To Love Is To....Hate?

Jacob offering Esau a bowl of pottage for his birthright.
Jacob offering Esau a bowl of pottage for his birthright.

"I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness." Malachi 1:2-3 K.J.V.

It doesn't seem that hate would be a result of love would it? Most people say that one should love and not hate. And yet the Bible says the Lord Himself said that He hated Esau. In the quote from the Book of Malachi, the hate of Esau seems to be the result of the love of Jacob. I have heard many say that the word hate was not meant to be interpreted as the word hate is today. What it did mean was that the Lord's favor was upon Jacob rather than on Esau.

In Physics we are taught that cold is the absence of heat. So with that we can say that hate is the absence of love. The less the love is, the more the hate is. So one can say that God's hate was the absence of His love. I am not certain if I agree with those who try to make excuses for what God said to turn it so that people could feel more comfortable with their image of a loving God but I will not make excuses for something that God said because He is not mad and knows why He said it. To me it is not up for dispute. As Paul says in the Book of Romans:

"As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid." Romans 9:13-14 K.J.V.

People who love peace hate war don't they? Well it is not as simple as that. Maybe not. There will be some who feel that in some cases war is necessary but it doesn't mean they like it they like peace as much as the next guy. But the key word here is like. When you love something or someone, your feelings are strong and in certain things you will not be moved. As I heard a preacher say some one who loves children, all children, will hate abortion. Why? Because they won't be able to stand the thought of something like that happening to any child. Others won't feel either way about it because although they love some children, they don't love all. My point is, if you examine what you love and love thoroughly, you should be able to find something you hate as a result of it. For example, I love honesty and try to be honest in everything I do. I don't want anyone to think I am something I am not and so I prefer to show all my sides to people as much as I can. As a result I hate hypocrisy. My love for honesty causes me to abhor hypocrisy. Just as a person who values loyalty will hate betrayal.

Now does that apply to people? Of course it does. All you need is love say the Beatles. But if someone you love is wronged repeatedly by another and you witness this, will this person be your friend? No. They will be your enemy. Will you give them gifts at Christmas or on birthdays? No. You may even ignore them if you pass them on the street. But you don't hate them. Oh no! Well maybe just a little. Because if you have no love for someone, then your love is not present. You hate or dislike - which is the milder word for hate. It is like a dash of bitters in an otherwise clear glass of water but it still discolors it.

It is a touchy subject because a Christian is taught to love their enemies. So how does one do that? Well the answer is in the statement. It says "love your enemies". Not everyone else's just yours. The reason is, it is far easier to forgive a wrong done against us if we think nothing of ourselves and think only of what God wants for us. But isn't Jesus' words in contradiction with what the word says in Malachi and Romans? How can He tell us to love when He has said that He has hated? The answer is His love is perfect and therefore His hatred is perfect. That is to say His reasons and purposes for being absent in one life and present in another are not tainted by sin where as ours are. Since Christ made it clear that He does not wish hate to be in our hearts when it comes to people, does it mean that we are not supposed to hate at all? No. We are supposed to hate evil and sin if we love God. We are supposed to hate His enemies. The ones who would try to take His throne. The more we love the Lord, the more detestable sin and evil will become to us.

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Comments 6 comments

sandy sue profile image

sandy sue 5 years ago

Hey there. You have some very profound thoughts here. I believe that I agree with most of what you shared. I get frustrated in life with apathy because that is what I see as a lack of love, sometimes a lack of loyalty. Give me someone who would take a bullet for me and I would not doubt their love. Don't you feel that Jesus tired of apathetic people around Him? (Let the dead bury their dead) (who are my brothers,family - but he who does my will) He also expressed anger.(money changers) He was real! Thank you for this


North Wind profile image

North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now) Author

Yes I completely agree, apathy is frustrating. It is like what He said to the church of Laodicea - if you are lukewarm, I will spit you out!

Thanks for reading and commenting and also for the kind words :)


emichael profile image

emichael 5 years ago from New Orleans

"I am not certain if I agree with those who try to make excuses for what God said to turn it so that people could feel more comfortable with their image of a loving God..."

Right on. God doesn't need us making excuses for Him, and He is not so easily explained as that. It's the same thing people do with the word fear in scripture. They try to explain it away by saying what the scriptures really mean is to be in awe of God. Sure, but that is only one side. We are sinners and so we should be fearful of a God with perfect wrath. God's love and his hate are perfect like you say. God loves us. Scripture also says that he hates sinners. That makes the whole thing pretty paradoxical, and quite frankly it usually makes my head hurt thinking about it.

Thank God for grace and mercy, or else we'd all be in serious trouble.

Good perspective here.


North Wind profile image

North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now) Author

Hello emichael,

My head does hurt thinking about it too and I thank God daily for His grace and mercy. I wrote another hub about the Fear of God and what it means to me and I agree, it is more than awe. I believe it is awe and terror. I really appreciate your comments.

May God bless you!


emichael profile image

emichael 5 years ago from New Orleans

Oh cool, I will go read that one.

Have your read/heard of the book The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul? He does a pretty remarkable job of reconciling these two seemingly disparate concepts of God.


North Wind profile image

North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now) Author

I have heard of R.C. Sproul but I never read anything from him. I will definitely check it out though. Thanks for recommending - I always love a new book :)

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