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Proverbs 6:16–17

“There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.”

In a day when many people think that God is little more than a really powerful grandfatherly figure who would never express His disapproval of anything, it is all too easy for those of us in the church to adopt a view of our Creator that leaves almost no room for divine hatred. Yet if we want to honor the Lord, we will certainly want to pay attention whenever Scripture speaks of those things that God hates. Proverbs 6:16–19 is a handy guide for us to those things that our Maker finds particularly detestable. We will not go far wrong if we stay away from the seven things that this passage refers to as an abomination to God.

Today we will cover the first three things on this list of abominations. First, we see that God hates “haughty eyes” (v. 17). This is a reference to the pride of heart whereby we insist on thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought (see Rom. 12:3). The Lord detests pride because it indicates that we do not have an accurate understanding of just who we are in relation to Him and to the rest of creation. When we exalt ourselves at the expense of another, we sin greatly against our neighbor. Placing confidence wholly in ourselves and what we can do is the precise opposite of the humility and fear of God that is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:7).

Proverbs 6:17 also reveals that the Lord hates a “lying tongue.” Jesus, who is God Himself, tells us that He is the “truth” (John 14:6), so it is clear why our Creator hates the lying tongue. To tell untruths is to manifest opposition to the One who is truth Himself and to show no regard for the sanctity of His character. Being pure and holy, God is ever true in His speech, and when we lie, we show utter disdain for His truthful character. Moreover, lying also brings great harm to others. A false witness can destroy the reputation and livelihood of another person made in God’s image, and our Lord takes very seriously threats to His image-bearers. Thus, the ninth commandment forbids us from being false witnesses (Ex. 20:16).

The third thing listed in today’s passage as the object of divine hatred is the shedding of innocent blood. Here we have a clear reference to murder, which is the worst act that can be committed by one human being against another. Since we are made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26–27), any assault against that image is an indirect assault against the One in whose image we are made. It is an act of hatred toward the Lord.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

As we go through this list in Proverbs 6:16–19 of the things that God hates, it will become clear that all of us are guilty of at least one of the sins that are enumerated. Think on that for a moment. All of us have done things that the Lord absolutely hates. Perhaps if we would remember that there are some actions that God detests, we would do them less frequently. Let us take care to know what the Lord hates so that we might be encouraged not to sin against Him.

For Further Study
  • Psalm 18:27
  • Isaiah 59:12–13
  • Romans 12:16
  • 1 John 3:15

God Unchanging

Four More Things God Detests

Keep Reading The Study Bible

From the September 2015 Issue
Sep 2015 Issue