Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The Lord hates six things; in fact, seven are detestable to Him: arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19 HCSB)

The words are arresting.  They stop us in our tracks.  There are things that God hatesseven are specifically named.  This is unsettling.  It is disturbing because we dont like the word hate.  We have had it drummed into our minds not to use the term.  It seems unthinkable to associate that word with God.  God is love the Scripture says.  This truth helps form our concept of God.  Not only do these verses in Proverbs upset us for this reason, but when we read what God is said to hate, it is not what we might have expected these seven deadly sins to be.  Surely, it must be something indescribably perverse and heinousbut some of these are not that badas we might evaluate them.  Several are not even outright actions, just attitudes.  Truth be known, they may lurk in the shadows of our heart even nowand that is disquieting.

But we need the truththe whole truth and nothing but the truth.  The God of love is also the God of wrath.  He who has made a way by His love for us to enter heaven, will also consign those who spurn His love to hell.  As the former doctrine is glorious, the latter is grievous, but both are true.

We have developed an inaccurate picture in our minds of Jesus as being such a sweet, gentle soulsupremely kind and soft-spoken.  He wasand more.  He also walked into a place of worship, overturned massive tables, sending the money and merchandise on them clanging over the floor.  He took some ropes that had been used to tie up sacrificial lambs and used them as a whip, its lashes whistling and cracking through the air, as Incarnate Love drove out the money-changers from the Temple.  Jesus was furiousand it was His love that made Him so.  That crowd was defaming God, because in His holy name, they were being dishonest, and they were harming people, for they had set up shop in the Court of the Gentilesthe only place where a Gentile convert could worship.  How might one concentrate on God, with the sound of people bartering over the currency exchange rate of a Temple shekel or the price of a proper sacrifice?  How might they pray amid the sound of sheep bleating and the smell of animal dung?

The same Holy Spirit who comes as a dovemeek and mildto entreat us to open our hearts and experience peace with God, is also a fire that will consume all that is unholy.  He pleads with sinners to repentand in Acts 2, we see about 3,000 who are won to His call to faith in Christ.  But, in chapter five, we see that as Ananias and Sapphira conspire together and lie to the Holy Spirit, He strikes them deadright in the church meeting!

Here is a reality check for us.  God hates these things, not despite the fact that He is love, but because of it.  Perfect love has pure loathing of all that is contrary to it.  If we loveand God does in the absolute sensethen our great interest is in the best interest of others.  The corollary to that is to hate all that would diminish, defame, defraud and even destroy another.  These seven things do that and therefore God despises themand so should we.

An important mark of a child of God is that he or she is taking on the likeness of their Heavenly Father.  That is, we love what God loves.  It also means that we loathe what God loathes.

What does the Lord hate?  Here is the anatomy of that which God abhors.

ARROGANT EYES, arrogant eyes.  The list begins hereand well it should.  It was such a look that is behind all the suffering and sorrow in the cosmos.  When a beautiful angel named Lucifer, set his eyes on the throne of God, and thought to himself, I deserve a throne like that his arrogant eyes turned him into the Deviland evil was birthed into the universe.  It did not remain in heaven, but invaded the pristine paradise of Eden.  Eve looked at the forbidden fruit, and listened to the Serpents beguiling voice, Eat it and you will be like God.  She looked, she lusted for it, she ate and gave it to her husbandand the curse descended like a plague on the planet.  All that was wondrously good was taintedthe flowers shriveled and the thorns and thistles sprang up in the garden, while animals began to devour one another.  What untold suffering has resulted from arrogant eyes!  No wonder God hates this!  We dare not excuse it. 

Do you look down your nose at others?  God hates such an arrogant lookand so should we.

LYING TONGUES, a lying tongue.  Our tongue is like a bucket which draws from the well of our heartwhatever is in the well is revealed in our words.  God is trueand loves the truthwhile Satan is a liar and all who belong to him are liars also.  Such demonic deceit is fit for those who will spend an eternity with the father of liars as Jesus called Satan (john 8:44), in the Lake of Fire (see Revelation 21:8).  It was a lie that persuaded one-third of the angels to rebel against God.  It was a lie that enticed Adam and Eve to disobey God.  It will be a lie that will deceive the whole world and gather an army at Armageddon to war against Christ.  In fact, the last great world dictatorthe Beast, the Antichrist is called the lie since he is the embodiment of deception, as Jesus is the incarnation of truth.  It is the forked tongue of the Serpent.  God hates itand we should determine to do so.

Come to the Great Physicianopen your mouth, stick out your tongueand say, Ah.  What is on your tongue?  It reveals much about the state of your spiritual health.

BLOODY HANDS, hands that shed innocent blood.  God is the author of life.  People are made in His image.  To shed innocent blood is an affront to the Creator.  Such perverse hate is hated by perfect Love.  Scripture also brands Satan as a murderer (John 8:44).  It was this spirit that moved Cain, mad with monstrous malice, to rise up and kill his own brother, Abel.  In process of time, this spirit of slaughter pervaded the planet, and God had to scour the earth clean of bloodstains by destroying the destroyers in a delugewith only Noah and his family surviving by Gods grace.

