Proverbs 28:25 An arrogant man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.
A wise man knows that arrogance and pride are always evil. There are not many things we can say are wrong always - but this is one of them. God said in James that He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Embrace pride and you will embrace resistance to God's will and ways.
What we learn here about the arrogant man is that he stirs up strife. This is because the arrogant man considers himself right and first at all times and in all things. His pride will not allow him to consider others before himself. The ultimate example of this is Lucifer who, although the anointed one who covered - some say the highest angel in all of heaven - he decided he would be God. This arrogance stirred up the ultimate strife in all the universe. First it stirred up strife among the angels as a third of them followed him into his eternal insanity. They were subsequently cast out of heaven and are condemned for all eternity for following the pride of the devil.
On a much lower level, we too will find ourselves in strife when we are arrogant. An arrogant man will not humble himself. He will resist confessing sin - or even the thought of him doing something wrong. He will not serve others - but will demand that others serve him. He will not follow leadership - because he wants to lead - and then wants no one to question his leadership. His very demeanor will stir up strife among others who will react to his arrogant ways.
What is portrayed against this strife-causing arrogance is a man who trusts in the Lord. He looks to God and relies on God's work in people's hearts and minds. As a result he does not have to have his own way. He does not view others as a threat. He can serve them and place himself lower than all others because ultimately he knows that God is in sovereign over all things. The greatest example of this is found in our Lord Jesus Christ. Although he was God, He did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped - but humbled Himself and became a man. Christ's humility and trust in God led to very interesting places. He became a man - humbled himself to be a servant - and wound up on a cross being crucified for others. Yet, whereas Satan's pride and arrogance cost him everything - the humility and trust of Jesus in God won Him the name that is above every name. He was blessed for all eternity as the One Who saves. To say that Christ's humble trust caused Him to prosper is an understatement of monumental proportions!
But let's take a moment and leave the lofty courts of heaven itself and get in the trenches where you and I live every day. When we are arrogant and feel like we need to defend ourselves and get what our rights deserve . . . those actions will lead to strife. It is when we trust the Lord and lay down our rights that we will prosper. It is not when we take up the crown but when we embrace the servant's towel that we will prosper. Trust the Lord in every circumstance and become a servant to others. Allow the Lord to prosper you - and then use that prosperity to bring glory to God. This is the way to true happiness and to a blessed life. It may cost in the short term - but in the long term of a person's life it will lead to so much more - and to the ultimate blessings for all eternity!
He who digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him. Proverbs 26:27
This is not a proverb that explains why bad things happen to Wylie Coyote - even though at first glance it might. It is actually about those who plan to do evil to others. Those who set traps to catch others and have bad things happen to them are warned in this proverb that what they do will eventually happen to them. Let's take a look at what this means - and also see an example or two.
Those who dig a pit do so to catch someone in it. In biblical times people would dig pits and cover them for the purpose of catching more than just animals who would fall into them. These pits would be dug and covered with camouflage as well as wetted down on the sides so that whoever was caught in them would not have opportunity to escape. Those who caught the person would then either take them captive as a slave - or kill the one who fell into the pit. The reason a stone would be rolled is to be put on a steep hill so that it could then be rolled down to kill or badly injure someone who was coming through the valley. This was a tactic of thieves who wanted to steal what travellers would have as they went through valleys and along roads that were next to hilly or mountainous areas. The idea with a pit or with a stone was to injure or kill someone for evil purposes.
God warns that those who do such things will fall into a pit themselves. God also warns that the stone that is rolled with come back on them. This is not a reference to an actual pit or an actual stone rolling on them - but was a warning that God was going to hold them responsible for their wicked actions. A good example of this would be the story of Joseph and his brothers. The brothers threw Joseph into a pit with the original intention of killing him because of their jealous hatred of him. Joseph and his stinking varicolored coat reminded them every day that their father loved him more than them - so why not teach the little runt a lesson. Of course killing your brother is a little intense. In the end they decided just to sell him into lifelong slavery (their sibling rivalry was way more intense that what I remember with my brothers). They covered their tracks by dipping the hated coat in blood and telling their father that a wild animal killed Joseph. But the pit they dug - and the rock they rolled was going to come back on them one day.
