Bible Reading: Proverbs 6.16-19
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
If you have been around church very much at all, you have surely heard this saying - "God hates sin, but loves the sinner." Is this well-worn saying accurate? Let us see what God's Word has to say.
A mere glance at today’s reading shows us that God hates sin. He hates it with extreme disgust. What mankind call faults, errors, or mistakes – God calls sin. His holiness is what makes God beautiful, and we are to fear Him and worship Him. Psalm 96:9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. (His holiness is precisely what makes God hate sin.)
In Proverbs 6, Solomon warns his own son three to four times about these very things. The blessed LORD hates all sin equally, but these specific seven sins mentioned are pride, lying, murder, evil thoughts, mischief, a false witness, and those who sow discord.
Yet, in our fallen society, it is impossible to get a proper view of sin. Criminals are pardoned; sin is glamorized by the entertainment industry and justified by the educational system; all levels of authority allow sin to go unchecked or punish it leniently and slowly – so leniently and slowly it is no deterrent at all.
So what about our saying from yesteryear, does God hate sin and love the sinner? No! He hates both the sin and the sinner. Psalm 5:5-6 says, “The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.”
This may be difficult to hear, but let us examine the text – it will speak for itself.
In verse 17, we see pride, lying and murder. The application is very broad here. When the Bible condemns a proud look, a lying tongue, and murdering hands, it means far more than a sinful face, speech, or actions. It includes every associated sin that would fall under that general category. For example, a lying email without spoken words is also condemned. And Jesus taught us in Matthew 5.21, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” Christ was humble, truthful, and loves lives lived for Him.
Moving along to verse 18. God is watching our hearts and our feet. How well are we ruling our thoughts? He will hold us accountable for them in this life and the next. He hates the wicked imaginations and fantasies of our foolish hearts. He hates hasty and impulsive sinners who rush from sin to sin. Proverbs 5:21 says, “For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He watches all his paths.” He sees where we go and what we do. What is a heart that devises wicked plans and imaginations? It is a heart that forms sinful thoughts from lustful affections and emotions. What are feet that are swift in running to evil and mischief? They describe a man who is hasty and impulsive to sin. He has a greedy desire for it; for he lacks conscience and restraint. If you have a temper, it is your duty to rule it, or your quick anger will offend God.
And verse 19. Here are two sinners who God hates. He hates liars who testify falsely against others, and He hates proud pests who cause division in a church. He could have said He hated lies and discord, but He said He hates the ones doing these sins. Christ speaking in Matthew 7:23 says, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
God loves his own. God loves His church, chastens them in Fatherly love, will not lose one of them, and they can never be separated from His love. John 6:39-40 says, “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” A lying and false accusing mouth can cause enormous harm, destroying reputation and character. Let our lips praise the brethren, rather than detract from them. God also loves unity, especially among His people. He hates those who openly or subtly disturb fellowship and peace; instead He commands and commends peace.
False witnesses condemned Jesus to death, but He is the faithful and true witness. Wicked persons sow discord when they disrupt the harmony, agreement, unity, or peace of a church by spreading the poison of division. Take every opportunity to promote unity and agreement; work hard to keep yourself and others in harmony with the congregation. Seek peace and pursue it.
Let all believers in Christ recall what we were before, and thank God for our position now. Romans 5:10 says it all: “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” We were enemies, but now we are saved.
Memory Verse: My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. Proverbs 6.20-21