When you have poor credit, banks usually refuse to loan you money; however, one loan company advertises that they will make loans when others turn you away because “you are human.” Interesting–is it not–how often we overlook irresponsibility because “we are just human.” How inconsiderate of banks not to loan money when you have a past record of failing to pay your debts!
Centuries ago, Solomon reflected on the failure of humanity when he wrote that God hates some things more than others: “Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers” (Proverbs 6:17-19).
What man hates and what God hates are not always the same. We hate to lose; God hates it when men win through dishonesty. We love to be included; God hates it when men are indiscriminately and prejudicially turned away. We strive to save face even though we bend the truth to make others look bad; God hates it when people are dishonest.
Solomon said God not only hates these seven negative qualities of human behavior, he says they are detestable to Him, and the Hebrew word is a strong one. Found some sixty times in the Bible, mostly in Old Testament passages, the word was applied to situations which were pretty reprehensible–offering your children in human sacrifice, changing the landmarks between you and your neighbor’s land, and issues involving gross sexual practices.
But in this passage, Solomon specifies seven evils which destroy the fabric of society and humanity. Frankly, I’ve read this list several hundred times, but until recently I’ve never given it much thought or study. Taking time to reflect on it, I noticed that some things such as murder, adultery, theft and war don’t make this list. It isn’t that these things are not repugnant to the Lord; they are! In the very passage which I quoted, Solomon warns against adultery. He asks, “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife…” (Proverbs 6:27-29). Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, knew firsthand the pain and heartache which follow adulterous relationships. But in this passage, he focuses on our thinking which leads to wrongdoing.
These seven sins catalog flaws of character more than behavior. Pride, dishonesty, deceit, and perjury eventually lead to overt wrongdoing. Almost every sin begins with a thought, but when your thinking becomes warped you justify your wrongdoing. “He who conceals his sins,” says Proverbs 28:13, “does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
For a few brief moments, let those seven flaws of character be a checklist, and ask if your life measures up to their standard. 1. “Haughty eyes,” or “a proud look” as another translation puts it. 2. “A lying tongue” or trouble telling the truth. 3. Hands that shed innocent blood. 4. “A heart that devises wicked schemes”–conspiring against someone. 5. “Feet that are quick to rush into evil.” 6. “A false witness who pours out lies.” 7. “A man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”
A closing thought: If God has His payday someday, then it would be a very good idea to find out what He loves and hates and go with the winner. That makes sense in any language.
Resource Reading: Proverbs 6:1-19
Text: “There are six things the LORD hates,” he wrote, “seven that are detestable to him.” Proverbs 6:16
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – May 22, 2017