The first "pit-experience" was when their father almost died from grief. Then there was the famine that came and caused them to have to go to Egypt where they had to ask for food from . . . wait for it . . . their snotty little brother who was now the second ruler of Egypt. What was very good for them was that their brother had far more mercy on them in their pit that they had on him when he was in theirs. They had rolled their stone on him - but he refused to roll his on them. He chose forgiveness rather than revenge.
The varied pits that you can fall into are as numerous as the ones you dig for others. It is amazing as I grow older to see all the various pits that people have fallen into after they've dug ones for someone else. It is a fact of life that what goes around comes around. That is the simple, one-sentence way to define this particular proverb. I just hope that we all remember that the next time we grab our shovels and start digging for someone else.
A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends. Proverbs 16:28
There are those who through their falsehood and gossip cause great harm to the relationships of others. This can be the case even with intimate friends. The first action of this man is to spread strife. The way that this man does this is through lies and slanderous falsehoods. He starts by lying to one friend of the other about the actions of their "so-called" friend. Those who will not listen to gossip will shut down this kind of ruiniation of another.
The slanderer is just as dangerous - but his falsehood and lies have a far more sinister goal in mind. He is not content to just spread strife and discord. Look at the proverb for today and not that the one filled with slander - does so not just to cause arguments - but also to separate a man from his friend. He has a target in view - and that target is a friendship of which he is very jealous. Why else would he desire to see this relationship destroyed.
Once someone can penetrate your mind with slanderous gossip - it is hard to remedy the situation. The desire is to serarate a man from his friend - so that the one who sabatoged this relationship can see it destroyed. That way he can have a better one - or at least keep the two former friends from making his relationships look weak and feeble. There are some who just are not happy unless they are making others miserable.
Be careful around such perverse, small-hearted people. They are filled with bitterness and hatred because they usually want what you have with a friend - but cannot get it because of their ungodly ways and how they are unable to maintain a relationship due to their own selfishness. Avoid these people like you would avoid the plague!
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute. Proverbs 15:18
Whenever we face a situation where we can react in anger we have a choice. I know that some don't think so because they say that so-in-so made me angry - or such-and-such a situation made me mad. The facts would say something much different. They say that we control our temperment - not that circumstances and people control what we do. Today's proverb helps us understand this. Each day as we begin to interact with people and face a world filled with its varicolored situations, we need to do so making a conscious choice. What that choice should be is the topic of God's wise counsel to us in this verse.
We have a choice whether we are going to be "hot-tempered" or not. The Hebrew word for "hot-tempered" is very instructive and descriptive here. It is "chemah" and means to be rage-filled, angry, and filled with poison or venom. This is fascinating because we need to make a conscious choice not to have the venom and poison of the evil one flowing through our veins as we walk through our day. By this I am not saying that we are demon possessed or anything fantastical like that. Instead I refer to a much more subtle thing that energizes the strife that will follow such a man through his day. Let me explain.
Each day we live we interact with others and with our environment from morning to night. As we do this we have both problems and problem people come into our lives. It is possible as we do this to be bitten by the evil one in such a way that his venom and poison enters our system. This usually happens when someone hurts our feelings - or tramples what we perceive to be our right to be treated better or with a certain modicum of respect. It can also happen when we begin to entertain the thought that a certain set of providential circumstances are a raw deal. If we are not careful to cry out to God to remove such venom from the veins of our thinking and our heart - it can begin to do its insidious work in us. Over time this poison will turn to bitterness against someone - resentment grows to a point where what at first was an annoyance becomes a seething cauldron of anger and rage toward someone. In regard to circumstances that our God allows providentially in our lives, we can think Him cruel and uncaring. This poison will turn our hearts a deep shade of bitter - and we soon find it hard to read His Word, pray, and ultimately to trust Hiim to cause all things to work for good. As the infection spreads deeper in our reasoning, we soon become angry at our core - which is where this one is in this verse. Thus the temper of his soul is such that he is constantly stirring up strife. I've known men over the years who say that trouble seems to follow them. But in a majority of the cases, they were one who had allowed the venom of the evil one through slights and circumstantial difficulties to reach a critical mass in their hearts. The trouble they perceived to follow them - really was trouble that they encoruaged because they are so angry in their core. I've even watched this in some who do this not through active agression - but through passive-agressive actions and words (or the lack of them).
