The two most powerful, yet polar opposite words on the face of this earth!
The word “LOVE” is appears 310 times in the King James Bible, 348 times in the New American Standard Bible, 551 times in the New International Version and 538 times in the New Revised Standard Version. KJV Bible, which was translated from the Greek, has the word LOVE mentioned the least of any other translation. For the sake of this blog, we’re going to use the KJV – King James Version of the Bible.
The word hate is mentioned in the KJV of the Bible 87 times (3.5 times fewer than the word LOVE) and so far from my reading of scripture it doesn’t say that Heavenly Father hates mankind, however; He does make it clear that he hates the actions and deeds of mankind that proliferates evil and idolatry.
I’m starting this blog today to “focus on Biblical LOVE”. The 2nd half of the blog will focus on “Biblical hate”
It’s pretty obvious to me that Love is a ceaseless conviction and theme throughout the Old and New Testament. And if you believe that Jesus is the WORD made flesh then you must also believe that HE was the ONE who perpetuated this theme called LOVE. The fact that Jesus – Yeshua came to this earth and died for us because He Loved us that much should make those of us who wish the worst for our enemies hang our heads in shame. I’m so sad to say that in today’s world, Christians seem to make more noise about hate than they do LOVE! I believe that some of us have forgotten that Jesus said:
Matthew 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
The Bible translates the Greek word Agape (agapo) for LOVE. It’s a selfless word that originates from God to mankind, it’s meaning is unconditional and springs from a heart of charity. It’s all about seeking to find the best in others and not putting yourself first, but always putting others ahead of yourself. In some ways it truly makes the world go round, because when we “love one another” as Jesus tells us to do when he’s with his disciples in the Upper Room for the “Last Supper”, like when we share the Gospel (GOOD NEWS) we are fulfilling another of God’s great commissions.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
*** PLEASE NOTE: the day after Jesus told His disciples these things, Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Hamashiach laid down his life for us – for ALL sinners – so that if we believe and trust in HIM we may inherit eternal life with HIM and our FATHER in HEAVEN! Through faith, we become brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s our commission to share that Gospel so that others have the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Savior.
There are 4 other Greek words that translate to a type of Biblical love.
Here are four types of biblical love separate from AGAPO:
1. Phillia Love – A love that is affectionate but not romantic. This love is usually shared between family and friends.
2. Eros love – A love that is romantic between a man and woman.
3. Philautia Love – Is a love and respect we should have for ourselves and the Holy Spirit indwelling within us.
4. Mania Love – This is a love in which we are obsessed. This love leads to false idols and putting things on a pedestal higher than God.
According to Christian thought, Charity is the highest form of love. It’s the love between God and man that is made manifest in unselfish love of one another.
Paul’s description of charity is found in the New Testament (KJV):
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
The apostle John, a faithful disciple of Jesus, thought to be the youngest and one of the original 12 disciples had a lot to say about LOVE:
1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
1 John 4:20-21 If any man say, I love God, and hate his brother, he is a liar: for how can he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we of him, that he that loveth God, should love his brother also.
I can only find one place in the Bible that it specifically names a person that God hates; When it came to twin brothers, Jacob and Esau, God makes it perfectly clear why he loves Jacob and harbors a hate for Esau.
This is what God had to say:
Malachi 1:1-3 The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. 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, 3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
Hebrews 12:16-17 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Along with the disrespect of his birthright and blessing, Esau had many other vices. He went against the wishes of his parents, Isaac and Rebecca, and married pagan Canaanite wives which Scripture unmistakably forbade. There’s actually not one little bit of good light shown upon Esau in terms of his relationship with God or family (although according to Scripture he was Isaac’s favorite). Many years later, it appeared that he had let go of his anger and his desire to kill his brother for what he considered to be trickery by Jacob when he lost his birthright and blessing.
In Genesis 33 when Jacob (now renamed Israel by God) returns to his homeland of Canaan from Haran where he found his wives, he is wary of Esau and even after their meeting and with the embrace of Esau and the refusal of Esau to take the offering of animals from Jacob as an apology, ultimately Jacob settles in Canaan some distance away from his brother. It’s the generations after Esau, that the Edomites (the descendants of Esau) who are in constant conflict with “ISRAEL” (the descendants of Jacob). The Kings: Saul, David, Solomon, Jehoram, Amaziah, and Uzziah all had conflicts with the Edomites.
However, God says to the Israelites as they are entering the Land of Canaan after their captivity in Egypt:
Deuteronomy 23:7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.
For more reading about the Edomites and God’s judgement read the book of Amos. For anyone today who harbors a vendetta against the nation of Israel, they need to spend more time reading the Old Testament. Keep in mind, Heavenly Father hardened the hearts of Israel so that there would be time to share the Gospel with the Gentiles, so that we may be saved from His wrath to come.
***In my opinion, God makes it plain that we are not to hate one another for any reason…but that’s not to say that we can’t hate the things that people participate in…
Heavenly Father does make it plain in the Old and New Testaments, exactly what he does hate.
Abomination is the word that we find most that exemplifies what God hates, and some say that’s the improper translation of the Hebrew. I do have a “modern Tanakh” that I use for reference and in most cases, it’s translated the same as our KJV. If you’re not sure what you’re reading in a verse, then put it into context…then it will become VERY clear as to the meaning. If a physical or spiritual death penalty is tied to it, it is definitely something that you shouldn’t be doing.
Deuteronomy 12:31 Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 1.Haughty eyes, 2. a lying tongue, And 3. hands that shed innocent blood, 4. A heart that devises wicked plans, 5. feet that be swift in running to mischief 6.A false witness that speaketh lies, 7. and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Isaiah 1:13-14 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
Zechariah 8:17 17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord.
In the New Tesatment, there’s a couple of verses in particular that makes it perfectly clear that Heavenly Father hates certain behaviors and practices:
1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (reference to homosexuality),
Garlations 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
As Christians, we have a choice…we can either have a heart filled with “LOVE” or a heart filled with “hate”! We can pray for our brothers and sisters who don’t know Heavenly Father and haven’t accepted the Grace of Jesus – Yeshua and in doing so, we might have the opportunity to plant the seed that changes one heart. We can take the time to gently and lovingly nudge someone to seek God, OR WE can allow the “state of the world” to blind us from what God’s plans are for mankind. We can tear out our hair and scream for God to rain down fire and brimstone on people who practice things like abortion (murder) or homosexuality! However, in doing this, how does this answer the call of Jesus in Matthew 5:44 to love our enemies? God tells us in Deuteronomy 32:35, Romans 12:19 and Hebrews 10:30 Vengeance is Mine! He will take care of it all according to His timing.
Word Count Information from: https://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_WordCount.htm