May 19 2020: Proverbs 6:16-19
There are six things that the LORD hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.
The word ‘abomination’ is a strong one, and one that we tend to throw around quite easily – especially when we are judging someone else. Almost always, at least in the last several years, I hear and read that word bandied about around the topic of human sexuality. It is often at times like this I like to ask ‘what are the seven things that Proverbs calls an abomination?’ The response is often mute – perhaps it is because we are not as familiar with this list. I have another theory – I wonder if we look past this list because it is about each of us – we are each guilty of these acts…if not all, certainly some.
Let me share how Eugene Peterson lists them:
eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.
I read this passage as emphasizing even more the seriousness at which God judges those who are a troublemaker in the family – who sows discord in the community. This is a direct word to the church. We do not take seriously enough the impact that discord in the church has on our witness to the love of Jesus. This doesn’t mean we will always agree – it does, however mean that we will always love and act with civility toward one another.
This Proverb is an important word for me today, and I suspect, for all of us.
What about you?