Seven Things God Hates

Seven Things God Hates

There are six things which the Lord hates
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,
A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Solomon’s figure of speech, “there are six things, yes seven,” is a way of saying his list is specific, but not exhaustive (compare the same figure of speech in Proverbs 30:18, 21, 29, Amos 1:3ff, Job 5:19). There are many other things God considers sinful, but these seven deserve special attention here, perhaps for their sad commonness in everyday life. Solomon poetically associates most of these sins with parts of the body, moving them out of the realm of abstraction and into the realm of daily life.

Haughty Eyes

Pride often finds expression in eyes that refuse to see with compassion others in need, in a snooty self-important countenance, and in speech that declares one’s own praise. But pride is not just annoying to everyone else in the room—pride is “the lamp of the wicked” (Prov. 21:4) leading men toward all rebellion against God. It was the motivation for Satan to fall away from God and to attack His works (1 Tim. 3:6). Pride enthrones a man in his own mind, and pushes God out. Remember, “pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling” (Prov. 16:18). Let us instead follow the example of our Lord, who humbled Himself (Phil. 2:5-11).

A Lying Tongue

The Bible often speaks of the power of the tongue, either to heal or to harm (Prov. 10:11, 12:18, 18:21). A lie seems like a trivial thing, but it is always Satan’s tool. Since God is truth, His disciples must speak the truth also (Eph. 4:25). Liars find their place in hell (Rev. 21:8).

Hands that Shed Innocent Blood

Solomon is not talking about capital punishment, which he used (1 Kin. 2:24, 2:31, 2:44) and which the Bible supports (Ex. 21:12, Lev. 20:10-13; Gen. 9:6; Rom. 13:1-4). The shedding of innocent blood is never justified. How morally debased one must be to murder in cold blood! When I hear this verse, I also cannot help but think of the millions of abortions performed in this country since 1973.

A Heart that Devises Wicked Plans

The heart is a person’s moral center. Jesus says, “from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries...” (Mark 7:21). Everyone struggles with these thoughts, but God hates the man who dwells upon them and connives to bring evil to pass. It’s one thing to accidentally stumble upon sin, but it’s another to devise an elaborate scheme to perpetrate sin without your spouse or friends finding out. Premeditated evil is appalling.

Feet that Run Rapidly to Evil

Even the most faithful Christian occasionally gives in to temptation and commits an evil deed. Feeling terrible about his weakness, he quickly repents and returns to God. But feet that run rapidly to evil characterize a person who relishes evildoing. When he sees an opportunity to get involved in sin, he does not bother to try and hold back, but shamelessly rushes over.

A False Witness Who Utters Lies

What separates “false witness” from “a lying tongue”? A false witness is one who tells lies in the specific context of a legal proceeding. When a man is accused of wrongdoing and is brought to trial, a witnesses’ testimony is as important as physical evidence. When a witness bears false testimony, either to cause an innocent man to be condemned, or to help a criminal escape punishment, he has completely upset the only way justice may be provided. Murderers may go free, innocent families may lose their homes, an upright man’s reputation may be forever spoiled.

Deuteronomy 19:15-21 provides that a false witness shall suffer the same punishment he sought for the man he attempted to destroy! The chief priests knowingly used such false testimony to condemn Jesus (Matt. 26:59-61). Many false witnesses may go undiscovered, but God will punish them personally (Prov. 19:9).