There is another choice we can make in the Lord. That is that we become those who calm disputes. These are those who have at their core a work of the grace of God that makes them slow to anger. The Hebrew word used for this is one that is also used to describe long pinions - which are the largest feathers on the wing of birds. These particular feathers are used in birds to reduce drag on their wings thus helping them control both the wind and the turbulence that is natural in the sky while they fly. What an astounding picture this is for us of the patient, long-suffering man who chooses to calm disputes rather than fuel them. Like a bird who uses their long pinions to ride the wind while diffusing the problems it causes - these people ride the events of everyday life. They choose to deflect and diffuse both the insults and indignities of life - as well as the problematic providences that we cannot change. Rather than having such things make their flight a bumpy one, their choice to be slow to anger allows them to ride the difficulties of living on earth rather than having the things of earth ride rough-shod over them.
A wise man knows that life is not going to be fair - neither is it going to bow down and kiss his feet every day. He knows that since we live in a fallen world, that he will run into fallen people who act . . . well, they act fallen. Therefore he chooses to turn to God, who deals with the indignities of over 7 billion people daily, and yet who does not consume them with His wrath. This grace daily allows him to stretch forth his spiritual pinions and diffuse the problems and the poison that would turn him from being a peaceful, gracious man into an angry strife-ridden one. May God give us mercy that we would be such men and women.
If you have been foolish in exalting yourself Or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth. For the churning of milk produces butter, And pressing the nose brings forth blood; So the churning of anger produces strife. Proverbs 30:32-33
Pride, anger, and plotting evil are all very foolish endeavors. They may go a while without any kind of retaliating incident, but they are the kind of actions that store up trouble in the end. That is what this proverb proverb wawar us about today.
There is no mincing words at the beginning of this proverb. We are told that things like exalting ourselves or plotting evil are "foolish" things to do. In fact this proverb is trying to warn us about the consequences of these actions. This is done in the classic "if/then" fashion that we are used to seeing in the book of Proverbs. Therefore we are being warned that if we engage in pride or plotting evil - bad things are on the horizon for us.
The actions we are warned against here are twofold. First we have the sin of exalting ourselves. God values humility - and opposes the proud and those who would exalt themselves in the eyes of others. I knew of an educator who put himself up for awards in the educational system in which he worked. He genuinely thought he was worthy of the honor that these awards offered. The problem was that because he "exalted himself" in this way, he was seen as a joke among his fellow educators. Elsewhere in Proverbs we read that we need to let another praise us - and not our own lips. To speak in praise of self - is to speak foolish words of pride that, according to Scripture, goes before a fall. The second action we are warned against is that of plotting evil against another. We all know of the end of those who do this. Either they are caught in the process and shamed - or - they succeed in their plotting and it only causes them to become further corrupt. Whichever way this goes it is a foolish endeavor that often takes this lives of the ones who give themselves to such overt evil.
What God warns against though is that these things in and of themsleves cause a churning of anger that will end in further strife. Two examples are given to reminds us ot this. The first is the churning of butter. When milk is put into a butter churn it is a liquid. But after you spend time churning that butter over and over again - it eventually turns to butter. The second example is that of pressing someones nose. The idea here is that of not just pressing down on a nose - but twisting it violently. This, we are told, will produce blood. Both of these things are undeniable truths. You do these things - and the results are destined to follow.
The reason these two examples are given is because God wants us to know that the churning of anger will produce strife. When I first read this I fully understood how the churning of anger in plotting evil would produce strife. Consider someone who churns with their anger inside of them - and they submit themselves to their anger to the point to where they begin actively plotting evil against the one with whom they are angry. The plot unfolds - and the evil is done. The result WILL be strife. The one against whom the plot was carried out will become very angry - and strife between these two will last a very long time. The one I was a little confused about is the practice of someone exalted themselves. How does that produce anger and strife? Then it became clear to me that when someone exalts themselves - others around them resent it. They resent it because it is the natural desire of fallen man to be exalted. So the anger comes when they exalt themsleves - and I react because deep down - I think I should have been exalted. When this happens - I will begin to go out of my way (even subconsciously) to show how the person who exalted themselves does not deserve to be exalted. Another response is to have a resentment against this person because I despise the fact that they have exalted themselves.
