The Hatred of God

In modern colloquial English the word "hate" is commonly used to mean something far weaker than its dictionary definition. People often say "I hate traffic jams," or "I hate the Dallas Cowboys." What they usually mean by such statements is that they dislike such phenomena or people. When God uses the word, however, it carries a far weightier meaning. The Scriptural use of the term in connection with the Almighty indicates absolute loathing and detestation. In light of this, what then does God hate? Proverbs 6:16-19 list seven things that the Lord abhors.

The first thing that God detests is "a proud look." Other translations render the word "haughty eyes." (e.g. JND, ASV, & RSV.) This problem has plagued man since his expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Seeing things from a proud perspective has long been one of the major faults of human beings. In this age of technological advancement and material prosperity, people tend to think of themselves more highly than they ought. They rejoice in their "good fortune," forgetting to thank God for their health, possessions, and life itself. Like the Babylonian King Belshazzar of old, they carouse and celebrate in a carefree manner, never thinking that "the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified" (Dan. 5:23) Instead, they view things through a hubris-laden filter, believing that man is the measure of all things. Men view themselves as being capable of accomplishing anything. Certainly people who have gone to the moon, engendered the computer revolution, and eradicated smallpox can do whatever they set their minds upon doing. Such proud optimism pervades our music, media, & educational institutions in the modern era. In God’s sight, however, such thinking is the product of "haughty eyes" and He hates it. Such a viewpoint negates the Biblical teaching on sin, the necessity of the Cross, and elevates man to equal status with his Creator. Man needs to recognize his vileness and inability to please God through human exertion or merit. God loathes our proud thoughts, and commands humble repentance and faith towards the Almighty. (Acts 17:30)

The second object of the Lord’s loathing is "the lying tongue." James would later forcefully write concerning the tongue: "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell…the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:6, 8) The honest critic is forced to concede that these statements are no exaggeration of the tongue’s potency. It is a destructive and dangerous weapon that has touched off many wars, divided many families, and broken many hearts. This member becomes even more vicious when one adds "lying" to it. The Bible affirms that such verbal falsehood characterizes Satan, the Father of lies himself. (Jn. 8:44) In God’s estimation there is no such thing as a little white lie; rather, He declares His enmity towards the tongue that speaks falsehood. The Lord Jesus, who called Himself "the truth," stands in contrast to error and lies. The lying tongue robs God of glory, exalts man, denies the Gospel of grace, repudiates the word of the Lord, and perpetrates many other perfidious iniquities.

"Hands that shed innocent blood" next comes on the list of abominations in Proverbs 6. With over one hundred million people slaughtered, the twentieth century holds the ignominious distinction of the bloodiest recorded century in human history. This gruesome moniker is evidenced by the occurrence of two world wars, notorious episodes of genocide against the Armenians and the Jews, plus mass murder in Russia, Cambodia, Argentina, Rwanda, Burundi, Algeria, Nigeria, Bosnia, and Israel (to name only a few places.) The United States has not been exempt from the butchering of innocents; "civilized" America justifies the blood on its hands with the relatively antiseptic term abortion. Millions of unborn children are slain in the womb in the name of family planning, population control, and personal rights. God hates the murder of innocents. He noted the massacre of the Israelite infants in Egypt, as well as the killing of the Bethlehemite babies. The righteous judge of all the earth will avenge the helpless.

"A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations" comes next on the list of seven abominations in the sight of the Lord. This well-describes the current mindset that pervades our media, books, and entertainment industry. In the internet age, it is easy for man’s perverse thinking to be rapidly spread around the world. Even the art world seems fixated on glorifying the obscene, rather than exalting the beautiful things in God’s Creation. Man’s downfall has always been, at root, a heart problem. In the time of Noah, the Scripture records: "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Gen. 6:5) The Lord’s displeasure with this brought on a worldwide flood that destroyed everyone except Noah and his immediate family. Closely related to the wicked thoughts of man’s heart are "feet that be swift in running to mischief." As fast as men can devise evil, they hasten to implement it.

The last two characteristics on the Lord’s list are particularly insidious. "A false witness that speaketh lies" and "he that soweth discord among brethren" both imply the most calculated deceit, intended to bring about maximum damage to an individual. His distaste for these loathsome attributes is no doubt so acute because of the fact that such things were done to His beloved Son at Calvary. False witnesses testified against the Lord Jesus before the High Priest. Later the lie was maintained before Pontius Pilate. Doubtless, Satan delighted in the separation of the disciples as the Shepherd was smitten and the sheep were scattered. During the Church age this infernal liar has repeatedly tried to divide God’s people (the many splits in Church history bear sad testimony to this reality.) The closer that the crucifixion account is examined, the more it becomes apparent that all of these seven abominations were present on the day that the Lord Jesus gave His life.

With "a proud look" men rejected their Creator-Messiah, reckoning Him as a transgressor. They mocked Him, saying "He saved others, Himself He cannot save." (Mt. 27:42) "A lying tongue" was seen in the taunts that the masses hurled in Christ’s face. What more "innocent blood" could have been shed than that of the Spotless Son of God? Truly, the most wicked plan that the heart of man ever devised was the murder of the Lord Jesus Christ! The Gospels tell the story of man’s haste "running to do mischief" in such words as, "straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate." (Mk. 15:1) There was absolutely no hesitation on the part of the Lord’s enemies; they wanted to be rid of Him immediately.

In light of the presence of these seven abominations at Calvary, it makes man’s crime against the Son of God all the more heinous and despicable. The wonder is that the Word testifies that God still loves mankind, and offers salvation to those who will repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. The last words of the Bible well sum up the divine invitation: "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. .. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:16-17, 20)