I held an informal survey on FaceBook this week. This is what I posted…
“If I should love what God loves…should I also hate what God hates? And if that’s the case…what does God hate? Hmmmmmmm?
While we’re on the subject, anything you hate…I mean, you absolutely hate? It can be light hearted or a more serious response.”
Here’s what came back
- Cats, Snakes, Onions, Liver, the 401,
- Sin & Potholes (a Montreal friend)
- Pickles and Ignorance
- Thanos (a fan of the Avengers)
- Not using the brain he (assuming they meant God) gave you to make wise decisions!
Anyone else wanna take a crack at it? What do you hate? How would you finish this line “I hate __________”?
I could’ve easily interchanged the word hate for dislike, but that wouldn’t get the same emotional response.
To quote the articulate queen of (not sure what style she’s landed on lately), Taylor Swift,
Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate
But I’m just gonna shake shake shake shake shake
Shake it off
She has a good point to make. If people are sending hate your way, in the form of bullying or abuse, shake it off.
Now, as casual as we use this word, there are some serious things associated with it in a real sense.
HATE is real
HATE in and for people is wrong (but if you dig deeper, you’ll learn about why they feel this way)
We’d all agree that we want less HATE in the world and not more.
So how can it be that we stumble on a text in scripture that says God hates anything?One thing we don’t associate God with is Hate. Why? Because he is LOVE. The Bible says he is love (1 John 4:8, 16) and more importantly, Jesus shows us that God is LOVE.
But what, if anything, can God possibly HATE?
Enter into the conversation, Proverbs 6.
Proverbs is considered a book of wisdom. Some see it as a collection of really wise sayings. It was a book that Israel used for practical & godly advice. If Psalms is a book for worship and prayer, Proverbs is a book of wisdom and sage advice. If Proverbs had a search engine to it, we can imagine people looking up words, the way like we do on google. Lying? Work? How do I deal with my grumpy neighbour.
This chapter (6) in Proverbs deals with a few things:
- Adultery & faithfulness
- Ants & hard work (fav text)
- Lending money
Some serious and yet practical things right? That in essence is Proverbs, real talk on real life issues.
Then we get to verse 16…
16 There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
That’s quite the list. Why such strong language? Because the writer of Proverbs wants to warn against painful consequences of both active & passive sin. The problem with these anti-virtues is that they’re disastrous to self and to others.
One important thing to see from these verses, is that there is a part of the body associated with each act? Eyes, tongue, hands, heart, and feet. And it ends with ‘person’. It’s like the writer is trying to tell is, ‘Don’t let your body engage in this behaviour, otherwise you won’t be too pleased with the person you’ve become.’
Let’s focus on the first one today:
Two words: Haughty & Eyes
Most of the Bible translations stick with this word.
Haughty is the negative side to pride. When we associate pride and sin, haughty might best describe it.
(Dictionary definition) disdainfully proud; snobbish; scornfully arrogant; supercilious:
Pride can be positive too of course: taking pride in your work, taking pride in your family, self-respect or self esteem.
But we all know the downside of Pride. That kind of pride It is associated with arrogance, selfishness, and thinking less of others.
It’s one thing to be proud of your work, doing a good job, coming through in the clutch for your team. It’s quite another thing to be walking around proud in the sense that you feel entitled or that you somehow think you’re better than others.
This is why you’ll see Pride in the list of 7 deadly sins: for some, pride is considered the seed or the root of sin.
One word for sin in the NT is Hubris. This word is connected to and mingled in with pride.
“Hubris is the pride which makes a person walk away from God, and the arrogant contempt which makes him or her trample on the hearts of his fellow human”
As far back as people of have been wrestling with the idea of sin, they’ve assessed that pride lies behind it.
Came across this tweet last week…
Why do most people think that they:
live in the best country, cheer for the best team, listen to the best music, vote for the best party, have the best taste, are the best gender, know what is true, and take a stand for what really matters most? Wait…maybe I’m not the best? (TIM DAY, Twitter)
This leads us to the other word in this phrase…
When you connect to Pride to vision, you get Envy. When you see the world through arrogance and not humility, the result tends to be Jealousy and Envy.
“The problem with envy & covetous desires is that they are never satisfied; there is no brim of the cup, no lip to the bottle. Coveting does not know what it means to wait, it only lives in the present, short sighted & narrow in scope.”
For the extreme case of this, read the second half of Proverbs 6. The writer warns the reader not to covet your neighbours spouse. (serious) We can be envious of anything that’s not ours. We first discover this in Exodus 20. “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.” Anything that someone else has is open in the game of envy and jealousy: car, home, job, bank account, position, etc.
The writer of proverbs is so adamant about this, he says that God hates it, along with pride.
WHY? Because it disrupts community. It breaks up relationships, it goes against all that God desires for humanity.
Pride & Envy, to say it lightly, God is not fond of these things.
– – – – –
Here’s what God loves instead; here’s what God would rather have us see the world through…
Humility & Contentment
May our eyes & hearts be humble
May our eyes & hearts be grateful
Romans 12:3 says, Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
Humility is that virtue that thinks highly of others, not less of them.
Phil 4:11-13 says, I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Contentment is that virtue that knows what it means to be satisfied, to know when you have enough.
God loves humility & contentment. I need to love and possess those things too.
As I discover what God hates…it has to always lead me to what God loves.
I guess the question is this, what do you want to be known for? Pride & Envy or Humility and Gratefulness?
God hates brokenness more than we do. He hates things that drive a wrench in relationships and divides a sense community. If we’re honest, we hate those things too. The best way to combat that is to love things that build up, that encourage, that make our world better.
– – – – – – – –
small(er) group discussion:
Talk about the things you absolutely hate. First keep it fun and light, and then bring up some things that are more profound and serious.
How would you define the term, “God is Love”?
When the writer of Proverbs uses the words, “God hates”, does that feel right or does it bring on more questions?
What is it about pride and arrogance that God hates? Do you ever see this in you?
What is it about envy and coveting that God hates? Do you ever see these things in you?
What are some steps you can take to be on the side of humility & gratefulness?
End by reading Romans 12:3 & Philippians 4:11-13.
(Rom) Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
(Phil) I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.