God promises that these kind of actions are going to produce strife. They will reveal the one guilty of them is a fool - and eventually their lives are going to be surrounded by problems that come from anger being churned up in themselves and others. Jesus promised blessing, not the proud and self-exalting ones, but rather to peacemakers - and to those who humble themselves in the sight of God. The lives that seek peace and the blessing and exalting of others will have far more peace and joy than the fools who only think of themselves.
He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction.
There are those in this world who love rebellion - whether against God or against "the man." These people, because of this rebellious bent, also love strife. Theiy love a good fight where they can quarrel with others and contend with anyone who holds an opinion other than theirs. This kind of insolent, arrogant attitude brings such a one into multiple situations where they fight and where violence is almost certainly to break out eventually. I remember a friend of my youth - who just loved to fight, whether it was with words or fists. This happened weekend after weekend as he would drink and party. One weekend he went too far and was shot a couple of times at a bar where he had previously picked another fight. Fortunately for him he was not killed in the incident. But this is what the proverb is trying to get us to see.
The second part of the proverb here is a Hebraism. It speaks of the one who "raises his door." The habit of the Jews was to make the front door of their compound very low to the ground so that no one could get in without permission. They also would intentionally not make their doors ornate - so as to draw attention to themselves - and unintentionally draw the attention of thieves or those who would seek to plunder their homes and compounds. Over time this practice eventually came to speak of someone who was ostentatious and filled with pride. Those to "raise their door" came to mean those who act with excessive pride and arrogance. We are warned that doing this is dangerous and destructive. When we live with such excessive pride and arrogance - even one that fights with everyone - and that loves sin - we are setting ourselves up for destruction.
The wise man is a peace-maker, not a fighter. He is one who loves righteousness, peace, and humility. True, these things will not make him stick out - won't make him noticed by the standards of men. Yet, for the believer, this is not a good thing - to try to be noticed by men. We want God to be the One who promotes and gives us favor with others. The favor we crave and desire is not that of men (which often means we will have to love sinning as they do). We crave with an ever-increasing intensity the favor of God! And that kind of promotion does not draw the attention of men unduly - as does arrogant self-promotion does.
Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions. Proverbs 10:12
Two things are compared in this verse in Proverbs. They are hatred and love. We see the emotions and choices of both of these things - and because Proverbs is all about wisdom, we also see what they eventually will yield. If you need a proverb that will aid you in having good relationships, this would be a great one to learn.
First we see hatred. The word used here is "sinah" and it means a strong feeling of hatred. It is used of hatred that one human feels toward another. This hatred can be so strong that it can lead to murder - but it doesn't always end this way. Usually the manifestation is that it leads to dissension and unrest between two people - and often a broken relationship. Hatred may begin as a feeling - but soon hatred will bring us to a choice. The choice that is illustrated here is that of strife. Where someone has hatred in their heart, strife and discord cannot be far behind. We can choose to deal with our hatred in a biblical fashion - which is what the second half of this proverb relates to us. But if we will not deal with our hatred biblically - then that hatred will result in strife. We are told that hatred "stirs up" strife. The concept here is that of arousing and awakening someone. It refers to an agitating action. Hatred is a motivator - and it wants to motivate someone and agitate them to where they start a fight. This can be verbal - or as we have seen in worst case scenarios - even physical to the point of death. That is why we must immediately respond to hate when it rises up within our hearts.
We might find it interesting that God wants us to hate sin and hate evil. These are things God does not want us to have decent relationships with in life. We are to hate these things - and allow that hatred to stir us to stiving with sin and godlessness until we reject and refuse them in our lives. But when hatred is felt toward "someone" we are walking in dangerous territory.
