Things God Hates

We are sometimes reluctant to attribute hate to God. “God is love,” after all.

But usually our reluctance stems from the wickedness we find in our own hateful emotions and desires, which do not seem — and in fact are not — compatible with the holiness of God. Yet scripture teaches both that God is love and that God’s holines demands the expression of wrath against sinful things.

Proverbs 6 lists a few things that the Lord hates, and which are abominable to him:

— haughty (arrogant) eyes. One thinks of the expressions that teen girls make when presented with a thought or comment they deem particularly beneath them. But this might also include how we perceive those things that we see; that is, when things come in to our mind through the eyes, we consider how much better, smarter, holier, we are.

— a lying tongue. While the eyes bring in thing from without, the tongue expresses things that are within. A lying tongue betrays a corrupt heart.

— hands that shed innocent blood. Seeing and speaking are one thing, but when wickedness takes action and affects the lives of others, it is quite another.

— a heart that devises wicked plans. Wicked actions that we leap into on impulse are much different from those that we enter into after careful planning, after crafting a scheme in advance that allows us to engage in sin, perhaps hidden from God.

— feet that make haste to run to evil. Perhaps we see evil rightly with our eyes, and recognize it truly with our hearts, but instead of fleeing from evil, we use our means of locomotion to grasp it tightly.

— a false witness who breathes out lies. Lungs convey air to the blood in our veins and discards the poison by-product into the air. Similary, God hates the one whose exhalation reveals a systemic desire to bring down others.

— one who sows discord among brothers. Where there is harmony, this one seeks to disrupt it. Where there is peace, this one instigates war. Where there is bond, this one prefers breach.

Most of the imagery here is of parts of our material bodies, those things God has given our souls with which to perceive and interact with the world he created, and other humans in his image. Rather than using our points of contact with reality in ways that glorify God, we use them in ways that steal his glory, and that arouse his ire.

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