“These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination to him.”
In our relationship with others we go out of our way to do the things our loved ones like and avoid the things which offend them.
How much more sensitive should we be when we are specifically told there are certain things which God “hates.”
Furthermore, we should understand that God hates, not as men hate, but that his is a holy hatred, a reaction to and recoiling against those things which are evil.
We all know that God loves sinners while at the same time he hates their sins. It was this hatred of sin, in its performance and its results, that caused him to send his Son to redeem men.
Christians, of all people, should exemplify the transforming power of Christ and the new life to be found in him. That we live on the right side of justification is not enough, for he has sent the Holy Spirit to continue his work of transformation. This work of sanctification, never perfected in any of us, should have its roots in those things which are pleasing to God and its guard up against the things which displease him.
What then are the seven things which God “hates”? What are these seven devils against which all of us must do battle?
“A proud look,” or “haughty eyes.”
How many are the Christians whose usefulness in the work of God’s kingdom has foundered on pride. That God resists the proud is an ominous fact. That he hates pride should make every one of us go to our knees, asking that we may be divested of every iota of self-esteem and conceit.
And how foolish is pride! We have nothing that we have not received at God’s hand and our only hope is in him. Pride then becomes an interposing of ourselves between us and God. In a sense it is idolatry in its worst form and it is human folly at its peak.
“A lying tongue.”
God is truth. Satan is a liar and the father of lies. The lying tongue is a trademark of unregenerate heart and an offense so serious that the Bible repeatedly warns against its consequences.
Some jokingly refer to “white lies,” but there is no evidence that God regards the perversion of the truth for anything other than what it is—an offense against Him.
“Hands that shed innocent blood.”
We live in a time when violence is rampant and when acts of violence provide much to be seen on TV programs after the supper hour.
But the innocent blood of many a fellow Christian has been figuratively shed by the critical tongue of another Christian. Some seem determined to build up their own positions by tearing down the good reputations of others.
The lying tongue can shed innocent blood where no knife is used nor shot fired.
Undoubtedly the writer of this portion of the Proverbs was speaking against murderers, but we who are Christians should also regard it in the sense that we can slay the reputations of the righteous by an evil and slanderous tongue.
“A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations.”
Not long ago the writer went into one of the nation’s most famous newsstands to buy a book. In the few weeks interval since he had visited that particular store, it had been openly converted into a purvevor of lewd books and magazines, now displayed at the front of the store and shamelessly designed to attract and ensnare any and all.
No one enjoys a good detective story more than the writer. No one has greater enjoyment for an occasional good novel than he does.
But the books and magazines which are now flooding our newsstands and book stores are the products of diseased minds, minds so obsessed by evil and the exploitation of evil for personal profit that the world has never known such flouting of all that is decent and clean.
That God hates such wicked imaginations is a fact. That he will visit judgment on those who produce such filth and those who feed on it is a fearful thing.
The writer to the Hebrews affirms: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God,” and a little later in the book he says: “For our God is a consuming fire.”
If there were not a hell, God would have to make one for those who wilfully engage in traffic with the souls of men!
“Feet that be swift in running to mischief.”
“Mischief” is any evil work; anything which is contrary: to the law, will, and purpose of a holy God. How easy it is to walk the ways of the world—which are the ways of death! How easy it is to follow the crowd to do evil! How often we partake of other men’s sins by joining them in something we know in our hearts to be wrong!
Evil besets us on every hand. That we have security in the whole armour of God should be sufficient. That we adventure out without that armour is one of the great tragedies of life.
“A false witness that speaketh lies.”
Perjury is an offense against the laws of the land hut unknown and unrecorded except at the courts of heaven are those times when we have borne false witness against our neighbor—yes, our own familiar friend!
Gossip can be the bearing of false witness. Backbiting is a form of false witness. Criticism is often little less than a lie couched in terms of outraged piousness.
Many is the Christian who has suffered just such injury from the lying tongue of a self-righteous gossip.
“He that soweth discord among brethren.”
It is natural that there should be discord in the unregenerate world, for these are men vying for advantage and recognition. Attacks on others is as natural as the snarling and fighting of dogs in a pack.
But what is really distressing is that sowing discord among brethren is not unknown in Christian circles, in fact it is a sin so common that many of us engage in it without any regard for its sinfulness or its consequences.
As Christians we stand in need of a searching of our own souls. Who is not guilty of things which God hates? Who can say he has had no part in the things which God hates—which are an abomination to him?
This being true, how great is our need! Too many of us take a very superficial attitude towards Christ’s redemptive work. For too many of us the blood of Calvary has little meaning.
But it was because of the wickedness of our hearts and lives that Christ died. Our sole hope is in his cleansing power.
These seven “devils” which so often manifest themselves in our lives need to be driven out by the One who alone can save. Our need is great but God’s remedy is effective and all-sufficient.
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