The second half of this proverb tells us that love covers all transgressions. The words used here are very expressive. The love that is mentioned here is the very love of a man for a woman or the love of God for His people. This kind of love is selfless, self-giving love. When we love like this - it covers all transgressions. The word "cover" is the Hebrew word "kasah" and it means to clothe or conceal something. This is not the "cover-up" that we refer to when speaking of illegal activity. It is the covering and concealing that happens when one thing covers another. This word was used to speak of what the water did to the Egyptians when God had the Red Sea cover them. It is also used metaphorically in the Scripture of something that covers the shame of the guilty. But in order to fully understand what is said here we need to combine all the words used. Love covers all transgression. Transgression speaks of rebellion against God and His Law. It speaks of rebellion of one individual against another.
Love chooses to cover over these times of rebellion. When we look at this whole proverb we see that the usual response to transgression and rebellion is hatred and the strife that results from it. But what God desires is for us to respond with love - so that relationships will be blessed - even when one party doesn't contribute or want peace.
The most awesome way we see this truth illustrated is by God Himself with sinful mankind. We have chosen rebellion and disobedience - even hatred of the things of God. Yet God in His love chooses not to judge us immediately. His love was manifest fully in Christ. He chose to love us - and God manifests His love in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. This is love in its most glorious form. That love covers all transgressions - and makes it possible for grace to bring salvation to men. As we have reaped the glorious benefits of salvation from God's grace, may we also reap the blessings of donning His character in our response to slights of others. This is the way to redeem a relationship rather than let it take the fallen, natural course that is usually followed. What a wisdom is ours when we see a whole way of relating to one another in the cross. May God use it to bless you in your relationships in the weeks and months to come.
The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. Proverbs 17:14
Ever watch one of the movies where a small break in a dam takes place. You watch as the water is let out only in a trickle. The problem is that the pressure behind that trickle of water is tremendous. Soon the little place where the water is leaking cracks further under that pressure and becomes larger. More water is let out resulting in more pressure on that place. At some point there is a breaking point where the entire dam begins falling apart and the water begins careening out of the dam. Up until the point where the dam begins falling apart - there is an opportunity to stop the disaster. What is amazing is that when the earliest "letting out" of the water starts, the only real way of dealing with the problem is to release the water at the base of the dam and lessen the pressure on the breach in the dam. If this is not done - and the original crack is not repaired - the dam will eventually break and cause tremendous devastation. Now back to our Proverb today.
The beginning of strife is like the crack in the dam. This is not good because if left undealt with, it will make for a very serious 'breakout' of quarrelling. A fight is coming the longer that we do not deal with the very onset of strife in our hearts and minds. To leave it there is to embrace the coming quarrel and the problems it will engender.
The counsel God gives is to abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. That means that we should die to ourselves and to our desire to make our point. We should resist throwing a little guilt in someone's direction - or a little barb to get back a little for a slight we feel. We should abandon the wrong pursuit of this difficulty and instead, should allow the comment, the slight, the supposed or real insult, or just the grouchiness we feel to die as God takes it from us. Just one last thought though. If you have an entire dam of feelings and pent-up anger that is pressuring you to argue or quarrel, it would be wise to get with God to see what is at the root of your problem with this person. The reason I say this is that there are times when we truly do have issues that will require us to examine our hearts - examine our relationships with others - and draw down the water (i.e. the anger and resentment) that fills the dam so that the pressure to react and "let out" a dispute is lowered significantly. But in the meantime - just die to yourself and what you want to say. It is better to do that than to have the quarrel break out and with it have damage that is far worse to the relationship result.
It is better to live in a corner of a roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. Proverbs 21:9
There are days when I would rather not have this blog due to the nature of the subject matter present. Today is one of those days. This is only because I would rather spend a thousand days dealing with men and their biblical responsibilities and their sin, than spend one having to point out sin to ladies. Too often in our perverted world women are bashed on these matters with caracitures that are unflattering at best, and just plain mean at other times. So ladies, today I will try to hug as closely to the text as possible - only using biblical examples as I seek to explain this passage.
