I Hate It When You Do That
Someone once said, love is blind, but marriage is the eye-opener.
That’s true about many relationships, isn’t it? When you first meet someone, you may instantly like them, and later on develop a close friendship. If you’re single, your relationship might blossom into romance. But eventually you see something in that perfect mate or good friend that isn’t quite perfect. It may an annoying habit or a character flaw. If you get close enough to anybody, you find some things that bother you. In a moment of anger or honesty, you might say to them, “I hate it when you do that.”
Of course some things you just have to overlook. Petty things that rub you the wrong way you have to get used to. And you need to always remember you have some irritating elements of your personality also. You’ve probably heard someone you love say the same thing to you: “I hate it when you do that.”
The Bible tells us that as much as God loves us, there are some things we do God hates. He doesn’t hate them the way a wife hates her husband’s snoring, or the way a man hates his buddy’s bragging. God hates some attitudes and actions because they are sinful and destructive. Sometimes, if you read the Bible carefully, your heart may hear the Lord say, “I hate it when you do that.”
Tonight I want to take a look at 7 things God hates, not just when He sees them in others, but when he sees them in you and me. Turn with me to Prov. 6:16-19.
Let’s begin with a shocking realization that
I. GOD HATES SOME THINGS. (v. 16)
We cannot love good if we do not hate evil. - Saint Jerome
Some see hatred as a sinful emotion, but the Bible does not agree. Twice the Bible declares that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), but the same Bible also tells us this God of love also hates some things. God’s hatred is often described in the OT by the word abomination= a word used for meat that had been left out to spoil. Our English word disgust captures the meaning. Your reaction to seeing and smelling a pound of hamburger meat left out for two days in 100 degree heat would capture something of the meaning. The Bible says God experiences this disgust.
Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,…
Proverbs 17:15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
Revelation 2:15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
All of these verses confirm the fact of v. 16: God hates some things. So how can we reconcile the hatred of God and the love of God? By considering two important truths:
a. He does not hate people. From the beginning of the Bible to the end, one truth repeated over and over again is God loves everybody. His universal love is the root of His grace: our sin gives God every reason to hate us, but His grace moves Him to love us. John 3:16 is proof enough that God so loves the world. That is everybody- no exceptions, no exclusions. He proves that love by sending His Son to die for us. God does not hate people- He loves every human being that’s ever lived on this earth. At the same time, the Bible is also clear that
b. He does hate certain attitudes and actions. God loves people, but God also hates sin. The same people He loves often engage in sinful attitudes, sinful thoughts, sinful feelings, and sinful actions. These are the things God hates, because they offend His holiness, and because they produce pain and suffering in His creation.
God is a Person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys feels, loves, desires and suffers as any other person may.-A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God.
God loves what is good, and He loves people, but He hates sin. Keep that in mind as we read the kinds of sin God hates:
II. SEVEN THINGS GOD HATES. (v. 17-19)
This list is not exhaustive; there are many other sins God hates. The writer zeroes in on 7 sins that especially offend God.
1. Proud eyes. Seeing is associated with arrogance here, much like we would say that one
person is looking down on another. This attitude sees you as superior to others. It is essentially comparative. You look down on someone else because they are less educated, or not as financially well off as you are. You might look down on others because they were not as popular or pretty as you are, or even because they are not as spiritual. When the gleam of pride shines in your eyes, God says I hate it when you do that.
A young woman was speaking with her pastor about he besetting sin. She told him, “Pastor, I have become aware of a sin in my life which I cannot control. Every time I am at church I look around at the other women, and I realize that I am the prettiest one in the whole congregation. What can I do about this sin?” The pastor replied, “Mary, that’s not a sin, that’s just a terrible mistake!”[i]
Pride is not just a mistake-it is a sin, a sin that God hates. Why does God hate pride? Perhaps C. S. Lewis sums it up best when he writes in Mere Christianity:
…it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.
Psalm 101:5…The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure.
Proverbs 16:5 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;…
God hates pride, but on the positive side, He loves humility.
Ps 138:6 Though the Lord is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar.
Jas 4:6 …God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
God hates pride because it is an attitude that drags others down, and even tries to drag Him down to lift you up. When you recognize pride in yourself, you need to recognize how destructive it really is. A second thing God hates is a
2. Lying tongue. Lying is connected to the mouth because that is how deceit is
communicated. Whenever you say something you know is not true, it offends God’s very nature. God is a God of truth, and the Bible tells us it is impossible for Him to lie. (Titus 1:2). Jesus says lies are the language of the devil:
John 8:44 He [the devil] does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
God loves the truth; the devil loves lies. When you lie, you are talking like the devil, and insulting the God of truth.
A preacher walking along a road saw a crowd of boys surrounding a dog. “What are you doing with the dog?” asked the minister.
“Whoever tells the biggest lie, he wins the dog.”
“Oh, my, my, my,” exclaimed the minister, “when I was a little boy like you here I never told a lie.”
After a moment’s silence, one boy picks up the dog and said, “Here, mister. You win the dog.”[ii]
When you lie, God says I hate it when you do that.
The positive side is that God loves it when we tell the truth.
Pr 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.
Eph 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor…
God loves it when we speak and deal truthfully with one another because we are reflecting His image in our words and in our lives.
3. Bloody hands. The third thing God hates is hands that shed innocent blood. Murder
is a serious crime before God, but the killing of the innocent is even more serious. The very first murder in human history was the killing of an innocent man- Abel killed by his brother Cain. God’s words reflect His shock over this evil deed:
Genesis 4:10 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.
If one innocent man’s murder fills God’s heart with horror and pain, how must the millions of senseless killings today affect Him? 6 million babies each year are murdered before they ever leave the womb.
Chances of your being killed by terrorists overseas: 1 in 650,000
Chances of your being killed by Americans in Baltimore: 1 in 4,000
Chances of your being aborted if you are in the womb of an American woman: 1 in 3.3.[iii]
Who knows how many terminally ill patients or older people are killed in so-called “mercy killings”?
One survey of US doctors published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 11% said they would be willing to speed up a patients’ death by prescribing medication, 7% said they would be willing to provide a lethal injection if asked, and 6% said they have actually done one or the other.
As if this was not enough, the evening news reports the ever growing list of people murdered by domestic violence, drugs, or robbery. You and I grow desensitized to such useless killing, but it still hurts the heart of God. Through His pain, God says I hate it when you do that.
At the same time, God loves it when we treasure life as a gift from His Hand, to be protected and defended.
Ge 9:5-6 Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed…
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Ac 17:25 …He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
Life is a precious gift from God, and He loves for us to treat it that way.
4. Scheming hearts. People who do wrong often plan on doing wrong. Like robbers staking
out the bank, or assassins stalking their target, they plan their crimes with deliberate cunning.
You know what that’s like, don’t you? Your mind fantasizes about how you’d enjoy embarrassing or hurting somebody who hurt you. You imagine the look on their face, as they suffer for what they did. Just thinking about it gives you a feeling of triumph. If you had the courage or the power, you would probably make them pay. Of course, you probably will never go through with your plans, but you have just spent time devising wicked schemes.
God hates it when you do that. Those kinds of thoughts and feelings fuel your hatred, and soil your soul. God commands you to forgive; God commands us to do good to others, but you have planned in your heart to do evil, even if you never actually act out those feelings.
If you want a better plan, follow the command of
Ro 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
5. Legs eager to do evil. The key image here conveys the idea of eagerness and
movement. The description is of someone who impulsively sins or of those impatient to engage in sinful behavior. I used to work with some guys who couldn’t wait to get off from work so they could get drunk and party. Maybe you’ve known people who were always looking for a fight, or eager to, as my granny used to say “to find some meanness to get into.” They’re like baseball players waiting to steal a base- their feet are always ready to run a little farther. When that happens, God says with sadness in His heart I hate it when you do that.
But God loves it when we are eager to do what is right.
