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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Things God Hates from the Psalms and Proverbs

In one sense there is little need to write an article on specific things God hates for it is evident that God hates all sin.  Just list a sin and you know immediately it is a thing God hates and a thing that separates man from God.  "Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that He will not hear." (Isa. 59:2 NKJV)  As much as God loves man his nature is such that he cannot tolerate sin.

He who knowingly sins shows disrespect for God and a lack of love for him.  "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments." (1 John 5:3 NKJV)  "He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me." (John 14:21 NKJV)  "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word." (John 14:23 NKJV)  "He who does not love me does not keep my words." (John 14:24 NKJV)  It is true we all sin through weakness of the flesh but when we do we need to face up to the fact of what it tells us about ourselves and then repent. 
For a Christian to sin willfully is to trample the Son of God underfoot, count the blood of the covenant a common thing, and insult the Spirit of grace (Heb. 10:26-29).  Considered this way one can see that God is entirely just in making the wages of sin death (Rom. 6:23) and especially in light of the fact he sent Jesus into the world to make a sacrifice of himself on the cross to redeem man from sin.  God's great love should not be spurned and will not be by those having a good and honest heart.
While God hates all sin and we are all well aware of that it still seems to hit one with more force when the word of God specifically says of a thing that God hates it or if he specifically says of a thing that it is an abomination to him.  Here is list of such things as taken from the Psalms and Proverbs.
(1) "The wicked and the one who loves violence his soul hates." (Psalm 11:5 NKJV)  How much so?  The next verse reads, "Upon the wicked he will rain coals, fire and brimstone and a burning wind; this shall be the portion of their cup." (Psalm 11:6 NKJV) 
Wickedness is determined by God.  We can only know wickedness from righteousness by his word.  "All your commandments are righteousness." (Psalm 119:172 NKJV)  "Salvation is far from the wicked for they do not seek your statutes." (Psalm 119:155 NKJV)  To walk without the light of God's word is to walk as a blind man and leads into wickedness.  "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105 NKJV) but that is only true of the one who will follow it.
(2) "These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him:  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." (Prov. 6:16-19 NKJV)  In Prov. 16:18 the Bible teaches that, "Pride goes before destruction." (NKJV)  "Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord." (Prov. 16:5 NKJV)  In Mark 7:22-23 Jesus listed pride as an evil thing that comes from within and defiles a man.
As for liars the book of Revelation tells us, "All liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Rev. 21:8 NKJV)
I really do not think it necessary to speak of the other things listed in this Prov. 6 passage for we all know what the Bible says about murderers ("hands that shed innocent blood"), wickedness, evil, and false witnesses who are liars, but I do think it might be good to take a moment to speak of those who sow discord among brethren.  It is a thing God hates but some people thrive on stirring things up.  We might well use the word strife here for the meaning is the same.
Strife can be aroused the result of hatred (Prov. 10:12), pride (Prov. 13:10, 28:25), anger or wrath (Prov. 15:18, 29:22), and/or pure perversity (Prov. 16:28).  Proverbs 16:28 deals with perversity and strife and helps clarify the nature of a perverse man.
"An ungodly man digs up evil, and it is on his lips like a burning fire.  A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends." (Prov. 16:27-28 NKJV)
The notes in the NET Bible says of this perverse man, "This refers to someone who destroys lives. The parallelism suggests that he is a 'slanderer' or 'gossip' — one who whispers and murmurs."  This goes along with Prov. 26:20, "Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases." (NKJV)  "The perverse person is an abomination to the Lord." (Prov. 3:32 NKJV)
John Gill, the well know eighteenth century Bible commentator, says the perverse person of this passage (Prov. 3:32) "is one that acts contrary to the nature, will, and word of God."  It is a person who "goes astray" as the NET Bible puts it.  Some translations use the word "devious" (HCSB, ESV) rather than perverse so we get the idea of an ungodly person who does not care about God or keeping his word.  The NAS77, the original New American Standard Bible, uses the phrase "the crooked man."  Such a person is an abomination to God.  Such a person sows discord, he is devious.
The one who sows discord among brethren not only sins himself but generally speaking leads others into sin as they begin to grow angry with one another because of him, what he has said and done to stir up strife.  In turn they end up saying and doing things they ought not and developing hearts that are less than pure. 
The church is not to tolerate and celebrate sin in its midst (see 1 Cor. 5, 2 Thess. 3:6).  We are to have corrective discipline in the church and it would be sinful not to; we are to "reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition." (Titus 3:10 NKJV)  This divisive man is likely to find fault, sin, and error everywhere even when it exists mainly in his own mind.  He is a sower of discord.
In addition to perversity and its relationship to the sowing of discord here are some other things that the Bible says in the Proverbs that are an abomination to God.  I will try and not repeat things already listed above which are repeated elsewhere in the Psalms and Proverbs.
(3)  "Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord." (Prov. 11:20 NKJV)  This differs from the above only in that it goes deeper into the very heart of a man.  One might say well as long as a man does not do the deed he can think as he pleases.  Not so according to the Lord.
The Bible has much to say about God reading a man's heart and knowing it, a topic for another article, but the bottom line is it is the pure in heart that shall see God (Matt. 5:8).  This passage from Proverbs clearly teaches the state of a man's heart toward God, God's word, and toward his fellow man makes a big, big difference with God.  The Psalmist said, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear." (Psalm 66:18 NKJV)  True it is that the perverse in heart will act out in life but he is a condemned man because of the state of his heart even before he acts.
