Proverbs 6:16-19

Proverbs 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 lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."
Christian Church Buffalo NY
Within traditional and orthodox Christianity, there exists a teaching that there are seven deadly sins or seven cardinal sins.  They are pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and slothfulness.  A man by the name of Evagrius Ponticus came up with the list in the 4th Century but the list appears nowhere in the sixty-six books of Scripture.  While that list may be worth discussing, it should not be held in any higher esteem than the list in Proverbs 6.  The list of seven sins in Solomon’s book is the closest the Bible gets to compiling a list of sins that are emphasized over all other sins.  These sins are directly attached to the conversation Solomon is having with his son in chapter 6 regarding “naughty” people.  It is no coincidence that there are seven characteristics ascribed to the “naughty person” in verses 12-15 and seven evils in verses 16-19.  God hates everything about the “naughty person.”  This wicked person shows us what it looks like to possess all seven chief sins.

1. A Proud Look.

God hates a proud look.  In verse 13, the wicked man “winketh with his eyes.”  As I mentioned in our last lesson, you can tell how a person feels by listening to their words but you can tell how a person THINKS by looking into their EYES.  The wicked man reveals arrogance with his eyes.  He looks down on everyone else.  This look reveals the fact that he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else.  God hates pride and it should be no surprise that a proud look is first on the list for it is the first sin recorded in the Bible.  Lucifer, the anointed cherub, became proud and as a result, lost his lofty position in Heaven.  This introduction of sin would set sin in motion.  Isaiah 14 records the pride of Lucifer while Ezekiel 28 records the response of God to Lucifer’s pride - God hates pride so much that He threw Lucifer out of Heaven and it looked like lighting according to Luke 10:18.  

2. A Lying Tongue.

God hates a lying tongue.  In verse 12, the wicked man “walketh with a froward mouth.”  You can’t trust anything that comes out of a wicked man’s mouth.  On the contrary, God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). God has a real love for truth and for that reason, has a real hatred for lies.  Jesus declared Himself the TRUTH in John 14 and declared Satan a LIAR in John 8.  There is nothing about lying that God likes.  Lying is one of the ten great Hebrew commandments.

3. Hands that Shed Innocent Blood.

God hates hands that shed innocent blood.  In verse 13, the wicked man “teacheth with his fingers.”  Because God is just, He hates when innocent people are punished and when guilty people are rewarded.  Because God is just, He hates it when the innocent are imprisoned and the guilty are set free.

4. An Heart that Deviseth Wicked Imaginations.

God hates a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations.  In verse 14, the wicked man “deviseth mischief continually.”  God created our minds to imagine good things.  He gave us an intricate and amazing mind for which to ponder good.  He wants us to use our amazing brains to understand Him.  He wants us to use our curiosity to discover Him.  When we use our mind to imagine evil things, it’s a terrible misuse of His handiwork.  If there is any question as to God’s hatred for wicked imaginations, the book of Genesis will answer those questions as God destroyed our world with a great flood because “every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).

5. Feet that be Swift in Running to Mischief.

God hates feet that be swift in running to mischief.  In verse 13, the wicked man “speaketh with his feet.”  On this list, you’ll notice that these aren’t sins that come easy to us.  There is no mention of gluttony, drunkenness, fornication, etc.  God hates all sin but there are sins He hates more and tolerates less. God “remembers that we are dust” (Ps. 103:14).  God understands how unbridled our appetite and desire for pleasure is.  The sins on this list are not sins of weakness or pleasure.  The sins on this list are not sins that come as a result of temptation.  The sins on this list, like this fifth sin, are sins that are premeditated and intentional.  Failure as a result of vulnerabilities to food, substances and sex is different than intentional acts of mischief. One has to go out of their way and put forth some serious effort in to cause mischief.  God hates that!

