OBJECTS OF GOD'S HATRED
These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination to him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood: a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that are sioift 'in running to mischief, a false witness that speakelh lies, and him that sows strife among brethren. Proverbs 6: 16—19.
The Lord hates nothing but what is hateful; and he loves nothing with complacency, but what is lovely. This necessarily arises from his adorable perfections; for he is infinitely wise and transcendeiitly good. Men should endeavour to imitate these perfections by loving what the Lord loves, and by hating what he hates. Our text mentions six things which the Lord hates; ) yea, seven which are an abomination to him. Let us examine them one by one.
I. THE LORD HATES A PROUD LOOK. A proud look proceeds from a proud heart. Some men endeavour to conceal their pride, but they who indulge a proud look, expose themselves to every beholder. David, probably, was charged with this crime, but he appealed to the Lord for his innocency: " Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty"( Ps 131: 1). The general causes of a proud look are some supposed excellencies, either of birth, fortune, talents, or education ; but none of these form a sufficient excuse for pride which, in every point of view, is hateful both to God and men. A little reflection will discover the abominable nature of pride. It puffs men up with self-sufficiency and self-satisfaction; so that they despise others, and idolize themselves. Pride robs God of; his glory and places the creature upon his throne. Devils fell through pride, and those who copy their example must fall into the same condemnation It is generally the first sin that appears in human nature, and the last which is destroyed. As pride is hateful to God it must either be totally destroyed, or man must fall into destruction for, "pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall"( Prov. 16:18)..
II. THE LORD HATES A LYING TONGUE A lie is something which is spoken with a design to deceive; If a person relate an urttruth without that design, he cannot be charged with lying. The best of men are subject to mistakes and errors; but when mistakes and errors are not wilful they are not hateful to God. Truth in our words is of vast importance. Without truth all confidence would be lost among men. God whom all should imitate is a God of truth. A liar is universally and justly detested and not only exposes himself to shame and contempt, but is the author of much confusion and mischief. Let us, therefore, sacredly attend to truth ourselves, and teach our children, from their infancy, to abhor a lie. . There are many sorts of lies, and many designs in lying. Some tell lies to make sport, others to make mischief, others to promote their own reputation and to blast the character of their neighbours, others to conceal their faults, and others to make peace between contending parties. But this is doing evil that good may come. There are many awful proofs recorded in the Scriptures that God hates lies of every quality. Ananias, and Sapphira his wife were struck dead for lying, and this sin is most expressly forbidden and threatened with punishment "in the lake which burns with lire and brimstone"( Rev. 21: 8). The devil has been a liar from the beginning, and all liars are his children but both shall have their part in that place of torment.
III. The Lord hates those hands that shed innocent blood. Magistrates, to whom the power of God is committed for the punishment of crimes, are allowed in certain cases to take away the life of man; but they should proceed with great caution. It is better that a hundred guilty men should escape than that one innocent man should suffer death. Private murders are horrid crimes, but they seldom escape the hands of justice. Cain shed innocent blood, but that blood cried from the ground unto the Lord and speedy punishment was inflicted. Much innocent blood is shed in wars, very few of which can be justified. In all wars there is an aggressor; and the blood that is shed lies at the door of the aggressor. What a dreadful account will the great ones of the earth have to give in the day of judgment for having embroiled whole nations in the horrors of war! Life is a sacred thing, and he who presumes to take it away without a just cause may look for the vengeance of that God who has said: " Surely your blood of your lives will I require: At the hand of every beast will I require it; and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddefh man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed"(Gen 9: 5, 6).
