Summary: Proverbs 6:16-19 gives us seven things God hates. We will look at the first of these and see how to overcome them with God's grace.
Good morning Signal Mountain!
First, I would like to express my appreciation to Joel Baxley and David Bible for preaching last Sunday while I was in California doing the wedding service for Patrick and Amanda. The Lord has blessed this congregation with talented members who are willing and able to serve. Thanks be to the Lord.
Today, let’s return to Proverbs 6:16-19 where scripture lists seven things God hates. I’ve been praying about this, thinking through this list and how each item captures a sweeping theme that is echoed from one end of the Bible to the other. This list deserves a sermon series, since each item has great impact on our eternal as well as present condition.
Let me start with a question: What do you hate most? If you had to list three things you hate, what would they be?
While you are thinking about those, let me say that we use the words love and hate far too lightly. “I love that tie you have on!” Or, “I hate being late for church!” “I love chocolate.” Or, “I hate smelly feet.” We can sometimes destroy the true impact of words by using them wrongly, like taking a bazooka to kill a cock roach, we can say powerful words in contexts where they are not supposed to be used. It overstates the point, and in doing so, degenerates the meaning of the word. Hyperbole of a word, if practiced all the time drains the power out of it. God’s word teaches us to be careful with our speaking. Jesus said, “Every idle word a man shall speak, he shall give account on the day of judgment.” Then to press the point, Jesus went on, “For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.”
So… what do you hate? Honestly, truly and fully… what do you most recoil from or feel disgusted with?
When the Bible says to us, “God hates this…” We really should take it to heart. We really need to listen up and pay attention, knowing that whatever follows is a matter of grave and eternal importance.
Proverbs is a book that looks at both sides of the coin on many issues of life. It gives wisdom and insight so that we can walk with good judgment and sure guidance through this life. The Proverbs speak of love and hate, wisdom and folly, laziness and industriousness, purity and uncleanness, life and death, peace and turmoil, security and danger, etc. While Proverbs doesn’t give a lot of story contexts for the wisdom statements it records, the rest of the scriptures do. So, as we look at this first item on the list of what God hates, I would like us to use it as an introduction to a topic and see if we can find a story or two from other scripture with which to relate it. Our goal will be to discover how to avoid or overcome what God hates by fleeing from it and instead embracing what God loves.
Proverbs 6: 16 There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him: (and the first one on the list…)
17 haughty eyes, (or a proud look,)
The Hebrew words here mean to have exalted, lifted up, or proud eyes or an arrogant look.
Twice in Luke’s gospel Jesus said, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” 14:11 and 18:14 Other texts that echo this principle are:
James 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
There are several stories in the Bible that illustrate this, and I invite you to look at two of them with me this morning:
The first story is from the Old Testament book of 2 Kings 5:1-18
Notice again verse 13: Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”
Naaman’s pride blocked his obedience to God’s word. Naaman is a great warrior. He is used to being treated with honor and respect. He expected to be received and ceremoniously healed by the prophet. “Behold, I thought…” He even brought a lot of gifts to pay for his healing, so when the prophet doesn’t even come down to see him and do what he expects, but simply sends a servant to tell him, “go dip in the Jordan seven times,” well… his pride is hurt. Nothing makes us angrier than wounded pride. I wonder what his face looked like when he turned and left Elisha’s house. God has great mercy on Naaman. He not only heals Naaman of his leprosy but also teaches him humility in the process.