Proverbs 6:16-18




1.         In my Bible reading the last week or two, a phrase that has gotten my attention is “God hates.”

a.         Though it isn’t as often on our lips as “God is love,” it’s a necessary aspect of the same truth: because he loves, God must hate what is opposite his nature or what is destructive to the objects of his love.

b.         Deuteronomy, for example, makes the point that the LORD hated pagan pillars and altars (16:22), not only because they were devoted to false gods but also because children were burned there as sacrifices to them (12:31).

c.         The rest of the Scriptures teach that the Son is like him: it is the divine character to love righteousness and hate wickedness (Ps. 45:7; Heb. 1:9).


2.         As I’ve thought about that, I’ve remembered the familiar list of things God hates that we have in Proverbs 6:16-18...(reading).

a.         These, of course, aren’t all that God hates, but compared to pagan altars and child sacrifices and other wickedness, why are they particularly detestable to him?

b.         Part of the answer is that these are the actions of “a worthless person” (v. 12), literally “a man of Belial,” a word Paul uses as a name for Satan (2 Cor. 6:15).  Behaviors like these originate in a spirit opposed to who God is.

c.         Another part of the answer is what wickedness in these forms does to people.  Not only is the one who does these things ruined (v. 15), but any of them also brings terrible hurt into the lives of others.  God can’t stand that.


3.         I ran across one way to recognize how powerful this truth is: just consider the role each of these abominable tendencies played in costing God the life of his own dear Son.




1.         God hates “haughty eyes.”

a.         The proud look is the mirror of an arrogant attitude.

i.          It shows up in eyes that are full of conceit toward self, contempt toward other people, and condescension, if even that, toward God.

ii.         C. S. Lewis described it as “the one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people...ever imagine that they are guilty themselves...[but which] leads to every other vice....”

b.         There may never have been a time when that was more true than in the events surrounding the cross.

i.          Matt. 21:15, 45-46; 27:18

ii.         Mark 15:31-32

iii.        John 19:21

2.         God hates “a lying tongue.”

a.         Someone said, “Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits them all.”

b.         Lying is acting, either by stating what is not so or by not telling all that is, so as to leave the wrong impression of reality and thus to deceive someone.

c.         The most infamous images leading up to the cross involve lies.

i.          Judas kissing him (Mk. 14:43-45)

ii.         Peter denying him (Lk. 22:57, 58, 60)

iii.        Pilate washing his hands of him (Matt. 27:24)


3.         God hates “hands that shed innocent blood.”

a.         The blood is the life (Deut. 12:23), and the life belongs to God (Gen. 9:6), so when blood is shed unjustly it cries out to him for justice (Gen. 4:10).

b.         The hands that kill the innocent, then, are detestable to him because they demonstrate a total disregard for him, a complete lack of respect for life, and a terrible unconcern for justice.

c.         What was done to Jesus is the worst illustration of the ugliness of such a thing.

i.          “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”  (Matt. 27:4)

ii.         “I find no guilt in him.”  (Jn. 18:58; 19:4, 6)

iii.        “This man has done nothing wrong.”  (Lk. 23:41, 47)


4.         God hates “a heart that devises wicked plans.”

a.         Some sympathy may be felt for one who fails out of weakness or makes a mistake through poor judgment; that is human, and the Father who “knows our frame” has compassion for those who fear him (Ps. 103:13, 14).

b.         But this is different: it is the intentional, imagined, plotted, thought-out, purposeful, doing of evil which arises from hearts occupied with something other than godly fear.

c.         Jesus was crucified by means of plans of category.

i.          “Made plans to put him to death”  (Jn. 11:53)

ii.         “Plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth” (Matt. 26:3-5)

iii.        “Took counsel against Jesus to put him to death” (Matt. 27:1)


5.         God hates “feet that make haste to run to evil.”

a.         The emphasis is upon the eagerness to carry out the evil intentions that have been imagined in the heart. 

b.         A person with feet like this has no hesitation about doing wrong; he will run into sin as if he were glad to have the opportunity.  It is as if he were doing what is actually attractive to him.

c.         Those who got Jesus to the cross did so gladly and in a hurry.

i.          Luke 22:4-6.  Glad and looking for an opportunity.

ii.         Mark 14:63; 15:1.  No further need and as soon as it was morning.

iii.        John 19:31.  Break their legs and take them away.




6.         God hates “a false witness who breathes out lies.”

a.         The reference here is to a special class of liar: one who will give an untrue report about someone else, even in court or in some other setting where that person’s name, freedom, or life is at stake.

b.         One of the first principles given to the covenant people of God was, “You shall not spread a false report.  You shall not...be a malicious witness” (Ex. 23:1).

c.         False witnesses breathing out lies were the ugly tools used against Jesus.

i.          False testimony was sought (Matt. 26:59).

ii.         False witnesses stood up but did not agree (Mk. 14:57-59).

iii.        False accusations were made before the governor (Lk. 23:2, 5, 14).


7.         God hates “one who sows discord among brothers.”

a.         This fact appears to be the main thought being driven home in our passage in Proverbs 6 (note v. 14-15, 19).

b.         God, by nature, values love, joy, and peace; “enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions” and such like are works of the flesh which enable all the other actions in this list, and in so doing destroy people.

c.         The environment in which Jesus was crucified could not have existed without the sowing of discord among brothers.

i.          Grumbling associated with Judas (Mk. 14:4; Jn. 12:4-6)

ii.         Persuading and stirring up the crowd (Matt. 27:20; Mk. 15:11)

iii.        Then all left him (Matt. 26:56)




1.         Kirk Brothers wrote, “Could it be that the Father looked into the future and saw seven sins which would pave the road to Calvary?  I do not know, but it is worth thinking about.”  (More Strength for the Journey, 71)


2.         The right thing for us to do would be to hate what God hates.

a.         Proverbs 8:13 observes that “the fear of the LORD is hatred of evil....”

b.         Amos urged his people to “hate evil, and love good” (Amos 5:15).

c.         The church at Ephesus was commended for hating the same things God hates (Rev. 2:6); that is what we should do.


3.         Albert Einstein said, “The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men.  It is not a problem of physics but of ethics.  It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature evil from the spirit of man.”  (Quoted by Laura Schlessinger, Surviving a Shark Attack (On Land), cover page)


4.         Christianity offers two answers to that problem: cleansing from sin and transformation of affections.