What God Hates (III)
SEVEN THINGS GOD HATES
(from a transcript of a sermon preached on 3/11/01 at Sovereign Redeemer Assembly)
Today, in our continuing series on what God hates, we turn to a passage of Scripture that lists seven things that God hates. That passage is Proverbs 6:16-19. Let's turn over there:
Proverbs 6: (16) These six [things] Jehovah hates; yea, seven [are] hateful to his soul; (17) a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (18) a heart that plots evil plans, feet hurrying to run to mischief, (19) a false witness who breathes lies, and he who causes strife among brothers.
Here, God gives us in one small passage, a list of things that God hates. The fact that God lists these things in one place is important. These things must be the epitome of what is hateful to God - a summary, if you will, of wickedness. It comes in the middle of the "my son" section of Proverbs, in which the essence of wisdom and obedience is put forth. Earlier in this section, in Proverbs 3:32-35, God says, "For the perverse one [is] hateful to Jehovah, but His intimacy is with the righteous. The curse of Jehovah [is] in the house of the wicked, but He blesses the abode of the righteous. Surely He scorns the scorners, but He gives grace to the lowly. The wise inherit honor, but the foolish exalt shame." Here is a contrast between the wicked and the righteous. And as we saw in the last message, including the passage I just read, God hates the wicked. So when we read this list of seven things that God hates, we need to keep in mind that God not only hates the sin, but he hates the SINNERS who do such things.
Let's go over each one of these seven things that God hates. The first one is "a proud look." What is "a proud look"? The Hebrew word for "look" is usually translated "eye" or "eyes." You LOOK through your EYES. Let's turn to Proverbs 21:4:
Proverbs 21: (4) High eyes, a proud heart, [and] the uncultivated mind of the wicked, [is] sin.
The word for "eyes" here is the same word as "look" back in chapter 6. What kind of eyes are described in this verse? HIGH eyes. And you know what? The word for "high" is the same word that is translated "proud" back in chapter 6. So we have the same phrase translated two different ways, which shows you that the LITV still has its flaws. So these phrases could be translated "a proud look" or "proud eyes" or "high eyes" or "a high look" or "haughty eyes" or "a haughty look." It would be helpful to those of us who don't know Hebrew to have the same phrases translated the same way. Anyway, we're getting to the meaning. "High eyes" is probably the most literal translation. Let's see where else this phrase is used. Let's look at Psalm 18:27:
Psalm 18: (27) for You will save an afflicted people; but You will bring down haughty eyes.
Now over to Psalm 101:5:
Psalm 101: (5) [Whoever] secretly slanders his neighbor, I will cut him off; I will not endure him who has high eyes and a proud heart.
Now over to Psalm 131:1:
Psalm 131: (1) O Jehovah, my heart is not proud, nor have my eyes been lofty; nor have I walked in great things, nor in things too wondrous for me.
So we're getting the sense of eyes that are high. So what are high eyes? Well, have you ever heard the phrase, "he looked down on someone else"? This phrase is an outgrowth of the concept of "high eyes." When one's eyes are HIGH, they LOOK DOWN. It is a picture of a person with his neck stretched high and looking down with disdain or disgust on someone who is of lower status than he is. It is an outward symbol of PRIDE. A PROUD LOOK comes from a PROUD HEART. So we see that this is like the boasters and gloriers I mentioned last week. Those who have a PROUD HEART are ones who think that they are inherently better than others. It can take many forms. One that comes quickly to mind is someone who says he is PROUD of being white, thinking that he is better than those who are black. God hates this. What did a white person do to make himself be born white? Racism is something that is an abomination to God. There is also a spiritual, gospel application. Those who are of a PROUD HEART think that their own good deeds put them in good standing before God, and they look down upon those who they think are not as good as they are. An example of this is the Pharisee in Luke 18 who relied on himself, that he was righteous, and despised others. He believed that his own doing and abstaining recommended him to God. He was proud of his works. He looked down on others who were sinners in his eyes. Yet God showed that it was the Pharisee who was not justified, because he did not believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone, his works totally excluded.
