These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
This passage stands out in Proverbs to me. My tendency is to think about what God loves. God IS love, and 1 John tells us that whoever loves abides in Him. I want to abide in God, don’t you? I know that God is love, but what does this God who is love hate. What does the Bible say that God hates?
There are at least 45 things that the Bible says are an abomination to God or that God hates or despises. I won’t take time to list them all, but I will say that most of them are mentioned in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy mentions 14 things God hates and Proverbs mentions 15 things God hates. All of them are things that stand against God’s holy character and man’s relationship to God.
Let’s look at this list in Proverbs 6:16-19 and then I want to suggest a helpful application.
16 – God hates a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood.
1. A proud or arrogant look is the first on the list. God knows how dangerous pride is to our relationship to Him and one another. Pride and arrogance are self-centered. They blind us from our need for God and His grace and deceive our hearts with self importance. Pride slips into our hearts almost without notice and takes root there. Pride quickly begins changing our values and adjusts our focus from others to self, feeding our sense of justification for defending self and promoting self, twisting God’s word and will in the process. For instance: Pride says to the Christian, “You can’t love others until you love yourself.” Jesus says, “Deny yourself.” Pride says, “Love and protect yourself.”
Jesus says, “Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat, what you will drink and what you will wear. Your Father will take care of you if you seek His kingdom first!” Pride says, “I must take care of myself or nobody else will. Besides, I know what I want and what I need more than anyone else and I deserve to have whatever I can get for myself.” The letter I is right in the middle of the word “pride.”
God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. God hates pride but God loves humility.
2. God hates a lying tongue. Twice in this passage we see this: here and in verse 19. Lying is in direct conflict with God’s character. Let God be true and every man a liar, says the scripture in Romans 3:4. Jesus said of the Devil that he is a liar and the father of lies and when he lies he speaks his native tongue.
God hates a lying tongue. Lies turn men’s hearts from the truth. A clever, believable lie can destroy your relationship with God. Genesis 3 shows us this most clearly. God warned Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil or he would die. Satan said, “You will not die.” What did that lie accomplish? What did it cause in the heart of Eve? What happens when decisions are made on lies? What kind of foundation for living can a lie support? God hates lying tongues that spread falsehood and illusions as if they were true.
In a world full of lies, it’s hard to recognize truth. Ask Pilate. Jesus stood before Pilate and said, “All who are on the side of truth, listen to me.” Pilate’s reply? “What is truth?”
God is truth. Lies lead us away from God and God hates that because God is love and truth and God wants both an honest and true relationship with us.
3. God hates – hands that shed innocent blood. Did you know that a babies heart begins beating about three weeks after conception? Three weeks! Is there anything more innocent in this world than a baby? Is there any more innocent blood that could be shed than a human baby’s blood?
God hates hands that shed innocent blood. Abortion reverses the words of God when He created us male and female. Genesis 1 pronounces God’s blessing on us. Get that clear: God’s blessing… and what was that blessing? Be fruitful and multiply and plenish the earth. How does shedding the blood of an unborn baby appear in the light of God’s words of blessing? God hates hands that shed innocent blood. Could that not imply that God loves hands that save innocent blood? Does God love hands that defend innocent blood? Harrison Gibbs told me this week that he and his wife want to start their family by adopting a child. Statistically, if every church in America had ONE family to adopt ONE child this year, all the orphans in America would be adopted. Hands that save innocent blood, God loves you!
4. God hates hearts that devise wicked plans. What kind of heart is that? We’ve just studied about David’s life. What happened to David’s heart when he was tempted as he looked upon Bathsheba? David’s heart was vulnerable. Yours is, mine is, everyone’s is. But David’s heart turned back to God in repentance and obedience. David prayed, create in me a clean heart, O God! Renew a steadfast Spirit within me! Jesus taught us to pray to our Father in heaven: “Lead us NOT into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” This was the last request in the Lord’s prayer. We need this. I need this. If God hates a heart that devises wicked plans, does He not love a heart that devotes itself to His plans? God’s plans are good. His purposes are holy, just and true. He commands us to love Him with all our heart. This is for our own good, so that God can bless us and bless others through us and bring us into eternal glory.
5. God hates feet that are swift in running to evil. This completes the body parts list: hands, tongues, hearts and feet. Proverbs literally fleshes out these things that God hates. Feet that run to evil or mischief… what is this about? What kinds of evils do some people find attractive and consider worthy of their pursuit? The story of Joseph gives us both sides of this when Joseph was a slave of Potiphar. The Bible tells us that Joseph was handsome and well built, and that Potiphar’s wife began to pursue Joseph. She was running to evil, and Joseph had to run from her to escape her evil plans. What directed the course of her feet, and what directed the course of Joseph’s feet?
God hates feet that are swift in running to evil. Does God love feet that run from evil? Now here’s part of the challenge. Does it always bring swift rewards to run from evil? No. You don’t always immediately see a blessing when you flee the appearance of evil. But if you keep on trusting God’s grace and endure the trials before you in faith, you will reap a great reward! It will be greater by far than the temporal thrill of evil, and it will come with God’s favor and blessing.
6. God hates a false witness who speaks lies. Again, a reminder of the dangers of this sin as we saw in verse 16.
7. God hates one who sows discord among brethren. Nothing is as ugly and sad as a broken home. God’s greatest commandments are first to love God, second to love others. Those who sow discord work to destroy both of these. You can not love God whom you have not seen and hate your brother whom you have seen. Those who say otherwise are practicing number six. God hates one who sows discord among brethren. Does God love the peacemaker who sows peace and unity? Absolutely!
So… our lesson gives us 14 things. Seven things God hates and seven things God loves.
God loves the humble, the honest, the defender of the innocent.
God loves the heart that seeks His kingdom and the feet that run to His righteousness.
God loves the one who speaks the truth and who sows unity and peace.
May we all give ourselves to the things God loves and flee from those things God hates.