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What Does God Hate? A Comprehensive Look At Things God Despises

The question of what God hates is an important one for many believers. God is often portrayed as a God of love, which leads some to wonder if God truly hates anything at all. However, the Bible makes it clear that while God is loving, He also hates certain behaviors and attitudes.

In this comprehensive article, we will examine biblical evidence to discover the things God hates and why He hates them.

God Hates Sin

Sin is any action, thought, or attitude that is contrary to the character or law of God. It is a violation of God’s holy and perfect standard, and separates us from communion with Him. God hates sin because it opposes His very nature and destroys His good purposes for humankind.

Here is a deeper look at the reasons why God despises sin.

Definition of Sin

The Bible defines sin as lawlessness or unrighteousness (1 John 3:4). It is rejecting God’s ways and His intentions for how we ought to live. Sin manifests itself in outward actions, but also comes from within our hearts (Matthew 15:19).

At its core, sin shows a heart in rebellion against God and not submitted to His sovereignty. It is an affront to God’s holiness and a breaking of His commands. Scripture is clear that all people are guilty of sin (Romans 3:23) and in need of forgiveness and redemption.

Examples of Sins God Hates

Though all sin ultimately separates us from God, the Bible does speak about some particular sins that are especially detestable to Him:

  • Idolatry – Exodus 20:3-6
  • Adultery, sexual immorality – Leviticus 18
  • Dishonoring parents – Exodus 21:15
  • Arrogance, pride – Proverbs 8:13
  • Lying – Proverbs 6:16-19
  • Shedding innocent blood – Proverbs 6:16-17
  • Oppression of the weak – Zechariah 7:10

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it demonstrates the diversity of sins that God despises. What they have in common is that they all derive from hearts that have rejected Him and His ways.

Why God Hates Sin

God hates sin because it is utterly contrary to His holy nature (Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:15-16). He is righteous, just, perfect, and good. Sin defies God’s sovereignty, twists His good plans, and displays a heart in rebellion against Him. Here are some key reasons why God hates sin:

  • It separates us from God – Isaiah 59:2
  • It is rooted in pride and self-worship – Proverbs 21:4
  • It causes spiritual and physical death – Romans 6:23
  • It results in God’s coming judgment and wrath – Ephesians 5:6
  • It distorts the purpose and beauty of humanity – Genesis 1:26-27

Though God hates sin, in His mercy He provided a way of redemption, forgiveness, and restoration through Christ (Ephesians 1:7). For all who repent and believe in Jesus, their sins are forgiven, and they are reconciled to God (Acts 3:19).

However, for those who persist in sin and rebellion against God, there is only a fearful expectation of judgment (Hebrews 10:26-27).

God Hates Pride

Bible Verses about God Hating Pride

The Bible makes it clear that God despises pride and wants His people to walk in humility. Here are some key verses about pride:

  • Proverbs 8:13 – “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”
  • Proverbs 16:5 – “The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”
  • Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
  • James 4:6 – “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
  • 1 Peter 5:5 – “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

How Pride Offends God

Pride is offensive to God for several key reasons:

  • Pride exalts self over God. When we are prideful and arrogant, we act as if we know better than God and don’t need Him.
  • Pride is rooted in self-reliance rather than dependence on God. The prideful person trusts in their own abilities rather than humbly seeking the Lord.
  • Pride hinders our relationship with God. Pride causes us to be self-focused rather than God-focused. It is the opposite of the childlike faith Jesus calls us to have.
  • Pride leads to destruction. Scripture warns that pride comes before a fall. Ultimately it leads to ruin.

Remaining Humble Before God

Here are some practical tips for cultivating humility in our walk with God:

  • Regularly reflect on God’s majesty, goodness and grace. The more we behold Him, the more we gain perspective on our place before Him.
  • Confess and repent of pride and self-sufficiency when it creeps into our hearts.
  • Spend time daily giving thanks and praise to God for who He is and all He has done.
  • Serve others with a joyful, self-forgetful heart. Humility is birthed through servanthood.
  • Submit ourselves to godly authority figures like pastors and parents. Prideful people resist authority.
  • Receive correction and feedback graciously without defensiveness or blame shifting.

Walking in humility requires recognizing our dependence on God’s grace and intentionally laying down self-importance. As James 4:10 exhorts, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” Let us honor God by pursuing lowliness of heart each day.

God Hates False Worship and Idolatry

Forms of False Worship

God despises any form of worship that is not directed solely towards Him. Throughout history, humans have been prone to worshipping idols, false gods, and practising rituals that do not honour the one true God. Some examples of false worship that God hates include:

  • Worshipping other gods or idols made of wood, stone, gold etc.
  • Practising witchcraft, sorcery, divination
  • Consulting mediums or psychics
  • Astrology and looking to the stars for guidance
  • Seeking meaning and purpose through New Age or Eastern practices like yoga and meditation
  • God hates these forms of worship because they draw people’s devotion away from Him. He alone is worthy of worship as the eternal, all-powerful Creator. False worship is an abomination to God.

    Consequences of Idolatry

    Engaging in false worship and idolatry has disastrous consequences both for individuals and for societies as a whole. Here are some of the consequences:

  • It invokes God’s wrath and judgment
  • It opens the door for demonic influence and oppression
  • It leads people astray into deception, confusion, and futility
  • It prevents people from finding salvation through Christ
  • It leads to moral decay and the breakdown of families and communities
  • The Bible contains many examples of the ruin brought upon both Israel and other nations that turned to idols and false gods. Whole kingdoms were destroyed because of idolatry. God hates false worship because He knows how destructive it is to His creation.

