The book of Proverbs is all about wisdom versus foolishness. Proverbs 26:25 says, speaking of the foolish person who rejects wisdom, “When he speaks graciously, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart.” A person who does not fear God does not have understanding, does not walk in righteousness, and has no regard for the truth. He may be pleasant, well-mannered, polite, gracious, and an interesting communicator, but the fool is full of deceit, holding seven abominations in his heart. Proverbs 6:16-19 explains what these abominations are, these seven things that God hates:
“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.”
First of all, God hates haughty eyes. Haughty implies lifting or exalting oneself up, pride, arrogance, and being consumed with self. Haughtiness is driven by a disdain for others, an attitude of superiority, and a confidence in self corresponding to a lack of trust in God. Haughty is like Nebuchadnezzer looking over the kingdom which he claims he had built all by himself only to be given the mind of a beast so God could humble him (Daniel 4:28-37). Humility is the antithesis of haughtiness, for when we are humble, we care about others, we thank God for His provisions, we refuse to exalt ourselves, and we acknowledge God in all things (Proverbs 3:5-6). God hates haughty eyes that look down on others and refuse to look up to God.
Second, God hates a lying tongue. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), so it makes sense that God hates lying. Lying may seem like a trivial sin as compared to murder or adultery, but God does not view lying as trivial. He hates it. Lying makes love impossible, truth difficult to find, and relationships awfully hard to sustain. Lying breaches trust and creates an island out of a person. Lying to gain an advantage or to avoid harm only harms others. Those who are given to lying are likely also given to some other pattern of sin that they must lie to conceal. Liars use people; they don’t love them. Lying will lead us downward faster than we can imagine. The truth, on the other hand, will instantaneously set us free (John 8:31-32).
Third, God hates hands that shed innocent blood. God hates unjust wars, He hates murder, and He hates it when we don’t do what we can to intervene and protect the innocent life. God hates laws that don’t protect the innocent and those who cannot defend themselves. God hates those who corrupt themselves so severely that the consequences of their own actions lead to untold suffering for others. God wants people, churches, and nations who live with integrity and who can be beacons of hope for others, standing on behalf of the innocent. The fool cares not for the innocent life, but he will do whatever it takes for his own convenience and selfish gain.
Fourth, God hates a heart that devises wicked plans. It is one thing to engage in doing evil things, but God hates it when we even think about doing evil. He wants our thought lives to be honoring to Him, seeking His will and His kingdom, rather than plotting a way to do something wrong. We can avoid doing a lot of wrong things if we can avoid thinking about wrong things to begin with.
Fifth, God hates feet that run rapidly to evil. As believers, we have the capacity in Christ to choose the way of escape that He provides so that we need not give in to sin’s lure (1 Corinthians 10:13). We need to be those who fight the devil and resist Him by faith (Ephesians 6:10-13). The fool runs to evil at each and every opportunity given to him. He does not think about the consequences or about God’s will. We need to be like God, hating evil, rather than running fast to do it.
Sixth, God hates a false witness who utters lies. God already said that He hates lying and a lifestyle that spurns the truth and is totally untrustworthy. Here, He says that He hates those who say false things about other people. We need to be those who testify to what is true about God, His Word, and about others. False witnesses who wrongly defame the reputation of others are a great evil in God’s sight. We need to be careful of who we endorse lest we, thinking we are witnessing for the truth, are witnessing for what is false.
Seventh, God hates one who spreads strife among brothers. Hatred and division can develop in both families and in the family of God when just one person makes life miserable for others. We can spread strife by picking fights, by lying, by tempting, by teasing, and by just being difficult and having a bad attitude. Some people prefer contention and combat rather than peace and harmony. God’s will for His body, the church, is peace as much as depends upon us (Romans 12:18). The fool could care less about peace, creating interference and interruption for the work of God. God hates this type of attitude and action because of how massively destructive and distracting it can be.
As children of God, there should be decreasing evidence of any foolishness about us. We should see growth and progression over time as the Holy Spirit gets rid of foolish habits, thoughts, attitudes, and actions. As Proverbs 4:18 says, “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” This God loves.