Let's turn back to Proverbs 6:17. The next thing in the list is "a lying tongue." Again, we went over the fact that God hates liars last week. Lying is telling something that is not true. It is being deceptive. Lying comes in many forms, and its most heinous form comes in speaking a false gospel and speaking peace to those who believe a false gospel. While we're on the subject of lying, look down at the first part of verse 19:
Proverbs 6: (19) a false witness who breathes lies, and he who causes strife among brothers.
Let's go over this one now, because it is a form of lying. God says that He hates "a false witness who breathes lies." One kind of lying is bearing false witness. One of the Ten Commandments is "You shall not testify a witness of falsehood against your neighbor." Proverbs has a lot to say about false witnesses. We'll turn to a few. First, Proverbs 14:25:
Proverbs 14:(25) A true witness delivers souls, but a deceitful witness speaks lies.
Now over to Proverbs 19:5:
Proverbs 19:(5) A false witness shall not be acquitted; yea, a breather of lies shall not escape.
Now over to Proverbs 21:28:
Proverbs 21:(28) A false witness shall perish, but the man who attends will speak forever.
What is a "witness"? It is a testifying about the deeds of someone else. So a "false witness" or a "witness of falsehood" is testifying falsely about the deeds of someone else. It is making a false accusation. For example, if Mr. Smith says that Mr. Jones committed adultery but has no proof, then Mr. Smith is guilty of bearing false witness against Mr. Jones. Now we have seen this many times when we've encountered lost religionists, haven't we? They will hurl out the accusations as fast as they can speak or type, as the case may be, but when they are asked for proof of these accusations, they suddenly go silent, or they'll say, "You know what I'm talking about" or speak in generalities. But an accusation, a witness, a testifying, of the deeds of others without proof is a false witness. And God says He hates a false witness who breathes lies. Let those of us who have been the ones falsely accused take heart, for Jesus Christ was falsely accused as well. He was told by the religious people of His day that He was of the devil. Our enemies will not stop falsely accusing us, because we are witnesses of the truth of the gospel of Christ, and we will not speak peace when there is no peace.
Back to Proverbs 6:17. The next thing that God hates are hands that shed innocent blood. This, too, relates to what we heard last week. Remember when we went over the fact that God hates the man of blood and deceit? A man of blood is one who sheds innocent blood. He is a murderer. God says that all murderers are lost. But notice that it says INNOCENT blood. This has to do with condemning the just. It has to do with unjust killing. The Psalms mention this several times. Turn to Psalm 10:8:
Psalm 10: (8) He sits in the hiding places of the villages; in the secret places he murders the innocent; his eyes watch against the poor.
Now over to Psalm 94:21-23:
Psalm 94: (21) They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the blood of the innocent. (22) But Jehovah is my tower of defense; and my God [is] the rock of my refuge. (23) And He shall turn their own iniquity upon them; and He shall cut them off in their evil, Jehovah our God shall exterminate them!
Now to Psalm 106:37-39:
Psalm 106: (37) Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; (38) and they shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan. And the land was polluted with the blood. (39) And they were unclean with their works, and went whoring in their acts.
Notice that shedding innocent blood included the abomination of child sacrifice. God hates the hands that shed innocent blood.
Next, in Proverbs 6:18, is "a heart that plots evil plans." Here, God is talking about evil premeditation. He is talking about one who schemes ahead of time to do evil and devises the means by which to do the evil and then carries out the evil. This also takes many forms. One who plans out a robbery or a murder or an assault certainly fits into this category. But there's also something you might not think about immediately when reading these words. What about when a false religionist makes plans to do or say a certain thing in order to bring the most people to the front of the aisle? What about the false religionists who plan so-called "revivals" all over this country? They are just as wicked and evil as the one who plans a rape. They are plotting evil plans, and God hates them.
The next is "feet hurrying to run to mischief." This is in contrast with the deliberation of the heart that plots evil plans. This is talking about those who have no self-control, who are running to and fro to do one evil thing after another. As soon as they've done one evil thing, they are off doing another evil thing. It's interesting that God includes both the one who thinks a lot before doing evil deeds and the one who doesn't think a lot before doing evil deeds. He doesn't let the non-premeditator off the hook. One who murders out of spontaneous rage is just as guilty as one who plans a murder and meticulously carries it out. The "feet hurrying to run to mischief" also includes the thrill-seekers who just go out to destroy for the fun of it. We certainly live in a generation where running around out of control and going from one mischievous act to another is valued by a large segment of society. God hates the feet hurrying to run to mischief.
