This proverb is about how people can hate you in their heart while all the time speaking what seem like pleasant words from their mouths. It has to do with deceitfulness, guile, and ultimately . . . wickedness. A wise man read these things and learns that just because someone is "for you" with their words does not mean that they are really with you in the end. There are some who speak wonderful words in public, but their feelings and their support in private is a wholly different matter.
Most people do not speak openly about their hate of another. To do such a thing would immediately characterize them in a very negative light. It would also expose them in such a way that they would have no more influence with that individual - or with anyone who thinks favorable of them. Therefore it is better for the ungodly man to disguise his hatred. This, according to God's wisdom, is done with his lips. He speaks graciously of the one he hates, All this is done for the sake of appearance only. The whole time he speaks graciously and kindly of this man - he has quite another thing going on inside his heart. We are told that he is laying up deceit in his heart. He is deceiving others - and in some ways even deceiving himself. He hates the man he speaks kindly of - and considers him an enemy.
We are warned that when we come to a man like this, we need to look into his heart. There is lying within his heart - and there are also abominations - 7 of them to be exact. What are these abominations? There are a couple of possibilities. Jesus spoike of seven woes in Matthew 23. These were curses on the Pharisees and Saducees for the hypocrisy that they practiced. Here we have a man who hates his friend or acquaintence, being the picture of hypocrisy by speaking well of him and yet hating him in his heart. The seven thing Jesus speaks of may be similar to the abominations in this man's heart. This also may be related to the seven things God says He hates in Proverbs 6:16-19. The list here is full of things God absolutely despises. The way I lean on this is that the number seven used here speaks more of perfection. There is a perfect hate - that leads to a perfectly abominable attitude and heart filled with evil and hypocritical actions and thoughts toward this one who is hated.
The warning here I think is twofold. First of all, don't be a man like this. Don't be someone who speaks hypocritically of another - saying positive, gracious things about them while all the while holding hatred and wicked, abominable thoughts and plans in your heart. To live this way is so harmful to our spirit. It is also to embrace attitudes that are completely foreign to Almighty God and those who are transformed by the Holy Spirit to be more like Christ daily. The second lesson for us is learned as we hear a warning from God. Such a man as this will be exposed in the end. His hypocrisy and his falsehood will be revealed. The assmbly will see the duplicity of this man - for God Himself will expose him in the end.
Consider this one example as we draw our thoughts about this proverb to a close. Judas was the ultimate example of this proverb. He was with Jesus for three years - and yet in the end sold him for a slave's price as he betrayed the Lord. During that time Judas never exposed himself publicly as an enemy of Christ. Even his betrayal was false as he betrayed the Son of God with a kiss. He was unwilling for his heart of hatred and greed to be exposed publically - and yet it was exposed. In the gospels we learn that Judas was a thief who stole money out of their money box. He was a man who criticized the beautiful expression of Mary's love when she anointed the Lord's feet with her perfumed oil worth a year's wages. Judas spoke only because he knew such a stash would have netted him so much more money he could embezzle later. God fully exposed Judas' hypocrisy - revealing in the gospels all the lies, deceit, and guile that he hid for three years. In the end he was exposed - showing both his hypocrisy and his horrific end - hanging from a tree dead and hopeless.
Do not be a betrayer - a liar - and a fraud in your friendships. Speak the truth - and if it is hard truth to hear - speak it in love. Don't hide things by sounding one way with your friend - and a wholly different way when you are not physically with him. This is a lifestyle that God calls an abomination. Be a true friend - an honest one - and one who is the same whether seen or unseen. Such a friend is like The Lord.