You’re a child of God created in His image, born into a mess of a world that’s inherited the curse of sin. That sows the seeds of pain and destruction into every one of us, but it doesn’t mean you’re forgotten. Time and space in a comment like this prohibits my listing every example, but Scripture is full of example after example of God’s children suffering greatly only to not be forgotten by Him and never left unnoticed.

      I think of Joseph sold into slavery, falsely accused, and abandoned in prison. I think about Daniel, carried off in captivity only to be used mightily by God and shown marvelous things. Rahab the prostitute, who showed kindness to God’s people and who was rescued, along with her family, from destruction, who also became part of the lineage and genealogy of the Messiah. There’s Elijah the Prophet, who ran scared from the wicked Jezebel, who put Prophets to death for fun. But God was there and rescued him.

      In fact, God rescued these and so many others like them. And more people like you and me than we will ever know. The pain and the suffering of life is not avoided, but the goodness of God is there, and it is there for you. There is pain in the journey, and I am desperately sorry that you have experienced so much more than many have or will.

      But please know that you matter. You matter enough to a loving God that He died for you and He would have done it again if it were necessary. But it’s not because He is God and he doesn’t make mistakes, and doesn’t have to do anything twice to get it right. That includes you.

      I wrote something one time with a suffering family member in mind, maybe you’ll find it useful. It’s called Your Identity in Christ and Your Amazing Value. I hope you’ll look at that, and I hope you’ll take a moment and read through what I’ve shared here.

      Because you do matter. May the capable arms of our Savior be wrapped around you.

      1. Thank you, I did read that article. And I can’t be told enough especially since I feel evil is so prevalent in my life and I don’t understand why it succeeds yet life is not over with and I love reminders of love and Gods love

  11. I was reading this while dealing with a migraine. I really enjoyed this word. More Christians need to realize how important it is for us to truly hate sin. Not the sinner but yes all sin. We need to love the best we can bring Holy for the us Holy! Praise Jesus for who the Son sets free is free indeed! Thank you for sharing this study. God Bless.

    1. Hi Kelly, while I’m very sorry for the migraine, I am thankful that you found encouragement here! I completely stand with you in needing to love the best that we can: without that we miss the mark since Jesus told us the highest of all His commands are to love God, then to love others.

  12. Hi Gene,
    thanks for sharing the things GOD hates, it was well explanatory and well understood.

    thanks so much

  13. Greetings Gene,

    I deeply appreciate your article. I respectfully disagree with conflating lying with false witness. It’s important to be clear on the difference. I think the Word focuses on false witness, rather than lying, for good reason. A lie is difficult to define. Expressing something witj ignorance of facts can be construed as lying. This has very broad and widespread implications.

    Why was Rahab declared righteous by God for lying to her government? Wasn’t she?

    This is also an argument against the false interpretation of Romans 13.
    I sincerely believe ‘lying’ and ‘bearing false witness’ are very different things.

    I’m interested to learn your perspective in what I’ve shared.


    1. Hi Dean,
      Thank you for your thoughtful words. I couldn’t agree more, ‘lying’ and ‘bearing false witness’ are quite different. I can’t see where I may have melded the two, but if you could point out where I may have communicated that, I would be most appreciative!

      In fact, I thought the distinction was being made when I wrote, “This goes beyond the lies of “a lying tongue.” This represents someone who takes an oath and then intentionally spreads lies and misinformation.”

      As for Rahab, I can’t agree that she was “declared righteous for lying” because Scripture does not say that. We read in James 2:25, “She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road.”

      James is telling us that Rahab was declared righteous “by her actions,” being hiding those messengers, not her action of lying.

      I cannot say how often my actions are pleasing to God in comparison to how many times I fall completely short, but I can say that He is unchanging and entirely Holy and we’re not going to find Him compromising. As far as I can find in Scripture, unless I’ve missed something, He isn’t going to commend one person for the very same things he condemns another.

  14. What a wonderful article I found while searching for “What are the things God hates?”

    After spending the morning meditating on the place where God loves to meet us at, which is in the moment we realize we’ve arrived there – and it will draw us closer to God and keep us there: (And that is: “a broken spirit, and a broken and contrite heart – These are things God will not despise. ~ Psalm 51:17 KJV)….. He loves us.

    And so I was searching for a kind of opposite of this… I love the way you pointed out the body from ‘head to toe’ in this Biblical lesson. I’m able to see it now as well, similar to the armor God provides in Ephesians 6:10-18 – moving from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet.

    Because I didn’t see the verse that speaks about the feet in this article, I figured I’d add it in my comment: “Feet that makes haste to run to evil..” ~ Proverbs 6:18.

    Thank you for publishing this article. God Bless You.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Thank you for your encouraging words! I can appreciate your devotion to “spending the morning meditating.” That is without a doubt the most critical place to spend time every day.
      Very thankful this article served you and glad you enjoyed it!
      Oh, the feet that run to evil is about 3/4 of the way into the article, there’s a close-up image of a shoe as someone is walking. 😉

  15. Thanks Gene for this post.
    There are a few passages in the Bible where one could say: “If you take these words to heart, you can hardly go wrong in life.”
    This to me is such a passage, thanks for your commentary.

    I have always remembered proverbs 10:18 with regards to hatred after hearing it:
    “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.”
    Bibles other than KJV translate this as “He who conceals his hatred HAS lying lips,..”
    Regardless the translation we may conclude that the one who is concealing his hatred is doing so with lying lips and we are encouraged not to conceal our hatred with lying lips, in order not to be a fool.

    So God does not only encourage us to hate certain things, he wants us to express our hatred and be honest about it too!

    Blessings, Hans

    1. Wow Hans, great insight, I missed that point and thankful you point that out! With that added detail, I agree even more with you: these are the instructions that allow us to go well in life. Certainly not popular in the world, but true at any rate. Thank you for sharing this detail and comparison with KJV!

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