“These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him [Lit. to His soul]: 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.” Proverbs 6:16-19.
“…six things the Lord hates, yes, seven” is an idiom designed to capture the reader’s attention, see also Job 5:19, and Proverbs 30:15, 18.
The seven things mentioned are all an abomination, not just the seventh. Nor do I believe these are in any order of prominence.
The Lord God hates all sin and those who practice these things are an abomination before him as well as those who justify their actions. Furthermore, as you study these things note that these sins are all against our fellow man.
“…a proud look”, this is something that comes from the depths of the heart and it indicates an egocentric personality who finds everyone around him to be inferior. This comes from personal pride, and pride is a snare to men on many levels.
Boxer Muhammad Ali is quoted as having said the following.
“I don’t trust someone who is nice to me but rude to the waiter, because they would treat me the same way if I were in that position.”
Proud men have an inability to admit their wrongdoing or mistakes, they are jealous of others who receive recognition for things that they believe should be theirs, earned or not. Pride and jealousy can lead to serious sins such as murder or doing irreparable damage to another.
Pride was a snare to Satan and pride led him to sin in rebellion against God Himself, pride was Satan’s downfall.
“You [Lucifer, now Satan] were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.” Ezekiel 28:14-15.
“Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I [God] cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you.” Ezekiel 28:17.
“…a lying tongue”, all of us lie, whether to get out of trouble, or to justify some action we have taken, or to make ourselves to look better.
No matter how small though, there is no such thing as a fib, a little white lie, tall tale, or half-truth. In the eyes of God all falsehood is a sin worthy of death. Remember, our first parents were cast out of the Garden of Eden for eating a piece of fruit!
All of us are guilty of lies at times but the mature Christian must revere the truth and detest lies.
The liar in our text however is something completely different than the average person you will meet on the street, and definitely different from the Christian.
This lying tongue is malicious and lies for his own purposes, whether for illicit gain, to maintain power, or to gain power over another, or for any other evil purposes. This person lives for lying and malice.
The pious Pharisees were always ripe for examples of this sort of vile person.
“Then one was brought to Him [Jesus] who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David [the Messiah]?’ Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, ‘This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.’” Matthew 12:22-24.
This lie bought these Pharisees a one way ticket to hell because they committed the unpardonable sin, see Matthew 12:30-32.
“…hands that shed innocent blood”, what is meant by innocent blood is not just women, children, the poor, or those who are mentally incapacitated. It is anyone who has done nothing worthy of death.
“Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him. But they said, ‘Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.’” Matthew 26:3-5.
It is hard to imagine this many officials getting together to plot against a sinless Man who did nothing but good, feeding the multitudes, healing the sick, and preaching the gospel to the people. These hands shed innocent blood!
“…a heart that devises wicked plans”, did you know that there are men who prosper by designing devices of torture which are used by rogue states?
Though many of us are very sinful even as Christians, we, and the moral person have no concept of the of the true depths of sin men like the ones we are considering here in Proverbs six sink to.
They are an evil and pitiless lot like the ones described above in Matthew 26:3-5 and below.
“He sits in the lurking places of the villages; in the secret places he murders the innocent; his eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless. He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; he lies in wait to catch the poor; he catches the poor when he draws him into his net. So he crouches, he lies low, that the helpless may fall by his strength. He has said in his heart, ‘God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see.’” Psalm 10:8-11.
“And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Step forward.’ Then He said to them, ‘Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.” Mark 3:1-6.
“…feet that are swift in running to evil”, it would follow that’ “a heart that devises wicked plans” would be swift to carry out that evil plan.
Beginning in Acts 21 the account of the Apostle Paul’s journey to Rome under arrest begins.
Upon the apostle’s return to Jerusalem certain Jews from Asia saw Paul in the temple and started an uproar which brought the Roman soldiers into the fray and rescued him from being killed.
At one point while the Roman commander was trying to figure out what the charges against Paul were, the Jews hatched their own plan.
“And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy. They came to the chief priests and elders, and said, ‘We have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul. Now you, therefore, together with the council, suggest to the commander that he be brought down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to make further inquiries concerning him; but we are ready to kill him before he comes near.” Acts 23:12-15.
However, Paul’s nephew heard of the conspiracy and told Paul and then informed the commander. The commander then told two centurions to take an assortment of 470 soldiers, horsemen and spearmen and escort Paul to Caesarea that night.
I cannot help but wonder what happened to this forty who made such a rash vow, did they starve to death?
Assuredly these “useful idiots” would have been crucified if they had attacked a Roman guard that day. Evil men such as the religious leaders here often allow others to do their dirty work while they stand aloof.
“Pilate said to them, ‘What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said to him, ‘Let Him be crucified!’ Then the governor said, ‘Why, what evil has He done?’ But they cried out all the more, saying, ‘Let Him be crucified!’ When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult [uproar] was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.’ And all the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us and on our children.’ Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.” Matthew 27:22-26.
That day many feet were swift to run to evil to create such a mob and again they were incited by the religious leaders to call for Barabbas and demand Jesus’ crucifixion.
“…a false witness who speaks lies”, there is a difference between a liar and one who is a false witness, both can do a lot of damage.
The liar says, “I did this, or didn’t do that, or it’s not my fault.” The liar can do a lot of damage no question.
The false witness lies concerning someone else, “I saw this person do that, this person did the crime.” Or they may even say, “This is not the person that killed so and so”, knowing full well that they did. People’s lives have been ruined or ended by the false witness.
But this false witness habitually lies as to the things they have witnessed. This vicious person likes to cause calamity for others, they need no other reason than their own malicious personality.
“Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree. Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, ‘We heard Him say, “I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.”’ But not even then did their testimony agree.” Mark 14:55-59.
“…and one who sows discord among brethren”, God is a God of love, and a God of peace this sort of activity can only be an abomination to a righteous God.
In the Old Testament where this is written, the brethren would include all of the Israelites. Today it means much the same for Christians but would not just mean the church alone, but the civil society, and among families.
The gossips, the tale bearers, and liars all destroy friendships and the unity of the church and society in general. This person who sows discord among brethren though does it for sheer joy of destroying the peace.
Today with the lies promulgated in the media and the constant nattering on matters that do not matter and the out and out lies of the government has created division of incomprehensible magnitude in this country and throughout the world.
These seven abominations are becoming more and more prevalent in the world today especially as more and more corrupt politicians are seeking office and using Machiavellian methods to secure their positions in office.
Many American politicians in congress and the senate have been there 30 and 40 years and are guilty of anywhere from 5 to 7 of the abominations listed here as hated by God.
When a country’s citizens elect evil men who do these things that the Lord hates, they are then agreeing with the seven abominations and bringing their country under the same curse as those who commit them.
“Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:5-8.
Seven Abominations taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 8-25-18, updated on 9-21-23. .
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.