Is God’s wrath compatible with God’s love? One of the greatest modern assaults on the character of God has come from professing Christians who try to argue that wrath and hatred are antithetical to a good and loving God. Instead of magnifying God’s love, they end up fashioning an idol who is passive and indifferent towards evil.
The truth is because God loves what is good He hates what is evil. King David wrote to that effect when he said, “For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You” (Psalm 5:4). “God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day” (Psalm 7:11).
God’s good and holy character demands nothing less than hostile opposition to every form of evil. It naturally follows that those made in His image would also hate what is evil and love what is good (Romans 12:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). Since “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10), it follows that “the fear of the Lord is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13).
As faithful followers of Christ who want to be known for our integrity, we cannot accommodate any form or degree of evil. But that is often easier said than done. The fight to avoid evil is part of the larger battle for personal holiness. Even Paul confessed:
I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. . . . For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man.” (Romans 7:14–15, 19–22)