This proverb begins with a funny picture. We have a man sitting on the corner of his roof. He has decided that this is the better place for him to live. That seems very strange to us. Considering the exposure to the elements - and the sheer uncomfortable nature of living on just the corner of your roof - we are bewildered at this man's choice. What could be so bad that he would make such a choice? According to this proverb, it is the prospect of sharing his house with a contentious woman.
What is a "contentious" woman? The Hebrew word used here is "madon" and it refers to someone who is filled with strife and dissension. It speaks in Proverbs 17:14 of a quarrel or dispute that cannot be stopped once it starts - or in Proverbs 18:19 of arguments and contentiousness that create barriers between people. It is usually associated with an evil heart and with a bad temper. Other sins associated with this sin of contention are lying, perversity, and hatred. These are pretty bad sins - especially when you consider that this is someone with whom you live on a regular basis in life. The relationship one has with their wife should be the closest in life - but when a wife is acting this way - it makes life miserable.
This lady is miserable herself - and honestly - is making everyone else around her equally miserable. Rather than be a woman with a quiet and gentle spirit (as is counselled by Scripture) she is filled with anger, resentment, hatred, and because of these things - a contentious spirit that is ready at a moment's notice to enter into strife and voice her continual dissent. No wonder this guy is sitting on the corner of his rooftop - it is the only place he may be able to get a little peace and quiet.
Ladies, if you would indulge me for just a brief few moments, God desires you to be your husband's helper. This is the same term that is used to describe the Holy Spirit. You are called to come alongside your husband and cheer him on - calling him to be the man God wants him to be - and cheering loudly for him whenever he shows the slightest inkling toward that call. Let me let you ladies in on a secret. (All men need to stop reading at this point - and if you do - please do not bring up a vote to have my man-card revoked).
Ladies, your words are so very impotant to your husband. You may think he doesn't listen - but he hears every word you say. Whether he chooses to admit it or not - your words are more important to him than any other that are spoken during his day. When you cut him down and constantly criticize him - it does more damage than a thousand comments made by anyone else. The reason this guy is living on the corner of his rooftop - is because he is hurting so bad that any indignity or discomfort would be better for him. He hurts because rather than being encouraged by his wife - he is torn down. That is something that honestly cannot be fixed by anything other than you changing how you speak to him. Yes, I understand that often men are lazy and not exactly taking up the mantle to be God's man. Yes, I understand that you get frustrated waiting for him to be that man. Yes, I also understand that it is not fair for him to dump the spiritual leadership of your home on you. BUT . . . being contentious will not help matters at all. Men will react to this by retreating further from their God-given task. If you would praise him and encourage him when you see the slightest advance, you might be surprised at what begins to happen. Who knows, you might even see him pack up his stuff from the corner of the roof (or man-cave, or garage, or shop, or wherever he hides) and emotionally and spiritually move back into the home. All I know is that wisdom tells me that we get more flies with honey than with vinegar. That means a sweet and gentle spirit will yield far more from your man than being contentious and filled with strife.
There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19
What does God hate? This is a good question to ask - because the Lord actually lists for us 7 different things that He hates. Some think that God doesn't hate anything because He is love. But when you realize that whereas He loves righteousness and holiness - it means that by nature He must hate the opposite - and that is sin. This is a good list to remember because it reminds us of at least 7 things we absolutely need to steer clear of in life. We do this because we do not want to incur God's wrath for loving something He hates.
#1 - God hates Haughty Eyes . . . The proud look is something the Lord really despises. The eyes, according to Scripture, are the windows of the soul. When the eyes are filled with a haughty look it is a sure thing that the heart is filled with that same haughtiness or pride. We remember from the book of James that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. It is no stretch then to say that in hating haughty eyes God truly despises those whose look communicates an arrogance and pride that shows that they have no respect for God and His ways - just an utter disdain of them.
#2 - God hates a Lying Tongue . . . One of the 10 commandments is not to bear false witness. That means lying is out with God. He is a God of truth, and He wants us to speak the truth. When a tongue is a lying tongue, God hates the lies that come from it. Truth opposes lies at every turn - and we can be assured that God opposes the liar whose lying tongue promotes just the opposite of what God loves and is.
