There are six things that the Lord hates, even seven that are disgusting to him: arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people, a mind devising wicked plans, feet that are quick to do wrong, a dishonest witness spitting out lies, and a person who spreads conflict among relatives. Proverbs 6:16-19 GW
In the ancient world—long before printing presses and the world-wide-web—most people didn’t have the opportunity to learn to read and write. Education and literacy were the privilege of the few—mostly the wealthy. Even today, much of the world’s population is non-literate or has limited literacy. God in His great wisdom instructed those who wrote the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:20-21) to write in a memorable way—using stories and parables and poetry with lists, alliteration, illustrations and other forms of figurative language. Right before these verses, an illustration is given of a person with evil intent who is an example of this list of things God hates. The list is expressed in a way that makes it helpful to remember—
There are six things that the Lord hates, even seven that are disgusting to him:
The numbers reinforce what’s contained in the list and the previous verses (Prov 6:12-15) paint a picture of what such a person looks like—
A good-for-nothing scoundrel is a person who has a dishonest mouth. He winks his eye, makes a signal with his foot, ⌊and⌋ points with his fingers.
Looking at the list it’s not hard to see why God hates these things—
- arrogant eyes— arrogant eyes look down on others with contempt and none of us want to be put down, marginalized, or belittled by anyone.
- a lying tongue— someone with a lying tongue can’t be trusted—not only what comes out of their mouth but their character.
- hands that kill the innocent— when the innocent are killed intentionally, it’s a sign of a hardened heart and an untrustworthy person.
- mind devising wickedness— again, someone who is devious can’t be trusted by anyone—neither their words nor their actions.
- feet quick to do wrong— everyone is at risk with someone who displays no restraint and seems bent on doing what’s wrong—they’re not just self-absorbed but self-destructive.
- a dishonest witness— many people have been victimized by those who claim something to be true that isn’t—lies, deceit, untrustworthiness cost everyone involved.
- someone who stirs up conflict— whether in a family or among friends, when someone is contentious and stirs up conflict everyone suffers for it.
Other people suffer the consequences with all of these things. Think of times when people have looked down on you, lied to you, did you wrong, or stirred up trouble that impacted you. No one wants that, whether it’s intentional or not. Think of those who are the victims of violent crimes and corrupt schemes. This includes the powerless trapped in the conflict of war and the millions of aborted babies who had no say about the end of their life.
God hates and despises these seven things and so do we, especially when we are directly affected by them. If left unchecked, these attitudes and actions become habitual. Guard yourself against doing the same to others!
Which of the things listed here have you been on the wrong end of? Have you found any of these seven hated things in yourself?
As you go throughout each day and week, make a point of asking God to help you not fall into the same pitfalls of these heart attitudes, thinking, and actions.