    Giving God the Worship He Deserves

    The antidote to false worship and idolatry is to give God the sincere worship that He deserves and desires. True worship involves:

  • Repenting of sin and seeking forgiveness through Christ
  • Praising God for who He is and His mighty works
  • Thanking God for His abundant blessings and gifts
  • Petitioning God through prayer and supplication
  • Reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word
  • Living in obedience to God’s commands
  • The heart of true worship is developing a deep, personal relationship with God. It flows out of an awe and reverence for God’s surpassing greatness, love, and holiness. God delights in those who worship Him in spirit and in truth.

    God Hates Injustice and Oppression

    Injustice and oppression are two of the things that God most despises. As a perfectly just Being, God cannot tolerate injustice or oppression in any form. Let’s take a closer look at why God hates injustice so much.

    Injustice Toward the Poor and Powerless

    Throughout the Bible, God shows special concern for the poor, weak, and vulnerable members of society. He commands His people to care for the orphan, the widow, the foreigner, and the needy (Deuteronomy 10:18; Isaiah 1:17; Zechariah 7:10).

    God also instructs judges and rulers to be fair and impartial, not showing favoritism to either the rich or the poor (Leviticus 19:15). When people abuse positions of power to take advantage of those who lack power and status, God considers it a grave injustice that provokes His anger.

    For example, the prophet Amos condemned the people of Israel for exploiting the poor and crushing the needy (Amos 4:1). Likewise, God was angered that the rich people in Israel were oppressing the poor by forcing them into slavery over unpaid debts (2 Kings 4:1; Nehemiah 5:1-13).

    The Bible is clear that God cares deeply for those in need and despises those who use positions of authority to oppress the powerless.

    God’s Just Character

    One reason God hates injustice so much is that it goes against His very nature and character. The Bible describes God as righteous, just, and impartial (Psalm 11:7; Acts 10:34-35). He cannot tolerate unfairness or partiality of any kind.

    As the perfectly righteous Judge of the universe, God must punish evildoers and defend the oppressed.

    Throughout the Old Testament prophets, God promises to bring justice for the oppressed. He says through Isaiah, “The Lord will enter into judgment with the elders and princes of his people…you have devoured the vineyard, the spoil of the poor is in your houses.

    What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?” (Isaiah 3:14-15). God promises perfect justice for all on Judgment Day.

    Seeking Righteousness and Justice

    Because God loves righteousness and justice, He expects His followers to actively seek justice in this world as well. The prophet Micah summarizes God’s requirement for His people: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

    (Micah 6:8). As God’s representatives on earth, Christians are called to emulate God’s passion for justice.

    Though true and complete justice will not come until Christ’s return, Christians can make a difference by advocating for the oppressed, defending the defenseless, fighting discrimination, and working to reform unjust laws and systems.

    As the Bible reminds us, “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9).

    When believers live out God’s heart for justice, they reflect His gracious character and bring hope to those who desperately need it. Our just and righteous God calls us to stand up and speak out against all forms of injustice and oppression.

    God Hates Evil Actions and Thoughts

    We serve a holy and righteous God who despises wickedness and evil. Though God is loving, merciful, and gracious, He is also just and hates sin. There are many evil actions and thoughts that God detests. As followers of Christ, we must align our lives to God’s standards and turn from evil.

    Wicked Deeds God Detests

    Scripture clearly reveals the kinds of actions God hates. Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven things the Lord detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, a false witness who lies with every breath, and one who sows discord among brothers.

    Other verses condemn wicked acts such as deceit, violence, pride, greed, injustice, adultery, and idolatry. God hates these things because they are contrary to His holy nature. They destroy lives, relationships and society when left unchecked.

    As Christians, we must consciously shun evil deeds and instead act justly, love mercy and walk humbly before God (Micah 6:8).

    Guarding Our Hearts and Minds

    Not only does God hate evil actions, but also evil thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Jesus said that evil intentions come from within and defile us (Mark 7:20-23). That is why we must be careful about what we allow into our minds.

    The Bible exhorts us to guard our hearts, for everything we do flows from them (Proverbs 4:23).

    As Philippians 4:8 says, we should fix our thoughts on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. We must capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

    This involves intentionally avoiding lust, bitterness, hatred, anxiety and other evil inner attitudes that God wants us to root out.

    Turning from Evil

    Though evil is pervasive, God offers us escape through His Son Jesus. As we submit to Christ as Lord, the Holy Spirit empowers us to reject sinful thoughts and actions. We must continuously surrender our minds and wills to God’s ways (Romans 12:1-2).

    This involves habits like prayer, Bible reading, fellowship and practicing God’s presence.

    As we do this, sin will lose its power over us. God wants us to “detest evil and cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). When tempted, we can claim the way of escape He faithfully provides (1 Corinthians 10:13).

    In Christ, we have hope of overcoming evil one day at a time through the enablement of the Holy Spirit.


    In examining Scripture, we see that while God is a God of love, there are things He hates because they go against His holy and righteous nature. Sin, pride, false worship, injustice, and evil provoke God’s wrath.

    However, the good news is that God provided a way of salvation through trusting in Jesus Christ. When we turn from our sin and humbly submit to God, we can experience His mercy, grace, and transforming power in our lives.

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