#3 - God hates Hands that Shed Innocent Blood . . . Here is one that we need to remember. Innocent blood is murder. God hates murder. Once again we find that one of the things God hates is listed in the 10 commandments. You shall not murder is commandment number five. Jesus goes further in Matthew chapter 5 when He tells us that even the thoughts and words that are at the core of a murdering heart - God hates. There is an application of this we also need to remember. The false god Molech required that his worshippers have their children pass through the fire as a child sacrifice to him. God hated this worship - and made it clear that the innocent blood shed in this practice would pay dearly for their sin. I believe we have a similar worship today in the practice of abortion. This practice is an abomination to God. We have decided that children (usually conceived due to sexual immorality) are too much of an inconvenience. Therefore we've devised the most heinous ways of disposing of them. We burn them alive through saline abortions or puree them within their mother's womb. And if this is not enough, when we wait too long to decide to dispose of one's conceived immorally, we just birth them partially and kill them in a way that we would NEVER consider for a convicted murderer. How God hates this shedding of innocent blood.
#4 - God Hates a Heart that Devises Wicked Plans . . . There are hearts that are thinking of evil - and who begin to plan to do evil. This is true even of us when we set our hearts on sin and want to do our best to keep it hidden. But there are those whose plans involve far more than just one man wanting to sin without being caught. These are those who devise a wicked plan either in business or in the government. These plans will harm thousands - and possibly millions. They do not consider that their wicked plans will do this - because they are consumed either by the acquisition of wealth or power. God hates these people because of how their thinking harms others.
#5 - God Hates Feet that Run Rapidly to Evil . . . Here we have someone who is just itching to run to evil things. There is no restraint in this one - because when he or she sees evil - they want to run "rapidly" to it. When a society turns from God - there is a growing stupidity and spiritual deadness that causes them to become insensitive to the warnings of Scripture. Thus they start to run to evil - rather than stop and think about the harm it will do to them and to others. When people run rapidly to evil it is also a sign that self is so completely dominant in their thinking that they are deaf to any other voice except the one that is urging them to do what they want. God hates this because it reveals that a conscience is dead to Him and dead to the warnings of both the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit.
#6 - God Hates A False Witness Who Utters Lies . . . Here we have what seems to be a second time that lying is mentioned. This second time though it is mentioned in the context of someone who is a false witness on a matter. This first time is was just a lying tongue. The false witness could be someone who speaks lies in a courtroom where the role of perjury comes into play. This would mean a perversion of justice and God loves justice and righteousness. It can also mean a false prophet or someone who lies about religious matters - thus causing some to put their faith in a god who is not God at all. Either way God hates it when someone who lies as a witness on a matter. They encourage people to make decisions based upon deception and lies. No wonder He hates these things - because the very first sin was due to the work of the devil as he was a false witness to Eve about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That lie, that deceit - when believed was the impetus that led to the fall of all of humanity into sin and rebellion against God.
#7 - God Hates One who Spreads Strife Among Brothers . . . The final thing in this list of seven is a person who is causing problems - actually who is spreading strife among the brethren. This person is one who either learns of strife - or is causing it. He is not content though we knowing it himself. He becomes the ultimate evangelist for strife among the brethren. He wants to see as many people upset and involved in this strife as possible. It should be no small wonder to us then that God does not say, "Blessed are the strife-makers." He says just the opposite. It is the peacemakers who will be called the sons of God. When God could have magnified the ultimate strife of the universe in sin - He did not. He chose to make peace through the blood of the cross of Jesus Christ. Therefore it really should be no shock to us that He also hates those who go the opposite way - and spread strife rather than spread peace among the brothers. We might need to remember this the next time we have a choice to continue a situation of strife and conflict - when we have an opportunity to bring peace instead.
Seven things God hates . . . it is a very sobering list. There are some things like murder and wicked plans that we would fully expect to be on this list. But other things that we tend to minimize tend to shock us here. Some call lying just telling a little fib - or a white lie. Others might not see spreading strife by gossipping to be something that is not the best - but certainly something that everyone does. The fact is that when God calls these things the seven things He hates - we need to remember them - and then learn to hate them in our own lives as well. That, my dear saints - is wisdom.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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