Seven Things that God Hates Proverbs 6:16-19
Lists. What would we do without lists? From grocery to to-do, days can be tracked by the lists that are kept. But this is nothing novel or new. Since mankind had more to do than hunt and eat, we have been prioritizing activities and remembering what to pick up by jutting it down. Ark Fry and Spencer Silver understood this seeming genetically programed activity and made a fortune with Post-it notes. I like Post-its. The thrill of crumpling one up and pitching in the circular file is almost beyond description.
The writer of Proverbs would have been a Post-it person. As God led him write, he did not hesitate to use the list. This is not surprising and just may well be a genetic thing since God communicates to us with lists. Since He made us it is reasonable to suggest that He knows how best to teach us. Think of the notable lists found in the Bible. The whole book starts with a list within which God placed the order He created the universe, especially the earthbound stuff. God gave Noah a list of Ark passengers, the Israelites a list of ten commands, Micah of list of His expectations of us, and the Apostle John three lists of seven judgments. God knows we do better with a list.
Now back to Proverbs. In Proverbs 1:8-19, the king gave his son a list of reasons why picking the right friends is important. In Proverbs 4, Solomon gave a list of the actions of the person who walks the righteous path (vs.18-27). In 6:16-19, he gave a list of seven things the Lord cannot stand. This is the text for this study. Take a moment and read what really angers God, things of which Solomon wrote, “These are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to Him” (6:16). You may be surprised what you find for this is not the list of the proverbial “Seven Deadly Sins”.
Let’s simply walk down this list and see what we need to glean. I don’t know about you but when I hear there are things that God hates I want to know what those things are. I kind of see it as essential information for the person that wants to please to the Lord and not one that angers Him. And let’s not be mistaken, there are things that we can do that anger God; activities that He hates. The word translated “hates” describes something or someone which is enemy of God. This is not quite the picture most people have of God but it is an accurate picture of the God who is. So what does God say that He hates?
Number One: haughty eyes (v.17). What? Simply put, a person who is vain, egotistical, self-absorbed. Or as some might say, a person who thinks they’re all that. Why would God hate this attribute in a person? Because the person who believes they have arrived at the top, who believes he or she needs nothing from anyone is also one who puts Christ on the anyone list. Later God would remind us that a haughty spirit proceeds the fall (Proverbs 16:18).
Number Two: a lying tongue. This is an easy one. With God being the source of all truth, since Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life” and the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth, then it is reasonable to think that He would hate anything that is not true or that led others away from the truth. As a matter of fact Jesus called Satan the “father of lies” (John 8:4) and we know what God thinks about Satan.
Number Three: hands that shed innocent blood. Again this is not hard to understand. God is the champion of the downtrodden and mistreated. He shows mercy and grace not to the innocent but the guilty. If He will do that for those who have earned destruction, if He has shown mercy what would He expect those who have been shown mercy to show? Also, there is more to innocent blood than the careless, heartless taking of life. It also includes, perhaps most widely applied, the killing of an innocent person by destroying their reputation.
Number Four: a heart that devises wicked schemes (note this one is at the center of things that God hates, v.18). This is the person whose heart has not been changed by God and lives to satisfy itself not matter the cost to others. Even more, this is the heart that has no regard for what God commands, what God requires. This is the heart that is always looking at getting ahead, hurting another, or causing chaos.
Number Five: feet that are quick to rush to evil. This is the person who cannot wait and without restraint jumps into that which God says is wrong. They don’t care what God says and don’t even think of what their actions may cause. They just like to sin and without hesitating jump right into it.
Number Six: a false witness (v.19). This is a bit different than the liar, for the false witness is intentionally withholding the truth to the harm of another. It is a courtroom idea but not limited to the witness box. More times than not this happens on the job or at school or with friends when a person does not stand up for another to right a wrong or tells a lie about another.
Number Seven: and a man who stirs up dissention among brother, i.e. a trouble-maker. What does God think about this? Just read John 17. The last thing Jesus prayed for, for His followers, was that they would be unified, that they would get along. God hates the one who so enjoys stirring the pot.
There we have it; seven things that God hates. And here’s a reasonable closing question: In an honest evaluating, do you see yourself anywhere in this list?