Pilate tried to wash his hands of the blood of the Innocent Man.  But, water cant remove those stains.  It is an incredible truth, that the only thing which will cleanse such sin is the very sacrifice of that spotless Lamb of God, which the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate sentenced to death.  But, apart from thatto go into eternity and stand before God with blood on our hands is to be condemned in the High Court of Heaven.  You may say, I have never killed anyone.  Jesus died because of sinmy sin and yours.  We may have just as well been there holding down His limbs, setting the nails, swinging the hammer and raising Him up on the cross.  Have you cried out for pardon to the Great Judge?  He will because of what Jesus did.  Otherwise, look at your handsthey are stained with innocent bloodthe most pure and precious kindthat of Gods only Begotten Son!

WICKED HEARTS, a heart that plots wicked schemes.  The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.  It is interesting, that this is at the center of the catalogue of crimes against Gods holy law.  That is a reflection of this being a core issue.  Jesus said this, For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. (Matt.15:19)  The sewage of sin flows from the cesspool of the wicked heart.  Depravity is bred in the mind, will and emotions of humanity in its state of rebellion against God.  Our imaginations are filled with wicked schemes.  Our will is bent on autonomy from God and His laws.  Our emotions are enflamed with evil desires. 

In fact, our old heart is beyond repair.  We require a transplant--a new heart given in regenerationthe very life of Christ given to us when we receive Him as Lord and Savior. 

Are you born again?  I didn't ask if you have been baptized, belong to a church, believe in  God--for none of that changes who we are.  We may mask our depravity behind a veneer of morality, but without a birth from above we cannot enter the Kingdom above.  That's what Jesus said in John 3 to an extremely religious and respected man.  How can God invite in that which He hates?  And He hates the wicked heart.

EVIL FEET, feet eager to run to evil.  There was a time when the bare feet of the man and the woman beat a path to God, and they walked in step with His will.  Then came sin--and they fled from Him.  His voice brought terror where once it brought joy.  But, you can't stand still spiritually.  Neither did humanity.  Had Adam and Eve continued walking in fellowship with God, that intimacy would have transformed them more and more into the character of their Maker. But, the path chosen led them away from God into the bushes.  Man's story is one of a journey away from God.  Soon, his feet are speeding to an appointment with evil.  Like an adulterer lover running to embrace the object of their lust, we run from the One who loves us so, and warm to the harlot's kisses.  So, if we will not have God's love, He permits us to choose His wrath.

What of the path you are taking?  There are only two choices.  Here they are:

"Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it.  How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it."  (Matthew 7:13, 14 HCSB)

UNJUST LIPS, a lying witness who gives false testimony.  The slanderer who twists things to hurt another, the perjurer who brings condemnation of the innocent through his deceptionthese are despised by God.  God is just.  Injustice is the antithesis of His holy, loving character.  He doesn't tolerate it. On earth, there are those who often get by with it.  In eternity, there will be no unjust person who will evade the justice of God.  Perjury is a crime in a courtroom of the United States, yet we know there are many who will place their hand on a Bible, swear to tell the truth and then tell one lie after another--and often without being  caught.  But, the Supreme Judge of the Universe is watching.  I think of the vile Jezebel who hired false witnesses to testify against an innocent man, Naboth, all because her husband Ahab wanted Naboth's vineyard.  It worked--for a time.  But, then justice fell on Jezebel, and she was hurled to her death--her blood licked up and her flesh devoured by the dogs (see 2 Kings 9).

When you are put on the spot, what directs your decisionexpedience or conviction?

DIVISIVE DISPOSITION, one who stirs up trouble among brothers.  Such people damage feelings, divide families and destroy fellowships.  It is hard to understate the gravity of this sin.  I hate cancer.  It has brought so much sorrow to those I love.  So often it grows undetected, and by the time it is diagnosed, it could be terminal.  I hate the stuff.  I despise the word.  Does it bother you for me to use that kind of forceful language?  You understand it.  Likewise, this spiritual malignancy called discord is a killer.  We should hate it.  God does.  The perfect harmony within the Trinity is the model for unity in the church.  Jesus prayed that we might be one.  He offered that prayer for reconciliation, while just hours before He would shoulder a cross.  Reconciliation to God and to each other is at the heart of the Gospel!  We deny it when we intentionally foment schism.  That is a hateful thing to doand thus, is something that God hates.

The peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9).  Do others think of you as a peacemaker or troublemaker?  Peacemakers resemble their Father God.  And troublemakers? They are like their father the Devil.

Let us fervently pray, Oh God! Help us love what You love and loathe what You loathe! For even in the best of us, there is sometimes found the worst in us.

No comments: