These Six Things Doth The LORD Love???

Sometimes, as a purely speculative, illustrative enterprise, I find it good to make assumptions about how the Holy Scriptures would read if they read the very opposite of what they actually say. A good case in point is Proverbs 6:16-19. The inspired text reads:

16. These six things doth the LORD hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

17. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19. A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Now, for just a moment, consider the possibility that it stands to reason that if there are six things which the LORD hates, yea, seven that are an abomination unto Him, could there also not be six things which the LORD loves, yea, seven that are a delight unto Him?

Therefore, for illustrative purposes only (i.e. I am not trying to add or take away from the inspired text), let us consider what six, yea seven things—things which are the exact opposites of the listed items given in Proverbs 6:16-19—that the Father loves and delights in, in order to (hopefully!) help us understand our God better.

To do so, I will be going through the list one by one, verse by verse, posting first the actual text, then second, a few opening comments, with an exegesis of each item on the list, and then finally, a speculation as to the opposites.

So without any further ado:

Proverbs 6:16,

16. These six things doth the LORD hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

It stands to reason that if there are six things which God hates, there might also be six things the LORD loves. If the seventh thing on the original list is an abomination to God, i.e. it’s something He detests, might not there be a seventh thing in which God enjoys and/or delights?

Note that the Hebrew word for “hate” is sane. It simply means to hate. But it suggests something a little bit deeper. It’s not merely a general hatred. It’s a hatred that one feels personally. These six/seven things in Proverbs are a cause of personal offense to God; they actually inspire hatred in Him!

Abomination, or to’ebah,[1] is a continuation of God’s personal hatred for these six/seven things. In fact, the seventh thing is a consummation of the LORD’s personal hatred. It is the capstone of His disgust. While God may abhor any one of these things on an individual basis, when all are present, they culminate into something God absolutely despises. It would be a terrible thing to be found guilty of any of these. To be guilty of them all is a surefire way of getting on God’s bad side.

Proverbs 6:17a,

17. A proud look…

This phrase is a translation of a Hebrew idiom. Most literally, it means a “high or raised eye”. The idiomatic expression refers to someone who dares look up in defiance and insolence toward God and His ordained “powers that be” (See Romans 13:1-2) in an attempt to look down the nose, i.e. condescend to God, as if He were the lower or more menial.

Proverbs 6:17b,

17. …a lying tongue…

This too, is something of an idiom. Here the word “lying”, or sheker, means an untruth, i.e. a sham intended to deceive. Tongue here refers to the organ of the mouth. As such, it lends itself to the idea of a person who intentionally crafts lies, deceptions, and mis-directions, usually without cause, i.e. simply for the pleasure of tricking his or her audience into believing something that isn’t true.[2]

Proverbs 6:17c,

17. … and hands that shed innocent blood…

Unlike the first two items, this is no idiom. It literally means what it means. God hates people who murder the innocent. Be mindful, however, in just how far God goes to explain what it means to murder someone. It may not be only the taking of physical life. It may also be the ruination of someone’s reputation, done out of hatred (See, for example 1 John 3:15).

Cain and Abel come to mind. Abel’s sacrifice was pure, accepted by the Father. It wasn’t his fault God refused Cain’s offering. So why did Cain murder his brother? Out of spite and anger. He couldn’t direct his rage at God, so he took it out on the next closest person, his innocent brother.[3]

Proverbs 18a,

18. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations…

This phrase, in Hebrew, suggests the idea of a person who goes about contriving base and useless fabrications intended to cause trouble and difficulty for others. Worse, these base and useless fabrications are created “out of the air”, as it were, i.e. they are concocted solely in the imagination of their creator. That is to say, they have no basis in reality. This kind of thing is often the stuff of red herrings, or things that are fabricated in order to distract and mislead, so the root of an issue can’t be discovered properly. It is the tool of propagandists and war-mongers, of spies and those interested in court intrigues. But also, sadly, of the every day person who is willing to make stuff up in order to take the heat away from themselves so that others may look bad.

Proverbs 18b,

18. … feet that be swift in running to mischief…

This phrase, while not exactly idiomatic, is nonetheless a word picture. To “be swift in running” gives the idea of a liquid, perhaps water, which easily flows and rushes to a destination. Mischief is the Hebrew word ra’ah, and it means evil in the sense of something morally bad or iniquitous. Therefore, it is readily understood that God hates it when people are easily drawn to evil, or, in keeping with the word picture, when people rush off and flow into acts of evil like water finding its own level.[4]

Proverbs 19a,

19. A false witness that speaketh lies…

This phrase is a a tautology (a needless repetition of an idea, which doesn’t impart additional force or understanding). What is meant then, is that, by default, a “false witness” is one who automatically “speaketh lies“. It’s a bit redundant, or circular in scope. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes in order to get His point across, God has to be redundant. Its His way of letting us know just how hand in hand some concepts are. In Latin, the phrase is sine qua non, or “without which not”, meaning you can’t have or be something without some other thing being present. Therefore, you can’t have a false witness if he or she isn’t speaking lies. Additionally, you can’t have someone speaking lies without them being a false witness against the truth.

Hence why God, in His inspiration of the text, uses a tautology in order to make it abundantly clear to us just how much being a false witness and speaking lies go together. It’s His way of letting us know that if you’re one, you’re automatically the other. Let us not, therefore, be deceived.

