Seven Things God Hates
Many believers today emphasize the wonderful truth of God’s love, and rightly so, but at the same time they seem to forget the fact that God also hates that which is evil. Proverbs 6:16-19 speaks of seven specific things the Lord hates, all of which are “an abomination” to Him (v. 16) and which we also should hate and avoid. The Bible reveals many other things God hates, but let us consider the seven sins listed in this text. Read this portion and ask the Lord to help you heed these warnings. These common sins can affect even mature saints.
A Proud Look
A proud look is the result of a proud heart and mind. Pride is extremely dangerous and far more prevalent than most would admit. It is, of course, far easier to recognize pride in the lives of others than in ourselves. How dangerous is pride? God says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18). The heathen King Nebuchadnezzar learned this lesson the hard way and was forced to admit that those who “walk in pride [God] is able to abase” (Dan. 4:37). The Lord said to His people in Obadiah 3, “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee.” Also, one of the reasons why the Bible warns believers against worldliness is that it is always accompanied by lust and pride (1 Jn. 2:15-17). In James 4:6, we learn that “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” Pride in the heart mars one’s relationship with the Lord; conversely, humility enables the believer to freely enjoy the abundant grace of God. Humbling ourselves under God’s mighty hand will always bring His exaltation in due time (1 Pet. 5:6). Christian, beware of the dangerous and deceitful sin of pride.
A Lying Tongue
Lying is a way of life for many people; however, God hates lying, and so should we. Expressions such as “white lies” or “half-truths” are feeble attempts to justify lying, but anything short of the truth is an abomination to the Lord (Prov. 12:22). The Bible commands believers to put away lying and to “speak every man truth with his neighbour” (Eph. 4:25). Failure to obey God’s Word in this matter has produced untold confusion in the church. In John 8:44, the Lord Jesus Christ exposed the hypocrisy of the false religious leaders of His day, telling them that they were of their father the devil who is “a liar, and the father of it.” In 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 the apostle Paul reveals how the coming Antichrist will deceive the world by “signs and lying wonders,” noting that those who reject the truth will believe his lies. We can observe how, even now, this world is being conditioned to embrace such deception.
In the Old Testament, God warned about religious leaders who prophesied lies in His name (Jer. 14:14). We today likewise need to heed this same warning. Many charismatic deceivers falsely claim to speak in Christ’s name and dazzle millions with their “lying wonders.” Some evangelical leaders are also lying to their followers by substituting human opinion for God’s Word. Even Job recognized that his “friends” were “forgers of lies” and, therefore, were “physicians of no value” (Job 13:4). Sincerity could not hide the fact that these men were liars, for they gave Job the counsel of their own hearts rather than the counsel of God. Our Lord abhors a lying tongue (Prov. 6:17)! We, too, must hate the sin of lying and, instead, always speak in honesty and truth.
Hands That Shed Innocent Blood
God hates murder. In fact, one of His earliest commands to mankind decreed the death penalty for this sin (Gen. 9:6). Cain, the first son of Adam and Eve, committed the first murder (Gen. 4:8). Murder has plagued society in every generation, but today this heinous sin has become almost commonplace. In Ecclesiastes 8:11, the Lord reveals a primary reason for the increase of murder and all other sins: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” In addition, millions of unborn babies are being murdered by abortionists who defend such murders as an expression of a woman’s “freedom of choice.” As terrible as was the slaughter of so many innocent babies by the wicked King Herod in his vain attempt to kill Jesus Christ (Matt. 2:16-18), the murder of millions of babies by their own mothers through abortions can only be explained by the fact that most today care just about themselves and totally disregard the Word of God. But the Lord will not hold such murderers guiltless, despite how brashly they proclaim their freedom and innocence in committing these selfish acts.
The Bible recognizes the difference between deliberate, premeditated murder and those deaths that occur by accident (Num. 35:9-34). Because God hates the shedding of innocent blood, the sin of murder requires justice. An orderly, God-ordained society must require accountability when one harms another individual (Rom. 13:1-7). As believers, we must give the Lord’s explanation and remedy for crime and violence and exhort those in authority over us to comply with the principles of God’s Word.
God has always revealed His will to mankind. Yet, even from the beginning, men and women have replaced God’s Word with their own evil imaginations. Of course, Satan did this in the garden of Eden, and Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan rather than God. The flood in Noah’s day was God’s judgment upon mankind, whom He described in Genesis 6:5 in the following way: “Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” When God’s judgment fell once again at the Tower of Babel, it was because He knew that “now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” (Gen. 11:6). Furthermore, in the days of Jeremiah, the Lord sternly rebuked the false prophets who promised peace and safety even though they were walking “after the imagination of [their] own heart” (Jer. 23:17); the true prophet was to “speak [God’s] word faithfully” (Jer. 23:28-32).