We already went over the sixth thing that God hates, so let's go to the last thing that God says He hates in this passage. God hates the person who causes strife among brothers. The KJV translates the Hebrew word for "strife" as "discord." It means "contention" or "quarreling." Someone who likes to stir up contention among brothers is an abomination to God. Let's turn to some Scripture passages that talk about this. First, let's stay in Proverbs and go to chapter 17, verse 1:
Proverbs 17: (1) Better [is] a dry piece of bread, and quietness with it, than a house full of sacrifices [with] fighting.
The word "fighting" there is translated "strife" in the KJV. Here we see what the opposite of strife is. It is QUIETNESS. It is PEACEFULNESS. Strife is a lack of peacefulness. When people are arguing with each other, it is not peaceful. Now we'll see what causes strife. First, Proverbs 28:25:
Proverbs 28: (25) The proud in soul stirs up strife, but he who is trusting on Jehovah shall be abundantly satisfied.
Next, Proverbs 29:22:
Proverbs 29: (22) An angry man stirs up contention, and a furious one abounds in transgression.
So we see from these two verses that the two things that cause strife or contention or discord or quarreling are PRIDE and ANGER. How do these things cause strife? Well, let's first think about PRIDE. Someone who thinks he's better than others will easily get into an argument to show his superiority or if his pride is at stake. Proverbs 13:10 says that contention comes by pride. And what about ANGER? Someone who is an angry person will easily get into contentions with others arising out of his anger at another person. Proverbs 10:12 says that hatred stirs up strife, and Proverbs 30:33 says that the squeezing of wrath brings out strife.
Let's turn to two passages in the New Testament that talk about those who cause divisions and strife. These will bring out the gospel significance of the Proverbs passage. First, let's turn to Romans 16:17:
Romans 16: (17) And brothers I exhort you to watch those making divisions and causes of stumbling contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them.
God warns us about contentious people who cause discord. First of all, how do we know they are causing discord? They are making divisions contrary to ORTHODOXY - RIGHT DOCTRINE. Secondly, how are we to treat them? God says to turn away from them. Excommunicate them. Have nothing to do with them. They are those who cause strife, and God hates them. The second passage is 1 Timothy 6:3-5:
1 Timothy 6: (3) If anyone teaches differently, and does not consent to sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching according to godliness, (4) he has been puffed up, understanding nothing, but [is] sick concerning doubts and arguments, out of which comes envy, strife, evil-speakings, evil suspicions, (5) meddling, of men whose mind has been corrupted and deprived of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness. Withdraw from such [persons].
Notice that these people are puffed up in pride, and this pride leads to doubts and arguments, and these doubts and arguments lead to envy and strife. Again, these men are causing doubts and arguments that are contrary to what? RIGHT DOCTRINE. And what does God say we should do with them? WITHDRAW from them. They are contentious people, and God hates them.
Now the false accusers will accuse US of causing strife and division and contention and discord and quarreling because we believe the gospel and thus judge people lost who believe the false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner. But we know that these are just false witnesses who breathe lies. If it were contentious to call the self-righteous religionists lost, then Jesus Christ was contentious when He told the Pharisees that their father was the devil. And Paul would have been contentious when he told people they were lost. We are not out to cause fights, and we do not love causing fights, but those who hate the gospel message will sometimes cause the fights. Jesus and Paul were beaten and killed because of their messages. Jesus even said that he did not come to bring peace into the world but to set people against each other, even family members. If a saved family member tells a lost family member that he is lost, and the lost family member gets angry and argumentative, is that saved family member the one causing strife? No. Strife and contention is caused when someone speaks contrary to the truth or gets angry when someone speaks the truth.
In contrast to these seven things that God hates, let us be humble, truth-tellers, upright, and peaceful - not in order to gain or maintain our salvation or entitle ourselves to final glory, but out of love for God who sent His Son to establish a righteousness that demands the salvation of all whom He represented. And let US hate what GOD hates. Amen.