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THE THINGS GOD HATES
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
Solomon, through the inspiration of the Spirit, understood people very well. He knew the problems that come in everyday life. He knew some people would be lazy and others industrious, some would save their money and others would spend it foolishly. Solomon wrote his many Proverbs to tell people which was the right thing to do.
Human nature today is much like it was over 3000 years ago when Solomon was king. We shall find in his writings an answer to any problem that may come to us in our daily living.
The testimony given by a Christian in the church is not the whole story of his life. Solomon gives attention to the way a person lives in his home with his family, how he behaves himself at work among other workers, and how he carries on business with strangers. God watches all man’s activities, and does not want him to be lazy, proud, contentious, or wasteful.
The Lord has told us that we must occupy until He comes. We must continue to eat, provide ourselves with clothing and a place to live. We must take care of the elderly people, the ill and crippled, and the little children. And by our good life we can be an adornment to His Church.
There are people who refuse to be a help to anyone, even themselves. No one enjoys being around such a lazy person. The animals and insects are more industrious than some people. Consider the ants. Solomon said: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” What is a sluggard? The dictionary gives this answer: “One who is habitually lazy and idle.” Then a child who never wants to help his parents, but who always wants them to wait on him, is a sluggard.
The busy child is a happy child. It used to be that children, when quite young, were obliged to help their parents earn a living; and when families were large, there was much work to be done in the home. Each one had his duties, and children were contented when they were taught to do things. They appreciated the little things they earned or were given as rewards.
Today people in some localities have more money, and it is usually not necessary for their children to help earn a living. Many of them grow up without knowing the value of money, how to earn it, or how to spend it wisely. They merely tell their parents what they think they should have, and demand that they get it.
Often mothers feel that it is easier to do the work themselves than to teach their daughters how to do it and insist on their help. So the girls grow up without realizing how much work and planning they will have to do to make a happy home. They are not taught to share responsibilities and burdens. They would rather play than work; as a result, when they grow up, their marriages often end in divorce.
A Wise Little People
Solomon wrote many books on nature, and he knew about the habits of the insects. He had no doubt watched the ants carrying a load many times their size, and wondered where they were going with it. He may have examined their nests and found all the grain neatly stored away for the winter. All summer long the busy little ants hurry and scurry, hither and yon, to lay up supplies for the cold weather. They do not have human understanding, but God has given them an instinct that tells them what to do.
The ants’ nests are many times a marvel of construction. Sometimes there will be many rooms under ground. Other times they are built in the form of a hut or mound above ground. These arse grouped in towns, connected by roads above ground, and by tunnels under ground.
Everyone is busy in Ant Town. Some build the nest, others, build roads. We are told of a Texan ant that clears the ground around its nest for 10 or 12 feet to allow certain grain called ant rice (and no other) to grow there. Some ants are set apart to be soldiers. They sometimes go out on raids to get other ants for slaves. The larvae are collected and taken back to the nest to hatch; and the slaves are used to do the work inside the nest. The ants keep herds of aphids, which give them “milk,” as our cows do for us.
Solomon said ants are one of four things, which are little upon the earth but exceedingly wise, “a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer” [Proverbs:30:24-25]). Then when winter comes they can rest comfortably in their homes, warm and well fed.
Preparing for Eternity
Not only can we learn industry for our everyday life from the ants, but we can apply their diligence to our spiritual life. Now is the time to prepare for eternity. It will be too late when “the harvest is past, the summer is ended.”
The Word of God is saying to the sinner today, “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?” Many young people are going their merry way, enjoying the pleasures of sin, with no thought of the judgment. How long will it be until they awaken to the danger they face by turning their thoughts from God? We know that the old must die -– but the young die, too. Disease will sometimes strike down a perfectly healthy child in just a few days. Accidents may take them even quicker.
Youth is the time to seek the Lord, when the conscience is still tender and can hear the wooing of Jesus. If people continue to harden their heart against the voice of God, the time will come when they will no longer be stirred to seek the Lord.