Read Romans 1:18-32 to see the sad spiritual plight of those who were “vain in their imaginations.” The result: “Their foolish heart was darkened” (v. 21). Their vain thoughts led them to profess themselves to be wise when they had actually become fools; this, in turn, caused them to change the truth of God into a lie. Believers who have been deceived into accepting Satan’s lie that homosexuality and lesbianism are “gifts of God” or “alternative lifestyles” rather than sin should carefully study Romans 1:26-32. Also, beware of the current trend embraced by so many today who try to “rethink theology”; that is, they alter the plain sense of Scripture by culturalizing the message in order to fit current thought. The Lord truly hates such wicked imaginations!
Feet That Run to Mischief
Some people might be surprised by the fact that the word mischief is included in the list of seven things that God hates. Today, this word usually describes a child whose playful antics often get him into trouble. However, the biblical meaning of the word mischief in our text, and in other texts we will note, explains why God hates it. When God says He abhors “mischief,” He is referring to actions that are wicked, evil, harmful, and usually deceitful. Those who have spiritual discernment can learn to detect mischief-makers, even when their approach is appealing. The Lord’s servant Nehemiah immediately realized that when the enemies of God—Sanballat and Geshem—requested a peace conference, they were actually intending to do “mischief” (evil, harm) to him (Neh. 6:2). In Psalm 28:3, the Lord enabled the psalmist David to understand the dangers of cooperating with the workers of iniquity who proclaimed words of peace that, in reality, were intended to veil the mischief within their hearts.
In these days, political leaders, many of whom are the enemies of God and freedom, are speaking unprecedented words of peace. Do not be deceived! Peace may be on their lips, but mischief is in their hearts. Peace, when based upon the empty promises and humanistic dreams of unregenerate men, can never truly take place. What should concern believers even more, however, are the many highly respected evangelical and charismatic leaders who have succumbed to the ecumenical pleas for peace and unity from apostate “Christian” groups and even those from other “faiths.” God decries mischief and feet that run to it. We should hate mischief and run the other way.
A False Witness
In Proverbs 14:5, God sets forth His simple but unalterable distinction between true and false witnesses: “A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.” A witness is always supposed to tell the truth, regardless of the situation or the consequences. God hates lying under every circumstance but especially in connection with the testimony of a false witness (Prov. 6:19). However, we live in a day when giving a false witness is the norm rather than the exception. While it is true that a false statement sometimes may be given out of ignorance, deliberately generated false words are prevalent all around us. The deception of false witnesses is certainly detrimental to our legal system and in our social connections, but what is even more dangerous and alarming is the prevalence of the “false witnesses” in the religious realm—“there shall be false teachers among you [the church]” (notice 2 Pet. 2:1-3).
One particular danger in Christendom today is the false witness given by many evangelicals and charismatics whose unscriptural positions and fellowships have led them to join with those who preach a false gospel—a gospel that the Lord has cursed (Gal. 1:6-10). In order to justify this ungodly unity, they must twist or reinterpret Scripture. The believer who fails to hate every false witness as God does opens the door to great deception. Whenever any Christian is persuaded by man’s reasoning to ignore the Lord’s clear commands to separate from false teachers, disobedient brethren, and the world, he will be greatly harmed by such unscriptural fellowships (1 Cor. 15:33). A faithful witness will declare all the counsel of God under every circumstance.
Sowing Discord among Brethren
In considering this subject, it is first of all essential to distinguish between “speaking the truth in love,” which God commands (Eph. 4:15), and “[sowing] discord among brethren,” which God hates (Prov. 6:14, 19). Many believers are confused on this matter. They think that those who exercise the biblically mandated ministry of reproof and rebuke (2 Tim. 4:2) are sowing discord among their fellow brethren in the church. Wayward believers, rather than accepting and appreciating scriptural rebuke that is intended to bring them back to correct doctrine and fellowships, seek to excuse their disobedience by accusing faithful brethren of “sowing discord.” But an obedient minister will always speak that which is needful (2 Thess. 3:13-15).
The Bible makes it clear that when it speaks of “sowing discord among brethren,” it is referring to gossip and slander not based upon fact and truth but upon evil surmisings and unconfirmed suspicions (1 Tim. 6:4). Slander and gossip must never proceed from the lips of a believer. God says, “He that uttereth a slander, is a fool” (Prov. 10:18). Many believers often refuse to reprove and rebuke disobedient brethren for fear of being considered “unkind” or “unloving,” yet at the same time, they will scathingly criticize those who are obediently speaking the truth in love. When we obey God’s Word by speaking the truth and refraining from gossip or slander, the responsibility for any discord among brethren will fall into the lap of the disobedient believer, not the obedient child of God. Scriptural rebuke needs to be given to Christians who are wandering from the right course, but gossip and slander are always forbidden!
—This article was written by Pastor M. H. Reynolds Jr. and is adapted from Feature: A Daily Bible Study Guide, published by the Fundamental Evangelistic Association.