Proverbs 6:16-19 – “These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.”
When you love someone you don’t like to see or make him or her angry. Your desire is that they experience love and things pleasing to them, joy. That is why the above verses are so important for us to consider. God inspired the Biblical writer to indicate seven things that God hates and views as an abomination. These words are a warning to us. In fact you’d be hard-pressed to find language stronger than that used in these verses to indicate God’s revulsion and displeasure with these seven things.
The word “hates” is translated from the Hebrew term SANE’ (Strong’s # 8130 - saw·nay) which occurs 146 times in the Old Testament being translated “hate” 136 times, “enemies” three times, “enemy” twice, “foes” once, “hateful” once, and translated miscellaneously three times. Hatred is a strong emotion. In other words, these seven things put a person on the wrong side of God and position them against Him as an enemy. Since God is all-powerful, it isn’t too good of an idea for anyone to take up sides against Him. Look at Satan and what his rebellion against God got him! But in fact, those who practice these seven things are actually taking up sides with Satan who is working to undermine God’s work at every turn and in every way.
The other word used to describe God’s reaction to the seven things in Proverbs 6 is “abomination.” “Abomination” is translated from the Hebrew term TOWEBAH (Strong’s # 8441 - tow`ebah, to`ebah /to·ay·baw/) which occurs 117 times in the Old Testament being translated as “abomination” 113 times, “abominable thing” twice, and “abominable” twice. This word is used to describe that which is, “a disgusting thing, abomination, abominable.” One Bible teacher defined this word by saying it refers to something done that would cause God to want to bomb-the-nation of the one doing it.
When you love someone you wouldn’t want to do anything that would cause you to become as an enemy in their eyes. When you love someone you wouldn’t want to do anything that disgusts him or her or is abominable to him or her. Therefore, those who love God should pay particular attention to the seven things mentioned in these verses. Unfortunately, believers at times are caught up in their flesh and indulge in some of the things that God attributes to His enemies and that He finds disgusting and abominable. This should not be! What is it that people do that causes God to see them as an enemy and disgusts Him? There are seven things mentioned here. Let’s consider each of them.
- A proud look –
The Bible is clear on this; God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). Pride is the first sin committed by Satan against God (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28). The word “proud” comes from the Hebrew term ROOM (Strong’s # 7311 ruwm /room/) which occurs 194 times in the Old Testament and is translated, “up,” as in lift up, or hold up. The idea is to present yourself as higher, better in some way than others. This is seen in the way the word is translated. “Proud” is translated “up” as “(lift”, “hold”, “etc … )” 63 times, “exalt” 47 times, “high” 25 times, “offer” 13 times, “give” five times, “heave” three times, “extol” three times, “lofty” three times, “take” three times, “tall” three times, “higher” twice, and translated miscellaneously 24 times. The NIV translation of this verse translates it as, “haughty eyes.” You can communicate a lot with the eyes. Someone has said the eyes are the windows into a person’s heart. You can communicate happiness, approval, concern, attention and caring, even love with your eyes. You can also communicate disdain, lust, evil intent and yes, pride, with your eyes.
A “proud look” therefore, would be a facial expression that assumes superiority, self-exaltation, or minimizing another person. What is interesting is that this first abominable thing is wordless. The first thing mentioned here as hated by the Lord is something that can be conveyed without words. God is so vigilant and astute and omniscient in His observations that He even notes the facial expressions and countenance of people. And He hates it when people have a proud look! God wants us to be humble, not proud, selfless, not self-serving. God tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to, not to overvalue ourselves (Romans 12:3). God wants us to be humble like Jesus (Matthew 5:3; Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:1-11).
- A lying tongue –
Satan is the father of lies and loves to draw people into lying in any way (John 8:44). “A lying tongue,” is simply a person who speaks in falsehoods. The word “lying” comes from the Hebrew word SHEQUER (Strong’s # 8267 - sheqer /sheh·ker/) and occurs 113 times in the Old Testament being translated as “lie” 28 times, “lying” 21 times, “false” 20 times, “falsehood” 13 times, “falsely” 13 times, “vain” five times, “wrongfully” four times, “deceitful” twice, “deceit” once, “liar” once, and translated miscellaneously five times. The idea of this word is to deceive or betray the truth of a matter, go against the truth. This would include bending the truth or speaking in half-truths. You know, the older you get the more glorious your past seems to become as you relate to others. A high school benchwarmer in a sport becomes someone who was good and gifted as an athlete but didn’t get along with the coach so they weren’t allowed to play. Fishes caught, figures fought and mirrored seem just a little bit more fantastic as the years go by. Sometimes the truth can be shared in destructive ways to injure and embarrass. But God wants us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). God wants our words to be seasoned with grace not lies; a lying tongue quenches the Spirit (Ephesians 4:29-31). God wants us to speak with kindness and tenderheartedness remembering His grace in Christ given to us (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 4:6). Love covers a multitude of sin; it doesn’t look to dig up sin where grace should be found (1 Peter 4:8).