1 Jn 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
6. False witness. The scene here is a courtroom, where a witness is called on to tell the
truth, but instead makes up a malicious lie. The difference between lying and being a false witness is subtle, but important. A liar lies about almost anything. I know a girl who seems to lie just for fun. If she told me it’s raining, I’d have to step in a puddle before I’d believe it.
A false witness is lying on a personal level. He is lies to hurt someone. It may come in the form of gossip or testimony, but the purpose is to inflict pain on its victim. Kids do this sometime to get one another back. When you get older, you might bear false witness to make someone else look bad so you can look better. At home, at school, or at work, God hates it when you bear false witness.
A client went to his attorney and said, "I am going into a business deal with a man I do not trust. I want you to frame an airtight contract that he can't break, which will protect me from any sort of mischief he may have on his mind." The attorney replied, "Listen, my friend. There is no group of words in the English language that will take the place of plain honesty between men, which will fully protect either of you if you plan to deceive each other."[iv]
Finally, the last habit God hates is when we are
7. Sowers of discord. This is really the bull’s-eye for this proverb. It compares pride, lying,
murder, scheming, eagerness to do evil, and false witness to this last sin. It is easy to see why God hates those things. Almost nobody denies that. But the punch line is that sowing discord among brothers is just as bad as any or all these things God hates.
What does it mean to sow discord? To sow is to spread seed; discord is confusion, discontentment, strife. This person a troublemaker who always stirs up a stink in the family. They spread seeds of suspicion, mistrust, and discontent among close friends and family. You know the type: they cannot be happy unless there is someone is arguing. They take your words and twist them, then repeat their version to one of your friends or family members.
Did you hear what she said about you? Can you believe he would do something like that?
A sower of discord put husband and wife at odds with one another, turn friends into enemies, wreck the ministry of the church and its pastor. When a spark of discontent flares, they are there with gasoline to fuel the fires; then they sit back and watch the fireworks.
They usually claim to be innocent- I’m only trying to tell the truth, only trying to help, only want people to be “real”. They may not even hear the disappointed voice of God say I hate it when you do that. On the other hand, Jesus says in
Mt 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who see a spark of discord and don’t reach for the gasoline, but reach for the water to put it out. Blessed are those who work hard at getting along, do all they can to promote unity in their homes, their church, their community.
Carl and Sam were at odds with each other. A deeply concerned deacon prayed God would use him as a peacemaker.
One day the deacon visits Carl. "What do you think of Sam?" he asked. "He's the sorriest scoundrel in town!" "But you have to admit.” counters the deacon, “he's a hard-working man." "No one can deny that," said Carl."I've never known a person who worked harder."
Next the deacon visits Sam. "Do you know what Carl said about you?" "No, but I can imagine," he responds angrily. "This may surprise you," said the deacon, "but he said he's never known a harder worker." "He said that?" Sam is stunned. "What do you think of Carl?" asked the deacon. "I have absolutely no use for him." "But you must admit he's honest in business," said the deacon. "There's no getting around that," says Sam. "He's a man you can trust."
Later the deacon met Carl again. "Do you know what Sam said about you? He claims you're absolutely trustworthy in business, that you are scrupulously honest." "Well, how 'bout that," reacted Carl with a smile.
Soon the peacemaking deacon noticed when they passed one another on the street, Sam and Carl would cautiously nod in a friendly sort of way. Before long they were shaking hands, talking, even visiting in each other's homes. Today they are best of friends.
How many feuds would vanish like morning mist if we took a page from this deacon’s playbook?
Tonight’s message is meant to get you to thinking, to urge you and I to examine our lives, to ask the Holy Spirit to show us where we fall short, to show us what we may be doing that God hates. Then, let us pray with the Psalmist:
Ps 139:23-24 23Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
[i]10,000 Sermon Illustrations. electronic ed. Dallas: Biblical Studies Press, 2000.
[ii]Tan, Paul Lee. Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations : [A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes,
[iii] What Are the Chances? by Bernard Siskin (Crown, 1989); U.S. Today, 1/26/89. Leadership
[iv] James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988)