(Rom 9:13) As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
So, what does it mean when an infinitely loving God hates? It means that although his love has not changed, your behavior has caused him to turn his back on you and give you over to the lusts and sins that you have chosen to be more important than God.
It has to mean that, otherwise he is not infinite love, and he could not be the most righteous judge. Time and time again in the Bible, we find that God turns his back on people and sometimes even destroys them. But, He only does so when the people have chosen to forever become a slave to their own wickedness. Hate to God is not the same thing as Hate is to us.
This passage was written about the Edomites, Esau’s descendants? What is God’s estimation of the Edomites? (Jer 49:17-18) Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof. As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it.
No wonder God turned his back on them (hates them). Their actions caused God to lump them into the same category as Sodom and Gomorrah. God had great cause to “hate” the descendants of Esau, but his love for them did not change.
The fact is, as you read the Bible, you will come to find that the word hate in the human sense does not even mean the same thing as it does in its modern form. You still can’t apply the modern form of hate to the scriptures. This is illustrated in the following verses:
(Gen 29:30-31) And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him [Laban] yet seven other years. And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.
In this context, the Bible provides a meaning of the word hate by saying that Leah received less love than Rachael. Because of Jacob’s favoritism and obvious discrimination toward Leah, God let Leah have children, but closed up Rachael’s womb. Jacob’s love should have been the same for both of his wives.
(Pro 13:24) He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Ask any father that does not discipline his son if he loves his son. Of course, his answer will be yes. We would agree that he still loves his son. This passage indicates, however, that he does not love him as he should. His love is less than the father who disciplines his son. The bad father does not care to instill the proper behaviors in his child that is needed to live at peace in society or be successful in his endeavors. The good father cares what his son does, how he acts, and disciplines him to that end. One father hates (loves less). One father loves (real love).
(Mat 6:24) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Mammon was the name of a Syriac idol for the god of riches. So, the end of the verse said another way might read like this: “You cannot serve God, and your own selfish gain. Don’t love yourself more than God.
(Luk 14:26) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
The meaning of the verse is to love God more than yourself or your neighbor, even if your neighbor happens to be family. We can apply the same concept of hate found in other passages in the Bible right here, and we MUST. Otherwise, we violate the second greatest commandment taught by Jesus: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Again, we find ourselves having to marry the two concepts of hate and love and coming to the conclusion that hate in the Bible does not have the same meaning as it does today. It simply means to love less or love inadequately.
***If he chides humans when they love less than they should, that means that he holds the same amount of love all the time, no matter what the object of his love does. Otherwise, he would be a hypocrite. That is why hate does not mean to God what it means to us.***