Grace For The Journey
Today’s post completes the “six things God hates” from Proverbs 6:16-19. Yesterday’s blog addressed the first thing God hates: “Pride.” Let’s look at what else is listed in these verses.
2) God Hates “A Lying Tongue; A False Witness.”
Here’s the sin God hates so much He mentions it twice! A lying tongue; a false witness. God hates when we misrepresent truth in the community and in the courthouse. We learn from an early age that lying is wrong. Little boys and girls learn not to lie.
Maybe you’ve heard about the preacher who came across a small group of boys gathered around a cute, puppy dog. The minister asked what they were doing and they said, “We’re all taking turns telling lies. We’ve decided whoever tells the biggest lie wins the dog.” The minister was shocked to hear this and he launched into a ten minute sermon on the evils of lying. When he was finished, he chided the boys and said, “When I was your age I never told a lie.” The boys looked at one another and one of them said, “Okay mister, you win the dog.”
Grown adults can lie, too. Sometimes lies come in the form of flattery:
- We “butter people up” in order to get something we want.
- We say things that really aren’t true.
- We hope to get a promotion at work so we say to the supervisor, “That was a great presentation!” when we were really so bored we started counting light bulbs in the chandelier; “Oh, that was a wonderful song!” when we really didn’t like it that much; “You look great!” when we think they really don’t.
God hates a lying tongue and a false witness. We should hate what God hates. Never lie. We should always be committed to tell the truth. If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all. Be honest.
3) God Hates “Hands that shed Innocent Blood.”
This statement refers to the killing of the innocent. To be clear, the Bible permits the taking of a guilty person’s life when that person maliciously kills another. Capital punishment is biblically justified for especially heinous murders (Exodus 21). This is not what Solomon is addressing here. What God hates is when people shed “innocent” blood.
Murder is rooted in self-centeredness. We kill someone because we are angry. We kill to get something we want. We kill someone because they “get in the way” of our desires.
Tragically, this sin can occur in the womb of a mother. Who is more innocent, more defenseless, than an unborn baby in its mother’s womb? God hates the hands of doctors who shed innocent blood. God said to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” – When? Before Jeremiah was born, before he was even formed in his mother’s womb. The abortion of a child for convenience sake is murder plain and simple. It is the killing of someone because they “get in the way” of another’s desires and plans.
God hates that and so should we. Yet, if you have ever had an abortion or you know someone who has had an abortion, you can rejoice that the grace of Jesus Christ is extended to the one who repents of this tragic decision. God forgives our sin when we turn to Him in repentance and ask for His forgiveness.
4) God Hates “A Heart that Devises Wicked Plans.”
This reminds me of Proverbs 4:14-16, “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on. For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.”
The picture this puts in our mind of someone lying awake at night, planning wicked deeds against their enemy. Have you ever stewed over someone who has hurt you or offended you? Have you ever thought, “Man, I wish I had said so and so to that person. I’ll show him. Just wait.”
God hates that. God hates a heart that devises wicked plans. A good memory verse is Romans 12:19, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Paul is quoting from Deuteronomy. God says, “Vengeance is Mine. I will repay.”
Don’t seek revenge upon those who hurt you. Leave that to God.
5) God Hates “Feet that are Swift in Running to Evil.”
This statement refers to the rushing on toward sin with eyes wide open. The Puritans often spoke of sins of commission and sins of omission. The sin of omission occurs when we fail to do something God has told us to do. It is a passive sin. God has impressed upon our heart, for example, to witness to that person seated next to us. We do not do it. That is a sin. We have omitted the doing of something God has impressed upon us to do.
Sins of commission, on the other hand, are the doing of things that we know are wrong, but we rush right into them, doing them anyway. These are active sins and it seems to be these sins that Solomon has in view in this statement. God hates “feet that are swift in running to evil.” We know it is wrong, but we do it anyway, like feet running in a race as fast as possible.
Proverbs 1:15-16, tells us that the company we keep can lead us to sin in this way: “My son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path; for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.
Or, as Solomon says later in Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with the wise will himself become wise; but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
We must not fraternize and hang out with those whose feet are swift in running to evil or we will find our own feet becoming swifter in running to evil, as well.
6) God Hates “One Who Sows Discord among Brethren.”
God hates it when people are divisive. This statement is tied closely to the sin of gossip. We’ll deal with that in a future post as we examine the importance of carefully choosing the words that come out of our mouths.
The specific sin mentioned here has to do with one who gossips in such a way as to divide the body of Christ, bringing disharmony and disunity upon the fellowship.
The agrarian imagery of sowing is helpful here. Solomon writes that a person who gossips is like a farmer who “sows.” Think about it: a farmer sows seed in order to yield a harvest, a crop, to benefit others. This man, the man that God hates in verse 19 is a man who “sows” the seed of discord, hoping to yield his own harvest, caring nothing for how his words affect others, wishing only to get his own way.
God hates a person who sows the seed of discord. God help us watch our mouths! As Paul writes in Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt.” The idea is that when you open your mouth only graceful and gracious things should come out, a wonderful seasoning of words that serve to build up your brothers and sisters. O,r as Jesus says in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”
God hates these six things and so should we. But remember: It is not that we follow these commands as a means to gain approval with God. We can’t! We are sinners. The only way we can have God’s approval is through Jesus Christ. Jesus lived for us, died for us, and rose from the dead for us.
Christians hate what God hates because they have new hearts. And when Christians walk by the Spirit they love what God loves.
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.”