Proverbs 6:16-19 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.
The passage at hand reveals a list of things God not only hates but considers abominable—detestable, vile, and shameful. These seven things are characteristics of a person whom the Bible calls worthless and wicked and warns of their sudden and permanent destruction (Proverbs 6:12-15).
1. Haughty Eyes
God hates pride and arrogance as well as those whose lifestyles are characterized by haughtiness. The Bible says those who are proud are an abomination to God; and they will not stand before Him or go unpunished (Proverbs 16:5; Psalm 5:5). Those with haughty eyes are they who think too highly of themselves and who despise others. They are conceited and boast in their accomplishments, knowledge, or status; they trust in their own understanding, they disregard any reproof or correction, and they ignore God's word. And in effect, they treat and think of themselves as though they are gods—violating the First Commandment. They believe they are independent and self-sufficient apart from anyone else, let alone God. Simply put, anyone who is not humble, selfless, and contrite falls into this category. God gives grace to those who are humble, but is opposed to those who are proud (James 4:6).
2. A Lying Tongue
Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD (Proverbs 12:22). God hates deceit and those who speak lies; He abhors them and will destroy them (Psalm 5:6). Those who lie break the Ninth Commandment and are in direct defiance and contradiction to God's own nature because He Himself is truth; and so they demonstrate that it is not God but Satan, the father of lies, who is their father (John 8:44). Those who make a practice of lying, stretching the truth, or equivocating with the intention of deceiving others all fit in this category, and they will all go to hell; they will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8; 22:15).
3. Murderous Hands
God hates murder and those who shed innocent blood. The Bible says God abhors those who are associated with bloodshed and hates, from the depths of His soul, those who love violence (Psalm 5:6; 11:5). Murder is the premeditated unlawful killing of an innocent person, and those who do this break the Sixth Commandment. Those who shed innocent blood fall into this category and this includes those who carry out or are involved with abortions. You may not have actually murdered someone, but Jesus declared that whoever becomes angry with someone without a cause is a murderer in God's eyes (Matthew 5:21-22), as well as those who feel hatred for others (1 John 3:15). Those who take pleasure in bloodshed, whether it's in video games, movies, fights, or whatever else that glorifies the shedding of innocent blood, fall into this category. The Bible warns that murderers are worthy of death and will have their part in the lake of fire (Romans 1:29, 32; Revelation 21:8).
4. A Heart that Devises Wickedness
God hates wickedness and those who do iniquity (Psalm 5:5); those who are perverse in heart are abominable in His sight (Proverbs 11:20). The human heart is more deceitful than anything else and is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), and it is out of this wicked heart that all types of evil and unrighteousness spring forth (Mark 7:20-23). Those who actively pursue these wicked impulses of their heart and fabricate evil schemes, plans, and ideas are the ones in mind here.
5. Feet that Run Swiftly to Evil
God hates evil as well as those who delight in it and pursue it (Psalm 5:5; Hosea 9:15). God commands us all to hate and abhor evil (Psalm 97:10; Romans 12:9); and the fear of God leads sinners to hate evil and turn away from it (Proverbs 8:13); but those who love and actively follow after evil demonstrate just how wicked, perverse, and depraved they really are. Those who delight in practicing all manner of sin, ungodliness, and malice, whether in thought, word, or deed, fall into this category. None of them are children of God; rather, those who practice sin are children of the devil (1 John 3:4-10).
6. A False Witness
Again, God hates deceit and those who speak lies; and though this may seem like a reiteration of the second abomination, this one is dealing rather with the deliberate altering of truth for the purpose of harming the reputation or person of our neighbor, or distorting the God's truth. It is a violation of the Ninth Commandment. This abomination also involves perjury—lying under oath, lying in a court of law, or lying so as to pervert justice. During the Old Testament times, witnesses were vital in many cases and the testimony they gave often determined the justification or condemnation of the person called into question. If someone committed a serious sin or crime worthy of death, the testimony of two or three witnesses would suffice in carrying out the death penalty (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15). However, false witnesses fabricated stories and would deliberately speak false testimonies about the people they hated either to destroy their reputation or cause them to be put to death. All who slander, gossip, or swear falsely to the hurt of another person, and all false teachers who lead people astray, fall into this category.
7. One who Spreads Strife
God hates those who are contentious and who delight in stirring up trouble and discord. Such people are arrogant, perverse, hot-tempered, and insolent (Proverbs 13:10; 15:18; 16:28; 28:25). They are scoffers and fools who slander and quarrel, and they love to instigate and cause problems, divisions, quarrels, and fights (Proverbs 17:19; 18:6; 20:3; 22:10). They enjoy rousing up a person's emotions and passions against another, and they take pleasure in the strife that ensues. They try to manipulate people to side with them in order to gain an advantage over others whom they hate, regardless if the people they're intent on dividing are the closest of friends. They destroy the peace and unity of family, friends, companions, and any general relationship without cause. The Bible says those who engage in spreading strife are worthy of death, and that those who practice such abominable behavior will not inherit the kingdom of God (Romans 1:29-31; Galatians 5:19-21).
Hope for the Guilty
If these things which God hates are a reality in your life, there is yet hope for you if you will just humble yourself, cast your wicked ways behind you, and seek the Lord Jesus Christ. He died for sinners like you in order to set them free from their sins and to save them from the wrath of God.
Have you had haughty eyes? Humble yourself and cry out to God. Have you had a lying tongue? So did Peter, when he denied knowing Jesus; but the Lord had mercy on him, and he repented of his sins and began publicly proclaiming the truth. Have you had murderous hands? So did the apostle Paul, who had many Christians put to death; but Jesus forgave him, and he forsook his wickedness and used his hands to build up the church of God. Have you devised wickedness with your heart? God can replace your wicked heart of stone with a new heart of flesh, and He can cleanse you from your filthiness. Have you run swiftly toward evil? There is yet time for you to turn around and run toward Christ and His righteousness. Have you been a false witness? Forsake your lifestyle of deceit and sin, believe the gospel, and Christ will make you a faithful witness of His power and grace. Have you spread strife? Give up your malicious efforts and seek the peace of God through Jesus Christ His Son.
Those who repent and forsake all their sins, turning to God and believing the gospel, and trusting in nothing except Christ for salvation, will be saved. It doesn't matter what you have done; God will remove all your sins as far as the east is from the west, if you turn to Him in true faith and repentance. Therefore, repent and believe the gospel, for the kingdom of God is at hand!
Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
This article was revised and republished on 08/16/2020. It was originally published on 07/20/2010.