What does God hate? Sin, obviously! He is holy (Psalm 22:3; Isaiah 43:15, Revelation 15:4). He also asks that His followers be holy (1 Peter 1:16). I want to hate what He hates, but more importantly, I want to love what He loves! One scripture that has stuck out to me about what God hates actually says, “This is what the Lord hates.” Pretty clear, right? But people don’t always hate what God hates.
Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “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” (Prov. 6:16-19). Wait, does God only hate seven things? What about all the other atrocities and wickedness in this world? One cannot rule out all the other sins God hates in Scripture. How can God be a God of hate and love at the same time? He hates the sin that separates us from Him, that’s why He sent Jesus to die for our sins. Let’s take a quick look at the seven things God hates in Proverbs 6:16-19.
First, Solomon lists haughty eyes, which is all about pride. Looking at someone with haughtiness is looking down on them. This arrogance starts in the heart and reveals itself in one’s mannerisms, words, and actions. “Pride,” Solomon also said, “goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Pride can destroy your relationship with God and others. In what areas have you looked down on and seen yourself “better than” someone else? In what areas have you arrogantly thought you knew more than God?
Second, God hates a lying tongue. Why? He is truth (John 14:6), and Satan is the father of all lies (John 8:44). Titus 1:2 says God never lies. Lying could include deception, manipulation, gossip, and a host of other sins of the mouth, which originate in the heart. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Lying about someone is an attack on their reputation. Lying to protect one’s self is rooted in fear. Do you need to repent of lying today? What relationship has been broken by lies, and how can you take a first step towards its healing?
Third, “hands that shed innocent blood” speaks of murder, cruelty, and harming anyone because of other sins like hatred, anger, and greed. Have you ever gotten into a fist fight because of hate, anger, or greed in your heart? Have you ever thought about harming someone for the same reasons? Jesus said murder begins in the heart (Matthew 5:21-22) and we are guilty of it even when we plot it inwardly. Shedding innocent blood doesn’t always mean that person isn’t guilty in what they did to you. It reminds us that God forgives and so should we (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13). Who do you need to forgive?
Fourth, God hates those who plot evil. While you can harm someone in the spur of the moment, plotting evil shows a more depraved mindset towards others as you take time to plan out evil. If you have ever thought, “I’m going to do this or say this evil to someone next time I see them” then you’re guilty of this one, even if you never did it. While shedding innocent blood involves the action, this one involves planning the act. The first may happen without thinking, but this one reveals the heart. Scripture tells us to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). Ever heard, “What goes around comes around?” This is true and found in Proverbs 26:27, “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.” We reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-9). Are you scheming and plotting against someone like the devil does?
Fifth, God hates feet that run rapidly into evil. If you can’t wait to get that juicy gossip or revenge, you’ve done what God hates. Has your flesh ever wanted to see someone hurt rather than help them heal? While our first thought might be, “Absolutely not”, when you see someone hungry, do you help feed them? Do you quickly run towards fighting homelessness, child abuse, and those who abuse the poor or quickly run away from them? You see, sometimes we run towards evil, and sometimes we run away from what could alleviate it. Are your feet running toward evil? Are they pointed towards it? Are you more likely to entertain evil or run away from it?
Sixth, God hates lying so much He listed it twice. Specifically here, God hates bearing false witness against another’s character, and lying about one’s own character. While we can damage another’s character by spreading lies against them, we can also damage our own by lying about our nature. We do this when we are hypocritical with our actions and nature. Are you lying about who you really are? Do you act one way around others and another way when you are alone? The real you is found when no one else is looking.
Last, God hates sowing discord. Do you know anyone who always stirs things up? Sowing discord is not pursuing peace. Pursuing peace involves forgiveness, choosing not to remember wrongs, and applying healing elements like encouragement and grace. Sowing discord is rooted in deceit, anger, revenge, bitterness, distrust, and even hatred. Sowing implies an active scattering of seed. Are you a person who scatters seeds of deceit, anger, bitterness, distrust, and hate?