Proverbs 19b,

19. … and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Here now, at the end, we come to the abhorrence which God detests. The six items on this list all lead into and are causes of this final item. Proud looks, lying tongues, hands that shed innocent blood, hearts that devise wicked imagination, feet which are swift in running to mischief, and false witnesses who speak lies all result in the sowing of discord, or more literally the “sending out of contestation and strife” between brothers. We must remember that Israel was a collective agrarian society. The people were to all be unified under God as King. God thought of all Israel as His children, making all subjects and citizens of this holy nation brothers and sisters with each other. Just as any parent doesn’t want haughty, unruly children (because such children are contentious and cause problems for the other siblings), neither does God desire for His children to be at each other in such ways.

Think about it: to be proud or defiant against God and His established order requires pride and defiance against His people as part and parcel of His established order.[5] To be or become a liar requires that one of God’s holy family be subjected to the lie and all its unholy consequences. If I as a child of God, tell a lie, and that lie is believed, it will cause untold damage to the recipient, not the least of which is the recipient’s future ability to believe me when the lie is found out. This ruins trust and loyalty between people. No lie is without an aftermath.

Hands that shed innocent blood obviously cause discord. Whether it’s a literal murder or the slaying of a man in the public sphere by hatefully destroying his reputation, much strife and disunity unfolds among God’s people. Someone is going to be hurt by, and take umbrage with the shedding of innocent blood. It might be a family or friend, or merely one of God’s ministers, given a sword as a means of exacting justice upon the guilty. As much as justice needs must be serve, it serves no one well when an innocent party is first condemned, ruined, or even murdered. Such evil only perpetuates ungodliness among His people.

It is interesting to note how the first three items on the list inform, but also, are a result of, the last three items on the list. Pride, deception, and murder are always the result of wicked imaginations, mischief, and liars who bear false witness[6].

These six things, then, when brought together, are the root causes of the last. More than any other possible reason for discord, strife, contest, debate, and disunity among those whom God would rather see walk in peaceful agreement with each other, pride, deception, murder, wickedness, mischief, and the falsification of facts regarding some event or occurrence and the people involved, destroy the bonds that are supposed to hold us together.

Jesus Christ, more than anything, prayed fervently that we all would be one in Him, just as He was and is one in the Father (John 17:21). But we can’t be “one” in Christ Jesus if defiance against God and His established order is present. We can’t be “one” in Christ Jesus if intentionally deception and a desire to trick others into believing things that aren’t true, is present. We can’t be “one” in Christ Jesus if jealousy/hatred is present.[7] We can’t be “one” in Christ Jesus if brothers and/or sisters in the Lord go around fabricating baseless accusations against each other in order to deflect the truth about themselves, is present. We can’t be “one” in Christ Jesus if a natural inclination toward evil and the harm evil causes, is present. We can’t be “one” in Christ Jesus if a willingness to lie and so, bear false witness, that is, falsify the official testimony and record of some fact, event, or occurrence in our midst, is present.

When we sow discord among the brethren, let it be forever understood that God detests our actions. Our actions become an abhorrence to the Father when we quarrel and debate to the disunity of the Body of believers in Christ Jesus. God is disgusted with us when we break faith with the Lord Jesus’ desire for us to be one in Him, and in the Father.

And so, now dear reader, with the commentary and exegesis complete, let us turn our attention to a speculation, to things that God may love, even delight in, as an expression of opposites. I therefore give you, for illustrative purposes only, the six things the LORD doth love, yea, seven that are a delight unto Him:

  • A humble look, or eyes which are down-cast so as not to arrogantly presume against Him or His established order
  • A truth-filled tongue, i.e. a person who intentionally, consistently tells the truth and is honest with God, their neighbors, and themselves
  • Hands that protect and defend innocent blood, or those who intentionally seek to keep from harm and vindicate those who have done no wrong, when they are condemned of others
  • Hearts that devise useful ways of helping, not hindering, their brothers and sisters in the Lord, especially when such ways alleviate the troubles of others
  • Feet that are swift to run from evil, or when the people of God find themselves no longer naturally inclined toward committing moral infractions against the laws of their Creator
  • A true witness who accurately reflects the facts of any event or occurrence when called upon to testify in any given situation
  • He that sows peace and harmony between brothers, bringing the family of God closer together in love

There you have it, my brothers and sisters. It’s quite simple, really. The choice is yours. Which do you want to be? A recipient of God’s hate and disgust, or a recipient of God’s love and enjoyment? You can be either, but not both. Not that there’s really a choice, but nevertheless, choose wisely.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

[1] This word means something morally disgusting or reprehensible. It can refer to something abhorred, for example an idol or idolatry in general. It stems from a verb that means “to loathe” or “morally detest”.

[2] Note the following verses, which give strong indications of just how much God hates lying: Jeremiah 50:36, John 8:44, Revelation 21:8, 27, and Revelation 22:15.

[3] Abel was innocent in the sense that he did nothing to provoke Cain. Cain’s murder of Abel wasn’t justice, vengeance, or even retaliation for anything Abel did or didn’t do. Abel was the victim of his brother’s own unwarranted aggression against God.

[4] Water finding its own level is a natural occurrence, due to the forces of gravity and the nature of water itself. This lends to the idea that some people are naturally inclined to evil as a habit.

[5] Remember the Torah command to not “curse the ruler of thy people” (Exodus 22:28).

[6] Understanding that a witness, in Hebrew, is a testimony or record of some fact, event, or occurrence (from the word ayd).

[7] Jealousy and hatred are the motives behind murder, literal or otherwise.

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~ by votivesoul on 07/13/2015.

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