6. A False Witness that Speaketh Lies.

God hates a false witness that speaketh lies.  In verse 14, the wicked man has “frowardness in his heart.”  In Solomon’s list of seven characteristics of the “naughty person,” FROWARDNESS is mentioned twice.  In Solomon’s list of seven sins, LYING is mentioned twice.  LYING is the result of FROWARDNESS.  If there is perversion in the heart, then there will eventually be perversion in the mouth for “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh” (Mt. 12:34).  If there is a distortion of truth in the heart, there will eventually be a distortion of truth in the lips.  God hates lying.  God especially hates lying when it comes to matters of justice.  A “witness” in legal proceedings who lies puts an innocent person in jeopardy.  Furthermore, a false “witness” protects a guilty person and shields them from just punishment.

7. He that Soweth Discord Among the Brethren.

God hates the person that soweth discord among the brethren.  In verse 14, the wicked man “soweth discord.”  This is the final description of the “naughty person” and it is the final sin that God hates.  This seventh characteristic of the wicked is the seventh evil on God’s list.  It is the worst of sins in God’s eyes.  Often, the Bible uses the number seven as a number of finality.  It is special.  It completes and fulfills something.  For example, the seventh day of completion finished the week of creation.  This seventh sin finishes the wicked and brings him to a place of judgment.  This seventh sin stands above the previous six sins.  Hebrew writers often separated the final word, statement of phrase to draw attention to it.  Solomon would do this again in the thirtieth chapter of his book to draw attention to that fourth.  
Proverbs 30:18 “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:” 
Proverbs 30:21 “For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear:”
Proverbs 30:29 “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going:"

Amos did the same thing when pronouncing judgment in his prophecy.
Amos 1:3 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof…”
Amos 1:6 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof…”
He would say the same thing for Tyrus, Moab, Judah and for Israel.

Eliphaz took the same literary approach when speaking to Job about the man whom God chastens.  Job 5:19 “He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.”

This seventh sin is the worst of the wicked man’s sins.  It would close the case on this man’s moral depravity.  It is what ultimately led to his SUDDEN CALAMITY and PUNISHMENT (vs. 15).  Sowing discord among brethren is the seventh and ultimate sin that God hates.  It is called an ABOMINATION to God.  Again, God hates those evils that take effort.  God hates those sins that require premeditation and planning.  We have a hard enough time resisting natural temptations in our world – when someone intentionally tries to create anger, bitterness, resentment, strife, etc., God hates that.  No matter the reason, sowing discord is an abomination to God.  Sowing discord over politics is an abomination to God.  Sowing discord over money is an abomination to God.  Sowing discord over doctrine is an abomination to God.  Sowing discord over friendship, romance or planning is an abomination to God.   

While so much more could be said about this list of evils, it is important to appreciate the feelings represented in the list.  God has feelings too.  God is not a robotic deity without feeling.  He is not a computer only seeing right and wrong and nothing in between.  He is not like the sci-fi characters who are a mix of artificial life and droid able to see things perfectly but without emotion and feeling.  God prefers some things over other things.  God hates some things more than other things.  God has feelings too.  God hates these seven sins more than anything.  God doesn’t like gluttony but He hates pride more than gluttony.  God doesn’t like fornication but He really doesn’t like lying.  God hates sowing discord more than anything.

When we establish and grow relationships, we get to know people.  In getting to know the people we claim to love, we learn about their feelings on almost everything.  We learn that they like some things and that they dislike other things.  We learn that they love some things and we learn that they hate other things.  We learn that they prefer some things over other things and that they dislike some things more than other things.  In the process, we learn that there are some things that they just plain HATE.  If we care about them and if we care about making them happy, we avoid doing those things they HATE.  If we care about them, we take the things they HATE more seriously than the things that ANNOY them.  When it comes to our relationship with God, we should avoid those things that God dislikes and we should avoid those things that God gets annoyed by.  Ultimately however, we should work especially hard at avoiding those things that God HATES.  

God has feelings too.

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