By Mike Willis
There are some things which are said to be “abominable” to the Lord (cf. Prov. 6:16-19). The word “abominable” refers to something which is extremely abhorred. Hence, there are some things which Jehovah abhors extremely.
The concept that Jehovah would hate anything is foreign to some’s concept of the Lord. However, divine revelation testifies that some things are extremely abhorred by Him. We want to consider some of the things which the book of Proverbs lists as being abominable to the Lord.
Seven Are An Abomination Unto Him (Prov. 6:16-19)
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh fies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
1. A Proud Look (Prov. 6.17). Elsewhere the wise man wrote, “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord . . . ” (Prov. 16:5). Pride stems from an attitude of the heart – an attitude of arrogance, superiority, boastfulness. The reference to the “proud look” refers to that arrogance which looks down its nose at those who are judged to be inferior. A feeling of superiority might come from one’s station in life: the wealthy might feel superior to the poor; the educated might feel superior to the uneducated; the ones in position of authority and dominion might feel superior to those under them. A feeling of superiority might come from one’s concept of his own righteousness; the Pharisee displayed an attitude of arrogant superiority toward the publican (Lk. 18:9-14). This attitude is still present when one displays a “holier-than-thou” disposition.
A Christian must display humility. He needs to imitate the humility of Jesus (cf. Phil. 2:2-3). Rather than feeling superior to others, the Christian recognizes that he is a sinner in need of the salvation which Christ brings, he is a man just like all other men – facing the same certain death and judgment to come.
2. A Lying Tongue (Prov. 6.17). “Lying lips are abomination to the Lord . . . ” (Prov. 12:22). A lying tongue stems from a dishonest heart. People lie for different reasons. Some He to take advantage of another person (for example in misrepresenting a product or warranty); some lie to cover their own sins (cf. Cain’s lie in Gen. 4:9); some lie to protect themselves from another’s anger (for example, a child might lie about his action rather than face the anger of his parent); some lie to keep from hurting someone’s feelings (for example, telling a terminally ill patient that there is nothing seriously wrong with him). Each of us has faced the temptation to lie and many of us commit the sin. The honesty and integrity of Nathanael’s character, whom Jesus described as “an Israelite . . . in whom is no guile” (Jn. 1:47), commends itself to us.
3. Hands That Shed Innocent Blood. “Shedding innocent blood” is a reference to I ‘murder.” God hates the murderer. We witness “shedding innocent blood” in our society frequently. Someone mugs an elderly lady in order to steal ,her purse and she dies; a family quarrel gets out of hand and someone shoots his own relative; a guard is killed during a robbery; a police officer is shot while on duty. These are stories likely to be on any news cast. Jezebel and Ahab were guilty of this sin when they slaughtered innocent Naboth in order to make his family inheritance, his vineyard, their own (cf. 1Kgs. 21).
Another form of “shedding innocent blood” has recently become commonplace. A physician – one trained to save life – uses his medical instruments to kill unborn babies (abortion). Those hands which should be healing and ministering to the sick are being used to slaughter the innocent!
Euthanasia is another form of shedding innocent blood. Doctors and family members reach the conclusion that the “quality” of human fife is inadequate and then proceed to kill innocent blood. The aged, crippled, and retarded are either actively put to death or allowed to starve to death.
The feelings which God has toward this sin is seen in His divinely revealed punishment for it – “by man shall his blood be shed” (Gen. 9:6) and in the fact that God said this was an abomination to Him.
4. A Heart That Devises Wickedness (Prov. 6.18). “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord” (Prov. 15:26). Before wickedness is committed, it is planned and plotted. One example is given in Proverbs 1:
My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil (1:11-13).
These wicked men devised wicked plans. Whenever a robbery is committed, someone devised wicked plans. Some make their living by devising wickedness. Every pornographic magazine is demonstration that someone spent his time devising wickedness; its cartoonists, editors, writers, etc. spent their time devising wickedness. God abhors this kind of heart.
