Read: Proverbs 6:16-19
There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
Hate! Detest! Those are words we don’t normally associate with God. After all, God is love. Right? The fact is, God is love, and yet he experiences the emotions of hate, abhorrence and anger without having his goodness or graciousness diminished in the least. In fact, God’s capacity to become incensed over certain things is an appropriate and vital part of love.
Love, for instance, demands the emotion of anger, even hate, over injustice, neglect or abuse. Goodness gets upset over evil. Grace presupposes the need for itself, recognizing the need to compensate for disgrace. So the hatred and disgust of God should not be surprising to anyone who truly understands God’s character. Rather, it should be expected and even appreciated.
What is it that causes God such deep pleasure? Seven things, according to this proverb: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, bloody hands, wicked schemings, evil ambitions, false witnessing and divisiveness. Interestingly, these seven things listed in verses 16-19 are a recap of Solomon’s warnings given earlier in the chapter in verses 12-14:
“Haughty eyes” is referred to in verse 13, where Solomon speaks of one who “winks with his eyes.” It refers to someone who has a proud heart, or is prideful.
“A lying tongue” is called a “perverse mouth” in verse 12. Since lying is prohibited in the Top 10 List of Divine Prohibitions, it is no wonder that God detests lies and liars.
“Hands that shed innocent blood” that is referred to in verse 13 refers to “fingers” that slyly signal deceit, showing that bloody hands can also refer to one who personally, deliberately and strategically profits at the expense or misfortune of another.
“A heart that devises wicked schemes” is one who “plots evil with deceit in his heart” in verse 14. It is a conniving person who is completely out of step with the loving heart of God.
“Feet that are quick to evil” is “one who shuffles his feet”in verse 13. This is a person whose first inclination is toward evil. Their initial tendency is always and aggressively sinful.
“A false witness that pours out lies” is the “corrupt mouth” of verse 12. It is one who violates the ninth commandment, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
“One who stirs up dissension among brothers” is talked about as one who “always stirs up trouble” (NLT) in verse 14. This one is an agitator who thrives on discord.
Make no mistake, the God of love and grace we know expresses hatred toward those who hearts are habitually inclined toward these kinds of wicked and destructive behaviors.
But this list of seven things God hates is also interesting in that it tells us quite a bit about the character of God. If you know what someone passionately dislikes, you know a lot about that person. What does God’s hatred tell us about his character?
That he is a God who values true humility (clearly demonstrated in Jesus, who being in very nature, God, humbled himself—Philippians 2). He is a God of truth (God is not prone to human weakness that he would lie—Numbers 23:19). He is a protector and advocate of the downtrodden and disadvantaged (He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing—Deuteronomy 10:18). He is a God whose motives are pure (with him there is no shadow of turning—James 1:17). He is quick to do good (How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts—Matthew 7:11. He is a God of justice (The Lord is known by his justice—Psalm 9:16). And he is a God of unity (Jesus’ most urgent prayer was that his followers would be one, just as he and the Father were one—John 17:12).
Living in God’s pleasure means more than avoiding his anger and his wrath, particularly by avoiding these seven no-no’s. It is also understanding his character and cultivating his qualities in our lives until we are conformed to the very image of his Son. When we truly understand what God hates, we will hate it too, and will avoid those kind of behaviors with a passion. And when we truly understand what God loves, we will passionately pursue those qualities.
A love-hate relationship….hmmm…maybe there’s something to it!
Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It:
Honestly ask yourself if any of those seven sins are habitually present in your life. Ask someone who knows you if they are characteristic of you in any way. Be ready to listen to their honest answer.
If you are weak in any one of these seven areas, take a moment to prayerfully write down an action plan to eliminate that weakness from your life.