God loves. God also hates. (Psalm 11:5; Rom. 9:13).
These are not emotional terms when speaking of God. They are relational. This is how He relates to us. And often we look at the circumstances of our daily lives and we try to extrapolate from different situations whether we see in these things the love or hatred of God toward us. We believe when we see blessing that this is evidence of God’s love and when we suffer difficulty we suspect God has “cursed” us, or turned from helping us.
However, Ecclesiastes 9:1 tells us, “For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them.”
The righteous, the wise, and their works are in the hands of God. What better place to be? But the next phrase, “People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them” means that there is nothing in our outward circumstances that can be used to say definitively that God loves or hates us. The proof is seen in verse 2, “All things come alike to all: One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; To the good, the clean, and the unclean; To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.”
To say all things come alike to all is to see that God sends rain on the just and the unjust. He has given gifts to the whole of mankind. We will also all share in one event alike, this one event that will occur in every life – namely, death. All die. The righteous, the wicked, the clean, the unclean. We all will die unless Christ returns while we are alive, and the events of this life happen to all of us.
Think about it. Wicked Ahab was killed in battle, surely as a sign of God’s hatred, right? But Godly King Josiah also was struck down in battle. These events do not testify to their standing before God because the events of daily life happen to us all.
We would like to think that we can see God’s love in prosperity or long life. Riches and wealth do not tell us anything about the love or hatred of God toward us. Abraham was rich. So was Haman.
At times the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer lack. At other times the righteous prosper and the wicked suffer lack. It is not because one pleases God and the other does not. It is because God’s love is not proved by outward circumstances but by the security that comes from knowing whatever the circumstances of our life in this world, if we are righteous and wise, He holds us and our works in His hands, never to be plucked away or lost.
Don’t look to your circumstances for assurance, confidence, or hope. Look to the One who holds you in His hands and will not ever let go. John 10:28; Rom. 8:38-39.