IV. The Loud hates the heart that deviseth wicked imaginations.The imagination of man is a fruitful source, both of error and of wickedness. To devise wickedness in the imagination is to invent and contrive methods of practising and promoting wickedness, and it is a much greater crime than that which is done by the sudden impulse of a moment. The minds of some men are as deep and as dark as hell. Their imaginations are at work both day and night to devise plans and schemes of lust and cruelty. Religion, with all its beauties and excelleneies, does not escape their diabolical thoughts. They lay stratagems for the pious; they project plans for the overthrow of every sacred truth and of every heavenly principle. Their minds are like the dark regions of the infernal pit where it is probable that devils join in council against God and man and then go forth with speed to execute their dreadful plans. Be it recollected, however, that' a dark thought cannot spring up in the mind without being instantly perceived by the piercing eye of an omniscient God who hates and will punish all this hidden iniquity. What a. blessing it is, that both providence and grace are continually counteracting these wicked imaginations!
V. THE LORD HATES THOSE FEET THAT ARE SWIFT IN RUNNING TO MISCHIEF. WICked imaginations lead to wicked actions and men who cherish them are in haste to sin against the Lord. Pious men delight in doing good, but these worthleless men delight in doing mischief. This discovers a corrupt heart where every action has its spring and the inward state of these men is read in their outward conduct. "A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things"(Matthew 12: 35). Swift feet indicate zeal and, alas, there are too many who are zealous in mischief! They burn with strong desire to injure men in their persons, property, and character. Opportunities of this kind are not very frequent, but whenever an opportunity offers, these monsters of iniquity hasten to the spot and exert their diabolical power to the uttermost. How unlike the Son of God, who went about doing good! Such men may be compared to savage beasts of prey. But God who is good to all and whose tender mercies are over all his works beholds them with abhorrence, and soon will pour his heavy judgments down upon their guilty heads. A man of this description may prosper for a time, but soon, very soon, "his mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealings shall come down upon his own crown"( Ps. 7: 16).
VI. The Lord hates a false witness who speaks lies. This refers to courts of justice. Common lying is hateful to God, but perjury is much more hateful. He who speaks lies in a court of justice endangers the life and liberty of man, but some are so depraved that they regard neither the one nor the other. He that feareth not an oath, neither fears God nor regards man.. When you are called upon to bear witness, be girt about with truth, and call to mind the solemn command which is given on this occasion: " You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor"( Exod. 20: 16). Recollect seriously, that what you gain by a false oath is but of trifling value when compared with what you lose in the favour of heaven. Think of the injury you are doing to your neighbor; of the stings of conscience on a future day and of the righteous judgment of God.
VII. The Lord hates him who sows discord among brethren. Brethren are sons of one Father. Good men of all nations having God for their Father are brethren. Unity among brethren both in private families and in churches is very desirable. "Behold, how good and pleasant, it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Herrnon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion"( Ps. 133). The seeds of discord are generally sown by violent tempers and secret whisperers. "A perverse man sows strife; and a whisperer separates chief friends"( Prov. xvi: 28). A violent temper frequently sets a house on a blaze, and the flames rage with ungovernable fury. When a man of this temper joins a religious society, there is great danger of discord, unless (which does not always happen,) his boisterous temper be subdued by the grace of God. A whisperer ought to be held in abomination. He sows discord by artful and sly misrepresentations when, at the same time, he is full of a pompous profession of friendship. He carries lies from one to another, and peace and harmony flee at his approach. Discord may be sown by a whisperer, who relates those facts which should be concealed for the sake of peace. Let weaknesses and frailties be covered with the mantle of love.We cannot wonder that the Lord hates these evils. They are directly contrary to his nature, and they are ruinous to men. Be careful to avoid them at all times. If you regard either the honour of God, the happiness of men, or your own individual comfort, pray earnestly for a deliverance from these great sins. Thanks be to the blessed Jesus who came into the world to save sinners! Those who feel his saving power are humble; they abhor a lie; they are merciful; they devise good things; their feet are swift in running to do good; they fear an oath; and they "follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord"(Heb. 12:14). May this be our conduct, all the days of our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen.*
*---This nessage is a reproduction of a message by a British preacher, Jonathon Edmondson. He delivered this sermon in 1852. I agree heartily with this message and recommend it to you. I felt that these words deserve to live. ------Lonnie Branam