5. Feet That Are Swift In Running To Mischief (Prov. 6.18). This condemns those who hastily follow through in committing the wicked devising of their hearts. Indeed, the Lord said, “The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord” (Prov. 15:9). Those who have hardened their hearts toward the Lord’s will and scornfully rejected His word in order to brazenly commit wickedness are abominable to the Lord (Prov. 3:32; 11:20; 15:8-9).
Some feet are swift in running to these forms of mischief: fornication, drunkenness, drugs, foul language, shoplifting, mixed swimming, dancing, gossip, backbiting, etc.
6. A False Witness (Prov. 6.19). A false witness is a special kind of liar. His lying assists in perverting justice. It is singled out for condemnation by the Lord. A man does not go to the civil courts to settle a matter until he has exhausted all other ways to obtain justice. He goes there hoping to receive justice and equity. The false witness distorts the truth and causes injustice to be perpetrated. The victim leaves the court without further recourse available to him.
In capital offences, the false witness could bring the death of the innocent. In the record of Jezebel plotting the death of Naboth in order to obtain his vineyard, lying witnesses testified that Naboth had cursed God and the king, resulting in his being executed (1 Kgs. 21). These false witnesses murdered Naboth just as certainly as did Jezebel. God hates the false witness.
7. He That Sows Discord (Prov. 6.19). The psalmist described the unity of God’s people as something both good and pleasant (Psa. 133:1). Those who disrupt the unity of God’s people are objects of Jehovah’s wrath.
The unity of God’s people is destroyed by gossips and talebearers. “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife” (Prov. 26:20,21). “. . . a whisperer separateth chief friends” (Prov. 16:28; 17:9). Sometimes the unity of God’s people is destroyed by self-willed men who are bent on having their own way. Sometimes the unity of the church is destroyed by men who introduce things into its work and worship which are unauthorized. Men who disrupt the unity of God’s people are abhorred by the Lord.
Other Things Which Jehovah Abhors
1. Divers Weights (Prov. 11:1; 20.10,23). Each of these proverbs condemns dishonesty in business. Before modem scales were invented, weights were used in order to have fairness in business transactions. Sometimes a person would devise a means of stealing from others by using different weights. He might use a 10 pound weight when buying your grain but an 8 pound weight when selling it to others; in this way, he sold 8 pounds of grain at the price one would expect to pay for 10 pounds. Such dishonesty in business God abhors. Fair marketing laws are not an invention of modern man; God had them years ago.
2. Those Who Blur Moral Distinctions. “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord” (Prov. 17:15). The wicked seek to sanctify their immorality until it becomes socially acceptable. This has been done successfully in our society with reference to fornication, adultery (divorce and remarriage for reasons other than fornication), gambling, drinking, dancing, mixed swimming, and many other sins. Efforts are underway to make homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia acceptable.
In the meantime, the wicked try to make righteous behavior look wrong. Those who oppose pornography are condemned as being guilty of “censorship.” Those who oppose abortion are criticized as trying to deny one’s freedom of choice. Those who preach one church are condemned as “narrow-minded bigots.” God abhors those who distort biblical moral standards.
3. The Worship of the Wicked. The Scriptures reveal that God abhors the worship of the wicked.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness (Prov. 15:8).
The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind? (Prov. 21:27)
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination (Prov. 28:9).
The wicked under consideration in these verses, whose worship is abhorred, are those wicked who refuse to repent of their sins. The wicked who repent of their sins and seek God’s forgiveness are acceptable to God. However, the disposition of mind which imagines that one is acceptable to God just because he offers a prayer or contributes money to the church, even though he persists in sin, is an abomination to the Lord.
Yes, there are some things which Jehovah hates. If God hates these things, we should hate them as well and diligently avoid committing them. Are these things abominable to you?
Guardian of Truth XXX: 15, pp. 450, 468-469
August 7, 1986