BIBLE VERSE(S) FOR TODAY:
Psalm 26:8 “I love your sanctuary, LORD , the place where your glorious presence dwells.”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
If God came up with a list of seven things that he absolutely loathed, would you be interested in looking at that list? I certainly would! I’d want to be sure that I avoided anything on the dreaded list.
Well, fortunately, such a list exists! It’s found in our Bible reading today.
Proverbs 6:16-19 “There are six things the LORD hates – no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.”
As we read this list, we may be surprised at the things on the list … and the things that were omitted. Within the Christian community, there are some things that will put the ‘scarlet letter’ on your chest – and they aren’t on this list.
So, let’s quickly break this list down to see what we need to particularly avoid:
This is the look that someone gives who is saturated with pride. Maybe their face is aimed slightly upward so that they look down their nose at you. Maybe your nose is the one in the way. God hates this kind of look.
Someone who follows Jesus is someone who realizes that pride is a problem at the root of all sin. We all struggle with it. But we are joining God in trying to kill it in our hearts. Further, we are striving for humility (Philippians 2:1-8)
a lying tongue,
This one is easily understood. It’s when someone refuses to speak the truth. They are a liar.
Someone who follows Jesus is someone who speaks the truth because the Bible is truth (see John 17:17) and Jesus is truth (John 14:6).
hands that kill the innocent,
This refers to someone who literally takes someone someone’s life or, as Jesus pointed out, it can refer to someone who is simply angry at someone else (Matthew 5:21-22).
Someone who follows Jesus will strive to love every single person they encounter. This includes fellow Christians (John 13:35), anyone in need (Luke 10:25-37), and those who intentionally make our life miserable (Matthew 5:44-47).
a heart that plots evil,
This refers to someone who’s heart is wicked. They aren’t simply engaged in sin – it is often premeditated. They spend time thinking about and preparing for how they will break God’s moral code. We tend to think that “evil” is the category of sins that are worse than what we engage in. Yet, “evil” can be used of things that are simply opposed to God and His law.
Someone who follows Jesus realizes that our God doesn’t simply look at what we do – He looks at the heart behind what we do (1 Samuel 16:7). Further, we realize that our actions are simply an outflow of the condition of our heart (Luke 6:45) so we seek to join God in working to purge our hearts of sin and fan into flame our desire for holiness (Philippians 2:12-13).
feet that race to do wrong,
This refers to someone who isn’t content to plan to do wrong – they want to do it right now! There is very little if any constraint as a sin pattern becomes their god. They cannot and will not say “no” to what is wrong.
Someone who follows Jesus is regularly saying “no” to sin. In fact, instead of running to sin they are partnering with God to kill sin in their minds and hearts (Romans 8:13).
a false witness who pours out lies,
This refers to someone who isn’t simply a liar, as bad as that is. They are someone who willfully withholds the truth with the knowledge that their words are harming someone who is innocent of the alleged wrongdoing. This action speaks obviously to the cold-hearted condition of the liar’s soul.
Someone who follows Jesus speaks truth and is generous with their words of encouragement and affirmation for others (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
a person who sows discord in a family.
This refers to someone who causes trouble in a family or a family of friends. One way this typically happens is gossip. “Did you hear what they said?” “Can you believe what they did?” “Now, this is just between the two of us. Don’t tell anyone else.”
Someone who follows Jesus doesn’t stir up trouble. While there may be times that information is shared behind closed doors, it is never for the purpose of tearing someone down. Because a Christian’s heart, if it is in tune with Jesus’ heart, desires that people get along and experience peace (Romans 12:18). This is not a peace at all costs. Sometimes, continued sinful activity or theological heresy creates divides that cannot be bridged. But, these should be the exception and not the norm.
So, there you have have it. The Dirty 7. These are the things that the Lord absolutely hates. Let’s be extra careful to avoid things that made this list and repent quickly when we are guilty of any of them.