A pastor once told this story: “I entered a farm house on a chilly November evening and spent an hour in religious conversation with the family. The aged father – a kind and amiable man – followed me to the door and said deliberately, ‘I thank you for your visit, and hope it will not be the last. As you have just commenced your labours among us, I wish to give you a word of advice. Leave us old people alone, and devote your labours to the youth of your flock. Forty years ago I was greatly concerned about my soul; many brothers were converted, but I was not among them. Later, under the ministry of another pastor, many more were converted, but not I. Now for years, I have not had a single feeling on the subject! I know I am a lost sinner. I know I can be saved only through Jesus Christ; I believe what you preach, but I feel it no more than if I were a block of marble. I expect to live and die just as I am. So leave us to our sins, and give your strength to the work of saving the young.’
“I watched the progress of that man. His seat was rarely vacant in the sanctuary; but he was a true prophet of his fate. He lived as he predicted; and so he died. We laid him down at last in his hopeless grave, in the midst of a congregation over whom God had so often opened the windows in Heaven.” Oh, that young people would awaken before they have grieved the Spirit of God once too often and He turns from them! The Word of God commands: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” [Ecclesiastes:12:1]).
A Proud Look
God cannot look upon any sin with favour, but Solomon mentions seven things that God particularly hates. The first is a proud look. Some may claim that they have never done anything very bad, and for that reason they are sure God will take them to Heaven. But even a proud look is an abomination in the sight of God. Of course, a proud look comes from pride in the heart. God has said that it is the meek who shall inherit the earth.
You have heard of Sodom, the city that God destroyed with a rain of fire and brimstone from Heaven because of her wickedness. Do you know what some of her sins were that brought the wrath of God upon the people? This was the sin of Sodom: “Pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me” [Ezekiel:16:49-50]).
Sodom was condemned because her people were proud. They thought they were better than other people. They perhaps spoke as the rich fool: “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry” [Luke:12:19]). But God hated their pride, their laziness, their overeating, and the fact that they did not help the poor. Let us pay attention to all God’s words so that we will be ready to meet Jesus when He comes.
A lying tongue is another thing God hates. You may not have thought that it was very bad to tell some little “white lies” to keep out of trouble or to win favour for yourself, but God, speaking through Solomon, says He hates that. He wants His children to speak the truth from the heart, and not even act a lie. All liars -– not just those who tell “black lies” -– are going to have their part in the lake of fire, along with the murderers, sorcerers, and idolaters [Revelation:21:8]). “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight” [Proverbs:12:22]).
Right in the same sentence, which mentions the liar, we hear about the murderer. You may have thought that murder was a terrible sin but telling lies was not. The Word of God speaks of them both at the same time as things God hates.
God hates the heart that “deviseth wicked imaginations.” Evil thoughts may be plans for unrighteous acts the next day. “Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! When the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand” [Micah:2:1]). They are likely to be the people whose feet are “swift in running to mischief.” And God hates that, too. Evil thoughts may suggest themselves to us, but we must put them out of our minds, and not let them get into our hearts.
The false witness who speaks lies is closely connected with the lying tongue. Lying must be a serious sin, because God mentions it twice among these things that He hates.
Another person who brings the fury of God upon himself is the one who “soweth discord among brethren.” He is one whom we would call a troublemaker. He tells things that make people distrust each other, or even hate someone. May we be careful not to hurt anyone by the things we say.
We want God’s smile upon our lives. If we pay attention to what the Bible tells us to do, and then do it, we shall hear His “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
1. What is a sluggard?
2. What did Solomon tell the sluggard to do? Why?
3. What lesson can we learn from ants?
4. The old must die, but what about the young?
5. Name the seven things God hates, as mentioned in this lesson.
6. What was the sin of Sodom as related in [Ezekiel:16:49];[Ezekiel:16:50]?
7. What does God say about telling lies, and the liar?
8. What do we want God to say to us when we stand in judgment?