A Lying Tongue
A Heart that Devises Wickedness
Feet that Run Swifty to Evil
A False Witness
One who Spreads Strife
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NASB)
16There are six things which the LORD hates; yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, 19a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.
The above passage contains what is called a numerical proverb, which is a form of Hebrew poetry that uses a series of items in order to build suspense with added emphasis on the final item. Thus, the “six…yes, seven” format is not to be understood as seven abominations with God hating only the first six; but as seven abominations hated by God with special attention on the last item. The question may be asked then, “What’s significant about the last item?” And the answer may be, perhaps, that one who spreads strife does so because all the preceding sins are a reality in his life.
Abomination noun: that which is detestable, vile, and shameful; arouses intense hatred coupled with disgust; and is abhorred or loathed
The passage at hand reveals a list of things God not only hates but considers abominable; and as you can see from this definition, this is no small matter. These seven things are characteristics of a person whom the Bible calls worthless and wicked and warns of their sudden and permanent destruction (Proverbs 6:12-15).
God hates pride and arrogance as well as those whose lifestyles are characterized by haughtiness. The Bible says those who are proud are an abomination to God; and they will not stand before Him or go unpunished. Those with haughty eyes are they who think too highly of themselves and who despise others. They are conceited and boast in their accomplishments, knowledge, or status; they trust in their own understanding, they disregard any reproof or correction, and they ignore God’s word. And in effect, they treat and think of themselves as though they were gods—violating the first commandment. They believe they are independent and self-sufficient apart from anyone else, let alone God. Simply put, anyone who is not humble, selfless, and contrite falls into this category. God gives grace to those who are humble, but is opposed to those who are proud.
Proverbs 16:5; Psalm 5:5; James 4:6
A Lying Tongue
God hates deceit and those who speak lies—whom the Bible says God abhors and will destroy. Those who lie break the ninth commandment and are in direct defiance and contradiction to God’s own nature because He Himself is truth; and so they demonstrate that Satan, not God, is their father—he who is the father of lies. Those who lie, stretch the truth, or equivocate with the intention of deceiving others all fit in this category. The Bible warns that all liars will have their part in the lake of fire.
Proverbs 12:22; Psalm 5:6; John 8:44; Revelation 21:8
God hates murder and those who shed innocent blood. The Bible says God abhors those who are associated with bloodshed and hates those who love violence. Murder is the premeditated unlawful killing of an innocent person, and those who do this break the sixth commandment. Those who shed innocent blood fall into this category and this includes those who carry out or are involved with abortions. You may not have actually murdered someone, but Jesus declared that whoever becomes angry with someone without a cause is a murderer in God’s eyes, as well as those who feel hatred for others. Those who take pleasure in bloodshed, whether it’s in video games, movies, fights, or whatever else that glorifies the shedding of innocent blood, fall into this category. The Bible warns that murderers are worthy of death and will have their part in the lake of fire.
Psalm 5:6; 11:5; Matthew 5:21-22; Romans 1:29, 32; 1 John 3:15; Revelation 21:8
A Heart that Devises Wickedness
God hates wickedness and those who do iniquity; those who are perverse in heart are abominable in His sight. The human heart is more deceitful than anything else and is desperately wicked, and it is out of this wicked heart that all types of evil and unrighteousness spring forth. Those who actively pursue the wicked impulses of their heart and fabricate evil schemes, plans, and ideas are the ones in mind here.
Proverbs 5:5; 6:18; 11:20; 15:9, 26; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:20-23
Feet that Run Swiftly to Evil
God hates evil as well as those who delight in it and pursue it. God commands us all to hate and abhor evil; and the fear of God leads sinners to hate evil and turn away from it; but those who love and actively follow after evil demonstrate just how wicked, perverse, and depraved they really are. Those who delight in committing all manner of sin, ungodliness, and malice, whether in thought, word, or deed, fall into this category.
Psalm 5:5; 97:10; Hosea 9:15; Romans 12:9; Proverbs 8:13
A False Witness
Again, God hates deceit and those who speak lies; and though this may seem like it’s just repeating the second abomination, this one is dealing rather with the deliberate altering of truth with emphasis on hurting the reputation or person of an individual, or distorting the truth of God. It is a violation of the ninth commandment. This abomination also involves perjury—lying under oath, lying in a court of law, or lying so as to pervert justice. During the Old Testament times, witnesses were vital in many cases and the testimony they gave often determined the justification or condemnation of the person called into question. If someone committed a serious sin or crime worthy of death, the testimony of two or three witnesses would suffice in carrying out the death penalty. However, false witnesses fabricated stories and would deliberately speak false testimonies about the people they hated either to destroy their reputation or cause them to be put to death. Anyone who lies, slanders, gossips, or swears falsely to the hurt of another person falls into this category.
Psalm 5:6; Proverbs 12:22; Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15
One who Spreads Strife
God hates those who are contentious and who delight in stirring up trouble and discord. Such people are arrogant, perverse, hot-tempered, and insolent. They are scoffers and fools who slander and quarrel, and they love to instigate and cause problems, divisions, quarrels, and fights. They enjoy rousing up a person’s emotions and passions against another, and they take pleasure in the strife that ensues. They try to manipulate people to side with them in order to gain an advantage over others whom they hate, regardless if the people they’re intent on dividing are the closest of friends. They destroy the peace and unity of family, friends, companions, and any general relationship. The Bible says those who engage in spreading strife are worthy of death, and that those who participate in such abominable behavior will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Proverbs 13:10; 15:18; 16:28; 17:19; 18:6; 20:3; 22:10; 28:25; Romans 1:29, 31; Galatians 5:19-21
Hope for the Guilty
If these things which God hates are a reality in your life, there is yet hope for you if you will just humble yourself, cast your wicked ways behind you, and seek the Lord Jesus Christ. He died for sinners like you in order to set them free from their sins and to save them from the wrath of God.
Have you had haughty eyes? Humble yourself and cry out to God. Have you had a lying tongue? So did Peter, when he denied knowing Jesus; but the Lord had mercy on him, and he repented of his sins and began proclaiming Him publicly. Have you had murderous hands? So did the apostle Paul, who had many Christians put to death; but Jesus forgave him, and he forsook his wickedness and began preaching the gospel. Have you devised wickedness with your heart? God can replace your wicked heart of stone with a new heart of flesh, and He can cleanse you from your filthiness. Have you run swiftly toward evil? There is yet time for you to turn around and run toward Christ and His righteousness. Have you been a false witness? Forsake your lifestyle of deceit and sin, believe in the gospel, and Christ will make you a faithful witness of His power and grace. Have you spread strife? Give up your malicious efforts and seek the peace of God through Jesus Christ His Son.
Those who repent and forsake all their sins, turning to God and believing the gospel, and trusting in nothing except Christ for salvation, will be saved. It doesn’t matter what you have done…God will remove all your sins as far as the east is from the west. Therefore, repent and believe the gospel, for the kingdom of God is at hand!