This is the sermon for Wednesday night, September 3rd, 2008.
EVERYDAY WISDOM PART 4
Hate and Love
Proverbs 6:16-19; Matthew 5:5-9.
We are continuing our Wednesday night series into the book of Proverbs. We are not necessarily covering every verse, but we are highlighting some of the wisdom found within its pages.
As many of you can tell, I love to eat. I don’t eat for fuel, or because I need too, but I eat for pure enjoyment. If I’m not careful, can be a very bad thing. But there are some foods that I just do not like. Vegetables are some of them. I don’t like Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, Asparagus, things like that. I can’t stand them.
These are the foods I do love: Liver, Hamburgers, Red Velvet Cake, Potatoes, these are just a few.
One day, Laura heard about a way that if you take Cauliflower and smash it up like mash potatoes, and add a few ingredients, that it will taste like mash potatoes. She is always on me about eating better, so she decided to try it, without telling me. She says dinner is ready, and I see this big whopping dish of mash potatoes and I get a bunch. I took one bite and discovered quickly, this is not mash potatoes, but Cauliflower. You see, my wife tried to cover up something I hate and gave it too me in the form of something I love. I love mash potatoes so much, I could tell the difference.
I’m sure that there are many things that you love and hate as well. Let me ask you a question this evening: Have you ever wondered what God loves and what God hates?
Well, I was studying proverbs for tonight’s lesson, I discovered some things that God does love and hate. I also discovered that they are polar opposites. I discovered it by accident, quite honestly, but what I call an accident, God calls divine providence.
What I discovered that God hates and loves are found in Proverbs 6 and Matthew 5. We want to look at those passages this evening. As we look we will discover, The things God hates and loves are revealed in the attitudes and actions of common people.
Before we begin our study, let’s ask for the help of the Holy Spirit this evening.
1. God reveals in proverbs what He hates; Jesus reveals in the sermon on the mount what God loves.
Proverbs 6:16 ESV – There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him…
A. Most scholars believe that God doesn’t have a list of six or seven things that are repulsive to Him.
Most feel the Author of Proverbs is using Literature formula quite common in Hebrew literature that would be like climbing a ladder. Each rung of the ladder gets you higher and higher. Each rung on this Proverbial ladder gets you to worse attitudes and actions of people that the Lord hates and finds repulsive.
Matthew 5:2 ESV – And he opened his mouth and taught them…
B. Here Jesus begins preaching probably the greatest sermon ever preached: the sermon on the mount.
Within the words of this sermon He is going to reveal many things. One of them is the characteristics of the Kingdom of God. These characteristics are completely opposite of what we will see in Proverbs 6, and I don’t know if our Lord had that is mind or not, but it is interesting. These characteristics can only be lived out by having the Spirit of the Living God living inside you. They are not part of our human nature.
C. Let’s begin looking at the contrast.
2. The Lord hates arrogance; He loves meekness.
Proverbs 6:17a ESV – haughty eyes…
A. In the Hebrew language, this expression means, “Prideful, lofty, arrogant ambition.”
It is much more than looking down on others, but having a very prideful belief in yourself. It also has to do with not acknowledging God’s Providence and Sovereignty over your life, that you are the master of you own destiny. The Believer’s Commentary says, “It is dust deifying itself.”
Matthew 5:5 ESV – Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
B. God blesses the meek, makes them happy.
While He brings low the proud and often removes them from their position; He gives the meek an inheritance.
3. God hates lies, but loves truth and righteousness.
Proverb 6:17b ESV – a lying tongue…
A. The truth is very important to God because He is the complete embodiment of truth.
This passage says specifically that God hates a lying tongue. The reason that he hates a lying tongue is quite simple: It is because he created the mouth and the tongue to glorify Him. When lies occur, it perverts the very purpose for which the tongue was created.
Matthew 5:6 ESV – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
B. How is this passage in Matthew in contrast to Proverbs 6:17 you ask?
Well, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are those who are longing for justice, honesty and integrity in all areas of their lives and those of their family, church, jobs, and other places they might have some type of influence. When we hunger for righteousness, right standing with God, that is what we receive. It is opposite of the corruption of this world that we would receive apart from Christ Jesus.
4. God hates harm done to others; He loves for mercy to be extended.
Proverbs 6:17c ESV – hands that shed innocent blood…
A. Human life is precious to God.
The reason is because we were created in the image of God. So murder, and doing harm to one another God absolutely hates.
Matthew 5:7 ESV – Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
B. It is important to know who we should be merciful too.
While God hates harm done to the innocent, I believe that He loves for His children to be merciful to those who wrong them. You see, I don’t have to be merciful to those who didn’t wrong me, there would really be no reason. But it takes a work of God in our lives in order for us to extend mercy to those who harm us in any way. That is what God loves.
5. God hates a devious heart; He loves a pure heart.
Proverbs 6:18 ESV – a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil…
A. This is talking about someone who is always plotting evil.
They are seeking and longing for evil as if it is water and food. They gulp it down, not worrying about its consequences.
Matthew 5:8 ESV – Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
B. God loves the pure in heart.
In Greek, the word, “pure” refers to a vine that has been purified, or cleansed by pruning. This means that God doesn’t love a heart that is born pure, because none of ours are. He loves a heart that He has cleansed and made pure. What a wonderful promise for those whom God has pruned; they shall see God.
6. God hates a false witness; He loves peacemakers.
Proverbs 6:19a ESV – a false witness who breathes out lies…
A. This one and the next one go together actually, but I went ahead and split them.
Here we see that God hates a false witness. This is not referring to just casual conversation lying, we’ve already seen that. This refers to lying underoath, or as a witness against another in a court of law. This is to lie so that the accused may be proved guilty and punished, even though they are innocent of the charges against them.
Matthew 5:9 ESV – Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
B. On the other hand, God loves peacemakers.
Jesus is not talking about people who have are by nature peaceful, or even people who love peace. He is talking about people who actively intervene in conflicts for the sake of peace, or to bring peace into the situation. How is this opposite of a false witness? Well, a peacemaker knows that it isn’t falsehoods that bring true peace, but truth. Notice the promise, peacemakers will be called Sons of God.
7. God hates discord; He loves the persecuted.
Proverbs 6:19b ESV – one who sows discord among brothers.
A. The discord that is written about here is concerning discord amongst brethren – a family of people – I believe it can refer to the church.
Notice one thing that is striking: God lists those who sow discord amongst brethren under the same category as Murderers, liars, and perjurers. God cannot stand division amongst His people. He hates it.
Matthew 5:10-12 ESV – 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
B. The ones who persecuted Jesus and the prophets were their own brethren, the Jews.
God said that those who are persecuted for righteousness sake has this as a reward – the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
C. You see, we can be persecuted by the world, but also by those within the community of faith through who so discord amongst fellow believers.
God loves the persecuted and promises to bless them.
We have seen a few things that God hates and loves this evening from Proverbs 6 and Matthew 5. I would encourage you to find some time this week to consider this message and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any of the attitudes and actions that God hates that might be in your life. When He reveals, repent and then ask Him to help you change and make things right. Also ask Him to reveal what attitudes and actions that He loves that are manifested in your life as well. Rejoice in the work that He has already been doing in your life in those areas.
It is my desire that Faith United Church would be people of the book. That we correct our lives according to it, and live our lives according to it as well. When we see God working on us through His Word and our obedience by His Spirit, then we will see Him touching our community through us.