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Wisdom's Words of Warning

(Proverbs 6:16-28)

Lesson 11 -- third quarter 2002
August 11, 2002

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2002, Christian Light Publications

Do you turn God's stomach and make His blood boil?

We have all seen and tasted things that literally upset our stomachs, giving us an overpowering urge to vomit. For many folks, the blood and gore of an accident scene will bring this kind of reaction. For others, merely putting certain foods in their mouths will do the same. Our stomachs turn and convulse.

Some things make us angry. A few things make us very angry. We respond to them with displeasure and indignation. The trigger might be an unkind word or a gross injustice. Whatever the case, our heart rate increases and our blood pressure rises, seemingly to the point of boiling.

When I read in Proverbs six that certain things are hateful and abominable to God, I think of turning stomachs and boiling blood. Let's review some triggers of divine wrath and revulsion as recorded in Proverbs 6:16-19.

A proud look. Only God is perfect and good. He alone is self-sufficient. But we humans, sin-prone and error-prone though we are, often imagine we are an improved version of humanity compared to others. We glory in our accomplishments; we congratulate ourselves for our improving goodness. And we marvel at the lesser state of those around us. Yet how poorly we do at remembering our perfect God's perspective on our wretched sense of goodness.

A lying tongue. Most people naturally would lie, deceive, or mislead in one way or another. Perhaps, though, God's cleansing has worked thoroughly enough in us to cleanse us from most cases of that. Then we should be on guard against the more subtle ways of skirting the truth. It seems we are especially vulnerable in the area of telling people just enough truth for them to arrive at a deceived conclusion. Do we suppose God reacts to that any differently than He does to outright lying?

Hands that shed innocent blood. Ah, finally one that doesn't apply to me! However, before we get too smug and relaxed, perhaps we should consider whether gossip, slander, innuendo, and evil speaking are a problem for us. How readily do we speak against another, in their presence or behind their back? How often do we rejoice at the stumbles, falls, and discomforts of another? And what about harboring in our hearts a strong dislike, bias, or hatred for someone else? God doesn't hate these any less than He hates murder!

An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations. "If he says this, I'll...." "If she does that, I will definitely...." When thoughts similar to these conclude with dire consequences for the offender, God is revolted. "When he said that, he really meant...." Now there's a common one! We hear what someone says and attribute evil intent and thought where we have no proof or evidence of its existence. God hates that! When we allow our minds to churn angrily and bitterly about the wrongs and misdeeds of another, we usually sink to the wicked imaginations that God finds so abominable.

Feet that be swift in running to mischief. God wants to use our feet to spread the message of the Gospel of peace. God says such feet are beautiful (Romans 10:15). When we are quick and eager to do what is ungodly, God grieves.

A false witness that speaketh lies. This speaks of a deliberate violation of trust and commitment. Be true to your word and your commitments. Avoid betraying the trust and confidence of another. Or risk God's anger and vengeance.

He that soweth discord among brethren. God calls His people to be peacemaking builders. He hates thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions that cause conflict and demolition in personal and group relationships.

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