- Hands that shed innocent blood –
We can consider the shedding of innocent blood of adults, but the millions upon millions of unborn babies come to mind as the most severe breach in considering this hateful thing. The abortuaries of modern day America have exterminated far more victims than the ovens of the holocaust. How it must disgust God to see the womb turned into a cold executioner’s altar! The Lord forms every child in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16). He has a plan for every little one (Jeremiah 1:5). He cares for the innocent little ones (Exodus 21:22-25; Psalm 82:3-4; 127:3). God hates the person whose hands shed innocent blood!
- A heart that devises wicked plans –
The word “heart” refers to the innermost being of a person (LEB Strong’s 3820), “Devises” (Hebrew KHAWRASH – Strong’s # 2790 - khaw-rash’) means “to scratch, to engrave, plow; to fabricate; to devise (in a bad sense).” The word “wicked” comes from the Hebrew term AWVEN (Strong’s # 205 - ’aven /aw·ven/) and interestingly comes from a root word meaning, “to pant” as one who exerts themselves in an effort that is pointless in regard to the Lord’s will. It occurs 78 times in the Old Testament being translated as “iniquity” 47 times, “wicked(ness)” eight times, “vanity” six times, “affliction” three times, “mischief” three times, “unrighteous” twice, “evil” once, “false” once, “idol” once, “mourners” once, “mourning” once, “nought” once, “sorrow” once, “unjust” once, and “vain” once. The word “wicked” means, “trouble, wickedness, sorrow, idolatry, trouble of iniquity, wickedness.” Therefore, the idea here is someone who digs up trouble and won’t let an offense or situation go. This is also someone who by silence and the willful ignoring of the truth manipulates a situation to their own devices. Such a person has a selective memory when conveying an account of a story. When they share about something they put a spin on things that present them in a favorable light and others in a less than favorable light.
Interestingly, the context of Proverbs 6:16-19 is preceded by an apt description of one whose heart devises wicked plans:
- Proverbs 6:12-15 – “A worthless person, a wicked man, Walks with a perverse mouth;13 He winks with his eyes, He shuffles his feet, He points with his fingers;14 Perversity is in his heart, He devises evil continually, He sows discord.15 Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.”
Notice the connection with being “worthless” and being “wicked.” These verses pretty much say it all and we can see why God hates and abhors such things.
- Feet that are swift in running to evil –
We might translate this as, “A person who sprints to do evil things.” This is descriptive of the person who enjoys or jumps at the opportunity to be involved in evil or entertain something that is evil like gossip or slander. The word “evil” comes from the Hebrew word RA’ (Strong’s # 7451 – rah) which means, “bad; evil; adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, displease (-ure), distress, evil, harm, heavy, hurt (-ful), ill (favoured), mischief (-vous), misery, naught (-ty), noisome, not please, sad (-ly), sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked (-ly, -ness, one), worse (-st), wretchedness, wrong.” This is the person who runs to bring problems to others, who loves to distress and afflict other people. They enjoy hurting someone for whatever reason. God hates it when people take pleasure in hurting others.
- A false witness who speaks lies –
The word “false” here is the same word translated “lying” in Proverbs 6:17 (Strong’s # 8267). A “witness” (Strong’s #5707) is someone who gives evidences, testifies or shares information about someone. The word “lies” (Hebrew KAZAB – Strong’s # 3577 kaw-zawb’) means, “ falsehood; untruth; deceitful, false, liar, lie, lying.” Those who manipulate the truth or out and out lie are an abomination to the Lord.
- And one who sows discord among brethren -
The word “discord” comes from the Hebrew MEDAWN (Strong’s # 4090 - mâdan /med·awn/) and occurs only three times in the Old Testament and is translated, as “discord” once, “strife” once, and “variant” once. This word means, “strife, contention.” Jesus said the one who sows peace would be blessed, and the opposite is also true, there are all kinds of negative consequences for those who sow evil and discord (Matthew 5:9).
