Summary: The seven things God hates.
Passage: Proverbs 6:16-19
Title: The Actions
Interesting Statement: This is the hardest sermon series I have ever preached…
Introduction: We finish our seven series closing with the seventh item the Lord hates, one who “sows discord among brethren”. As already stated, the purpose of these seven warnings for us is to strive to honor the Lord, not participate or practice what gets under His skin. God wants us to live the life He wants, not glorifying ourselves. While we go astray, we must remember God alone has the ability to save us. Like Job we claim, “He (God) will deliver you from six troubles; in seven no evil shall touch you.” (Job 5:19). Let’s take a look at the problem, “sowing discord”…
The Problem: Sowing Discord
• Explanation: The Hebrew word discord (Medan) is the same word “strife” meaning a lack of harmony between persons (often in marriage) where a difference of opinion leading to war. Discord is an inharmonious combination of tones (think music) leading to conflict, arguments and quarreling from one to another.
• Illustration: Think of it like this… One man gets nothing but discord out of a piano but another gets harmony (have me play then Becky). Discord or harmony, no one claims it’s the piano fault but more the person. Life is like that as God is not at fault, man is.
• Application: 3 “Sowed Seeds” of Discord… Which one do you sow?
o A Seed of Bitterness – A seed of bitterness is ultimately hostility (to others). Bitter men have profound grief that acts on the mind like poison in the body. He holds on to fury, takes offense, refuses reconciliation and strikes out in anger.
• “Every form of malice (bitterness) must be done away with…” Eph. 4:31
o A Seed of Anger – While anger is not always a sin (righteous anger), it becomes sin when motivated by pride (the first thing God hates). Unrighteous, angry people let their anger linger. They attack the problem/person using destructive words and poison speech, holding a grudge and keep things inside.
• “Be angry but do not sin, don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” Eph. 4:26
o A Seed of Distrust – Distrust is essentially taking eyes off the Lord looking to our own strength and confidence instead of that which comes from the Lord and His Word. One who sows a seed of discord using distrust will push others to put their faith in the world over faith in God’s Word. God hates that!
• “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
• These actions don’t come from the Spirit but “the works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19), which we are called to wrestle against.
Transition: While salvation takes away the penalty of sin, it doesn’t take away the “sinful nature” or fight against the flesh (that which still clings to us while still in this life). The sinful nature demands a daily fight, leaving behind the old man and developing the new man walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:16-25). Christians are called to crucify “the sinful nature with its passion and desires” to keep in step with the Spirit. How do we do that?
Solution: Three ways to sow harmony over discord.
#1: Embrace the Fight Against Bitterness
• Explanation: We must make sure “bitter roots” aren’t growing in our hearts causing us to fall short of God’s grace. God’s desire is we live in love, joy, peace, and holiness - not bitterness. As believers we’re called to watch diligently, being on guard against the grave peril of bitterness fighting it in a few ways. Leaving bitterness means we forgive. A lack of forgiveness is why we hold onto bitterness. We must face that we are unwilling as in tension there is growth.
• Illustration: In the parable of the man who was forgiven a great debt (Matt. 18:24-35) the forgiven man immediately demands payment from someone who owes him a fraction of what he himself owed. Though he was shown mercy and grace, he was unwilling to extend it even in a small way which lead to sowing discord.
• Application: An unforgiving spirit has eyes on themselves not the Lord. When we tell God, "Someone should pay for this." He says, "I did…" God knows what's going. He knows your thoughts and how others hurt you. He was there. We pray for those we have a hard time forgiving (hardest thing ever) as it opens the door of our heart so that God can come melt icy resentment that is there.
o “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another.” James 4:10