Grace For The Journey
It’s easy to talk about the love of God, but talking about the hatred of God raises a few eyebrows. Indeed, we often speak of the love of God as though He could hate nothing at all. But philosophically, we know that in order for God to really love He must equally be able to really hate. More importantly, we know from Scripture that the Bible does in fact speak of God’s hating certain things.
- God says in Malachi 2:16, for example, “I hate divorce.”
- In Revelation 2:6, Jesus commends the church at Ephesus by saying, “You hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans which I also hate.”
God does hate certain things. In our survey of the Book of Proverbs we have come to a list of six things in particular that God hates. Here is what the Bible says in Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.”
This is not an exhaustive list of the things that God hates, but it is a list of some of the more heinous sins that provoke the wrath of God. In fact, verse 16 includes the word “abomination.” Solomon writes, “seven are an abomination.”
This formula, “Six…seven” is similar to the prophet Amos’ style in Amos 1:3, “For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment . . . for three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment.” This was a way of stressing the severity of the sin. It’s as if Solomon is saying. “Here there are six things here that God hates – really seven,” the number of wholeness.
These six things God hates are, of course, things that we should hate as well. As I studied the list, I thought about how guilty I was of doing some of these very things that God hates.
It is at this point that we remember why Jesus Christ died for our sins. Reading the Proverbs is an exercise in grace. We read of things that displease God and we are reminded of our inability to really please Him, if left to ourselves. Who among us has never been guilty of one of these six things?
Our failures point us to the Lord Jesus Christ who Himself perfectly lived a righteous life that we could not live ourselves. By faith in Christ God imputes Christ’s righteousness to us and we are declared “not guilty” of our failures. That truth, then, spurs us on to live out these commands in the strength and power of our Lord Jesus Christ who is always with us. We want to please God.
So . . .
It’s not legalism,
It is grace.
We really want to live out what the Bible teaches because, for the Christian, even if we fail to live out these commands, we’re still forgiven in God’s sight! In the words of Isaac Watts:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my life, my soul, my all!
Today, let’s consider just the first “thing” that God hates. We’ll look at the other five in future posts.
1) God Hates “A Proud Look.”
Pride may well be considered the mother of all sins. It seems that most sins are rooted in pride, an unhealthy focus upon self. When we focus upon the self, we will sin. Unforgiveness, for example, is nothing less than pride. I have been hurt and offended. My “pride” has been hurt and I wrongly believe that the offender should come crawling to me, begging me for forgiveness.
- Sexual immorality is an over-focus upon gratifying the self. It is rooted in pride.
- Lying, when done to make ourselves look better, is rooted in pride.
- Stealing is rooted in the idea of believing our needs to be more important than another’s.
Pride is the first sin mentioned in the Bible. Our theology of Satan is rooted in the belief that it was Satan’s desire to be like God that caused him to be cast down from the glories of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-13; Ezekiel 28:13-19; cf. Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:9).
The pride God often condemns in Scripture is the sin of having an arrogant, conceited, boastful, vain, full-of-ourselves, self-important spirit. God hates that.
Yet so much of Christianity smacks of pride. Churches boast of large church rolls and the “numbers” reported on denominational reports. Christians often mask their pride in a sort of “false humility” that really draws attention to the self, seeking the approval and applause of men – just look at the daily Twitter feed!
Young Christians are especially vulnerable to pride. For this reason, Paul says that pastors should not be new Christians “lest they become puffed-up with pride and fall into the same condemnation as the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6).
Pride comes too easily for many new believers. A person gets saved and is so excited and begins studying the Bible for the first time and really discovering all the wonderful new truths. Many of the truths are new to him, but not new to others. He goes around as though no one else has discovered what he has discovered. He boasts of his knowledge. He lectures others. His pride makes him an offense to others. God hates that. Don’t we all
The Bible teaches that the change that Christ brings when we accept Him as Savior, it completely opposite of this.
- Be a person of humility.
- Jesus taught this time and again. Don’t be judgmental (Matthew 7:1-2).
- When we are invited to a get-together of some kind, we are to take the lowest seat at the table (Lke 14:10).
- He who desires to be greatest among you, let him be a servant to all (Matthew 20:25-26).
We must exercise grace and love towards those who offend us this way.
This is God Word …
This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”