This is the crowning evil that God hates because it strikes at the heart of what God is trying to build and how He is trying to work in the world. God’s desire is to save as many of the lost as possible (2 Peter 3:9). God’s tools to accomplish this are Israel and the Church. God raised up Israel to be a light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 43:10-12; 44:8, 21). Jesus bled and died to birth the church (Ephesians 5:25-27). The Father looks at Israel as His wife (see Hosea). Jesus looks at the Church as His bride. And yet, people think nothing of slandering those who make up the wife and the bride of God. How do you feel when someone speaks against your spouse? Doesn’t that irk you? Doesn’t that cause you to become defensive and protective of your spouse? Doesn’t that anger you? Isn’t it abhorrent to you? Aren’t you going to defend their honor, their integrity, their reputation? If you feel and react like that, how do you think God is going to feel and react when someone attacks members of the flock of God? God hates the one who sows discord among His people, He abhors it (Psalm 5:11; 11; 46; 121; 105:15; John 17:15; Romans 12:19).
J. Vernon McGee commented:
There are multitudes of folk sowing discord, and they are not all politically motivated. They are in your neighborhood, and chances are they are in your church. You may even have one in your home, and there is a possibility that he even may be sitting where you sit. My friend, causing trouble between family members or brothers in Christ or fellow workers is something that God hates.
This list of seven sins is like a mirror. We look into it, and we squirm because we see ourselves. May I ask you to take a good look at yourself in this mirror of the Word of God. After you and I see ourselves as we really are, let us go to God and make a confession of these things. Let us be honest with Him and ask Him for His cleansing. 
As you receive this study I pray you do so with ears to hear what the Spirit has to say and that you haven’t been a part of any of these seven things which reap the hate and abhorrence of God. If you look at these seven things and the Spirit convicts you, all is not lost. In Christ there is forgiveness. What must a person do to be forgiven of these things?
1.) Recognize and admit your sin, culpability (responsibility) and guilt. Be honest with God and admit where you’ve sinned against Him and others (all of our sin is ultimately against Him). Sins such as these are a great hindrance to our walk with the Lord (Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2). They need to be dealt with immediately.
2.) Confess your sin, culpability and guilt before God. God’s word tells us that if we confess our sin to Him He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Trust Jesus cross work by faith and receive God’s forgiveness (Romans 8:1f.; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 1:7).
3.) Repent, turn from your sin and commit yourself to God to not repeat your sin. Turn yourself over to the Holy Spirit who will help you be more than a conqueror over these things (Romans 8).
Of the 34 times the word “repent” occurs in the Bible, I find it interesting that nearly a third of these occurrences (10) occur in the last book of the Bible Revelation and 60% of these ten occur in Jesus words to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3. These seven abhorrent things we’ve seen in Proverbs are likely to surface in a full blown rash in the End Times (Times in which I believe we are living right now). Read what Paul was inspired to write about the last days:
· 1 Timothy 4:1-2 – “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”
· 2 Timothy 3:1-7 – “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
As we look at these verses and compare them with Proverbs 6:16-19 we see some striking similarities. Deceiving spirits will be heeded and people will be moved to speak lies in hypocrisy and do so with total insensitivity to the Spirit (1 Timothy 4:1-2). Self-love, pride, lack of love, slander, despisers of good, traitors, haughty, hypocrisy will flourish too (2 Timothy 3:1-7). These passages go hand in hand. What makes these similarities frightful is that we see them flourishing in our world today. And what makes them even the more tragic is that we see them oftentimes in the church, amongst believers!
When Paul gave his farewell to the Ephesians he warned them by saying to the leaders and people:
- Acts 20:26-32 - “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.27 “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.29 “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.30 “Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.31 “Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
As we move closer and closer to the End Times culmination, we need to beware of Satan’s schemes. He comes not as an angel of darkness but as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:11-15). And as God’s perfect plan becomes more and more inevitable, Satan is going to turn up his attack. The seven things God hates, Satan loves! Remember that; and he loves nothing better than to trick, deceive and lure God’s people (those who should be blessing and praising God) into indulging in these seven hateful things. We need to put on the armor of God and proceed prayerfully in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18).
God forgive us where we have faltered and may God help us to speak the truth in love. May our words always be seasoned with His grace, hope and love. May we always hold the name of Jesus in highest regard in thought, word, and deed. Dear brother and sister in Christ, may none of these things be seen, heard or thought amongst us and may we lovingly repent of them if they are. May we live in a way that brings joy to the heart of God, not hate and abhorrence. God bless you all.
McGee, J. V. 1997, c1981. Thru the Bible commentary. Based on the Thru the Bible radio program. (electronic ed.) (Pr 6:19). Thomas Nelson: Nashville