Proverbs 15:26 teaches much the same thing but uses the word "wicked" instead of the word "perverse."  "The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord." (NKJV)
(4)  "A false balance is an abomination to the Lord." (Prov. 11:1 NKJV, see also Prov. 20:10 and 20:23)  For the younger generation who might not know a false balance is a reference to "false scales" and the passage has reference to one who sets out to cheat another, in reality steal from him, by using a dishonest measure.  By implication it is necessarily implied that any attempt to cheat another person out of their goods, or short them in a sale, in a dishonest fashion of any kind or means is abominable to the Lord.  It is just and fair for a merchant to make a profit as long as it is an honest profit, not one made by devious means.
(5)  "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord." (Prov. 15:8 NKJV, see also Prov. 21:27)  One cannot just go through the motions of worship, even if making a sacrifice to do so, and think God is going to be pleased.  Cain found this out very early in the history of man.  The sacrifice that is pleasing to God is a broken and a contrite heart.  "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart-- these, O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51:17 NKJV)  This is the very sacrifice the wicked will not give God.  Repentance is far from them.
We also must remember God gets to define wickedness, not you or me.  A person may in fact be sincere in heart and not fit into the category of those I just spoke about and yet his worship be unacceptable to God.  Why?  Because it is authorized by man, not by God.  Man, without necessarily having ill intent, may worship God in ways thought up by other men and handed down by tradition and not worship by what God's word has taught him.  The Bible says, Jesus quoting from the book of Isaiah, "In vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." (Mark 7:7 NKJV)  Some of these doctrines taught by the commandments of men deal with how men should worship but God, not man, gets to define what is acceptable worship. 
(6)  "He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord." (Prov. 17:15 NKJV)  Wow!  This one can easily arouse a lot of anger and bitterness among men especially in the realm of politics.  How many people are there when it comes election season here in America who want to justify candidates who hold anti-biblical positions?  Unfortunately, there are many.   The Bible says it is an abomination.
On the other hand how many do we have today who will gladly condemn the Christian who holds to Christian teaching from the word of God?  The number is growing everyday as America becomes more and more secular.  They condemn the just because the just will not go along with gay marriage or abortion or the secular agenda and it is said we are denying civil rights and are engaged in a war against women, we are haters and intolerant, and ignorant (ignorant for believing in God and the word of God).  The unjust are now setting the standards by which they expect America to live but the Bible says, "those who hate the righteous shall be condemned." (Psalm 34:21 NKJV)
One final thought on this.  In the personal realm we cannot justify or uphold a son or daughter, a mother or dad, a sister or brother, a husband or wife, or any other relative or friend engaged actively in sin.  It is an abomination to God.  Who says so?  God does in Proverbs 17:15.
(7)  "One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination." (Prov. 28:9 NKJV)  Sometimes we hear people saying things like the more that are praying for you the better.  Well, yes, if they are the right kind of people.  However, if people are going to be praying for me I am more interested in who is doing the praying rather than the number doing it.  "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry." (Psalm 34:15 NKJV)  Not every man's prayer is going to help.
Those caught up in all kind of false doctrine, believing it and promoting it, are not going to do me much good according to this verse and no more so than the man who is totally ungodly.  There are religious bodies doing things in the name of Christianity that you cannot find a word of authority for in your New Testament and yet the Holy Spirit says, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Col. 3:17 NKJV)  It is hard to do a thing in the name of the Lord Jesus when the Lord Jesus gave no word on it.  To do a thing in the name of the Lord Jesus is to do it by his authority, by his word.  Where there is no word there is no authority.  To act without the word is to turn away from hearing the law and do as you please.
This completes a listing of things God says he hates or that are an abomination to him from the book of Psalms and the book of Proverbs but I think it would be good to go outside these two books and list three other things God finds abominable or hates because of their application to modern day life here in the United States.
"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman.  It is an abomination." (Lev. 18:222 NKJV)  I list this because it is a sin listed in the New Testament—see 1 Cor. 6:9 in the English Standard Version--and there is a big push in the U.S. to legalize this sin and make it a civil right (gay marriage).  If they succeed will it be any less an abomination to God in view of the fact he has condemned it in the New Testament as well as the Old?
"One commits abomination with his neighbor's wife." (Ezek. 22:11 NKJV)  This is listed because adultery is as much a sin under the New Testament as it was under the Law of Moses and God declares it an abomination.  Literally millions of Americans have and/or are presently engaged in this sin not just by having illicit affairs alone but by living in adulterous marriages.  The word neighbor in this passage should not be limited to the woman next door.  It was never meant to be defined that narrowly.
And finally, God has made it clear that he hates divorce.  "For the Lord God of Israel says that he hates divorce." (Mal. 2:16 NKJV)  I also wanted to include this passage for it is such a common sin in America today.  Do not misunderstand.  Just because you are divorced it does not mean that you were/are the guilty party but in every divorce at least one party has sinned and as is sometimes the case both parties have.  God hates it.  Just about every time you find a divorce, there are exceptions of course, you will find another woman or man involved and thus you have not only divorce but adultery also.
This concludes this piece but I would have the reader remember what was said in the first paragraph of this article.  God hates all sin and its wages are death (Rom. 6:23).  We all need forgiveness and have the need to put away sin from our lives once for all as far as that is humanly possible.

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