I was listening to the Bible on-line, the book of Proverbs, the other day and something really stood out to me. Since Proverbs has always been one of my favorite books I wonder how it is that this passage never stood out so clearly to me before. I love that about studying the Bible, something new is always being revealed to me. Anyway here are the verses.
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19, (English Standard Version or ESV).
Seven abominations that God hates…HATES! Here’s the list in my paraphrase:
1) Haughty eyes or 1. disdainfully proud; snobbish; scornfully arrogant; supercilious: haughty aristocrats; a haughty sales clerk. 2. Archaic. lofty or noble; exalted. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/haughty
2) Lying or 1. the telling of lies, or false statements; untruthfulness 2. telling or containing lies; deliberately untruthful; deceitful; false http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lying
3) Killing innocent human beings (yes the unborn are such innocent human beings)
4) Planning evil and wicked acts
5) Bent toward evil and not good
6) Telling lies in court
7) Causing and promoting disharmony among Christians
What a list! I can’t help but think about the first abomination. I have met people who had such eyes and I can imagine you have too. But what strikes me here is how many times I have looked at someone else with such eyes! Ouch. We are to be a humble people and not proud. Yet when I saw my children or myself succeed after a long goal is finally reached pride is what I feel and you can see it written all over my face! So is this the type of pride that is described here? I don’t think so. While that type of pride can become haughty I think this type of pride causes a person to think they are better than anyone else, that they are so proud they become a snob and full of disdain for others. I think a lot of celebrities and politicians come to mind when I think of such eyes…and a few mere mortals that I have had the displeasure to know come to mind also. We are not any better or worse than anyone else, not really, because we are all sinners before our Lord. Before God we all will stand and my hope for me and for you too is that we are not viewed with Haughty Eyes by Jesus.
The second on the list is also interesting. Have you ever told a lie? Not even a little fib to get yourself out of trouble or keep from telling a friend that their butt does look big in that outfit? We all have been guilty of lying. Our culture not only accepts lying as a part of life but we are encouraged to lie to one another. Think of all the advertisements we are bombarded with each day, they become lies and are built on lies…do you really need Viagra or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or the newest model of car? Is Ford really better than Chevy? It isn’t just the culture that lies to us but we lie to ourselves also. Lies are a way of life for many people today but as Christians we are not to lie especially to each other. Remember that lying is an abomination to God!
Number three is shedding innocent blood. I suppose that if we don’t think someone is innocent it is alright to go ahead and kill them? Perhaps a serial killer will use that line of reasoning. But I think most of us who still have some conscience intact realize the reference here is not to murder other human beings. Our culture has some protections for some murders though, such as when we are defending ourselves and our property. While I appreciate such protection, I am not sure that I would ever be able to murder someone. I think you have to be terribly afraid and perhaps awfully angry to commit such an act. There are many women, however, that follow the law and yet still shed innocent blood when they undergo an abortion. I know this is a touchy subject today but I don’t believe abortion is ever an answer. I am not a supporter of abortion. I have not killed anyone either. Finally an abomination I am not guilty of!
The next abomination is having an evil heart and using it! An example that comes to mind is a person that plans evil and then carries out their evil plan. There are so many ways in which this can be carried out and often with cultural approval. A person who plans to destroy another person’s reputation or marriage or family is guilty of this abomination. A person who gossips to feed the fury of the destruction comes to mind. The person that gets caught doing something evil comes to mind. I think we all can understand what this abomination is all about. Am I guilty of this abomination? Have I ever deliberately said or not said something about someone else that was damaging to them? Yes..yes..and yes, sad to say and I am sure that I am not alone in this admission. So another abomination snares me. But have I set out to deliberately hurt that person or was it just a momentary slip? Only God knows and only God will judge me.
Number five reminds me of the little boy who runs to tell the grown-up that little Johnny and little Billy are fist fighting because of some incident. Do you remember the tattle-tales in your life? I do. As a parent I was glad to have the information but disheartened in the way it came to me. Teachers and day-care providers get a lot of tattle-tails wagging around them. When an adult runs to share evil with evil intent it is an abomination. I like to think of myself as having a bent toward good but after analyzing this passage I wonder if my self-analysis is correct. I am probably guilt of this at one time or another as well.
Have you ever been a witness in court? I have and it is not something fun to do. You stand before a judge and raise your right hand and promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. In our society today it is so easy to manipulate facts and still call them truth. I can honestly say that when I gave my testimony I told the truth completely and honestly to the very best of my ability. I hope that you can also claim this as true of you. I have seen someone lie under oath and have the lies exposed in the courtroom. It is not a pleasant sight to view; in fact it made me rather ill to realize that someone can rationalize so many untruths into their version of the truth. Enough said.
This last abomination, causing disharmony among the family of God, could be aimed specifically at Godly people, people who claim to be Christians. It also can mean someone who is deliberately causing ill feelings between Christians. That person might not claim Christ as their Lord and Savior; it might just be someone in a bystander role. But anyone who tries to get a fight or an argument started between one group of Christians and another is guilty of this. I can’t think of anything worse than feuding brothers and sisters in Christ. This type of behavior is ugly and the opposite of what we as Christians stand for. We are not to be anything but loving toward one another.
So how about all of this, do you see yourself in some of these abominations? Be honest with yourself. I think all of us are guilty of some and perhaps all of these. I have been honest with all of you and admitted that I am guilty of some of these, and I am not glad about this admission. I am thankful for this list, though, because it reminds me that there are behaviors and attributes and thoughts that God does not approve of, in fact He hates. I don’t want Him to hate me.
Since we have looked up some of the definitions on-line, perhaps we should see what the word abomination means. 1. anything abominable; anything greatly disliked or abhorred. 2. intense aversion or loathing; detestation. 3. a vile, shameful, or detestable action, condition, habit, etc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/abomination?s=t
I think these definitions help us to understand that God has a real hatred for these seven things. I mean, look at the words used here, “disliked, abhorred, detestation, vile, shameful, condition, habit.” Habit? Really? Hmmm, like a habit of lying, gossip, porn, pride? Or a habit of participating in evil thoughts and evil deeds. I think anything we do can become a habit, even having the habit of cynicism or jumping to conclusions or how about a habit of listening in on other people’s conversations so you can blab about them! God hates it all.
I don’t know about you, but this passage is very convicting to me. I don’t want to face God without Jesus, do you? I mean being forgiven of my sins is so important and only Jesus can facilitate that forgiveness. I am thankful for the free gift of grace and mercy that became mine when I accepted Jesus into my heart so many years ago. Thank you God, for sending Jesus to die in my place on the cross. Thank you Jesus for sending Christians like me the Holy Spirit to comfort and convict. Thank you Holy Spirit for doing your job so well. What more is there to say!
Until next time…Katherine