We know that people hate things. You hate things. I hate things. Here’s a list of things my Facebook friends hate based on a quick poll:
- Bad drivers
- Taco Bell
- “Cords. Tangled cords. Long cords. Short cords. Cords in my way. ALL THE CORDS.”
- Animal abuse
- Child abuse
It’s not surprising to hear that people hate things. But it is jarring to hear that God hates things.
16There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
17haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
19a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
Let’s look more closely at seven things the Lord hates:
- Haughty eyes
This is about how we see people. It’s the perception that others are less valuable.
- Lying tongues
This his about how we speak to people. It’s the verbal effort to deceive others.
- Hands that shed innocent blood
This is about how we treat people. It’s hurting others.
- A heart that devises wicked schemes
This is about how we plan our lives. It’s the tendency to plan bad things.
- Feet that make haste to run to evil
This is about our moral reflexes. It’s quickness to do wrong.
- A false witness who breathes out lies
This is about how we influence people’s perceptions of others. It’s a making people believe negative lies about others.
- One who sows discord among brothers
This is about how we influence people’s relationships. It’s causing division among those who should be united.
Based on this we can infer that God loves:
- Humble eyes
- Truth-telling tongues
- Hands that protect the innocent
- A heart that devises good plans
- Feet that make haste to run to good
- A true witness that breathes out truth
- One who sows peace among brothers
Questions we should ask ourselves in response:
- Are my eyes haughty or humble?
- Is my tongue deceitful or truthful?
- Do my hands hurt or help innocent people?
- Does my heart plan evil or good?
- Do my feet rush to evil or good?
- Do I breathe out lies or truths about others?
- Do I sow discord or peace among others?
Only Jesus perfectly embodied all that God loves. His mercy and grace are sufficient to transform us from objects of God’s hatred into objects of his love, from haughty to humble, from deceitful to truthful, from hurtful to helpful, from evil to good, from divisive to unifying.
- How can God, who is love (1 John 4:8) and loves the world (John 3:16), hate people? How does God’s hate differ from our hate? What scriptures come to mind that might shed light on this?
- What are some implications of Proverbs 6:16-19?
- Of the seven things listed in the passage, which do you see most prominently in our culture (both church and secular cultures)?
- Which of the seven things do you struggle with the most in your own life?
- What would it look like for us to live perfectly in light of this passage?