“These six things the LORD hates. Yes, seven are an abomination to Him.” Proverbs 6:16
Anyone who knows God’s true heart knows He does not hate us in any way, shape, or form despite what we sometimes think. Unfortunate circumstances and seasons in our lives are never indicators that God hates us. Quite the contrary. God absolutely loves us with love so wide and deep; our human minds cannot ever possibly comprehend it. Jesus’ death on the cross proves it.
But that doesn’t mean He doesn’t hate. In fact, the Bible says He hates seven specific things. Since we know He only loves us, then we must ask what it is He hates. Then, we must examine ourselves to see if we are committing any of these abominations, so we don’t fall into the pit of sin.
The Seven Abominations
Most people mainly consider King Solomon to be the author of the book of Proverbs. God granted him great wisdom, if not the greatest of any man in history. But the truth is he did not write the entire book. Other authors include King Hezekiah and Agur, whose background is generally unknown except for what he writes about in chapter 30. But of the book of Proverbs, we know Solomon wrote the first twenty-nine books.
In chapter six and many other chapters, Solomon gives his son (and us) a number of warnings and instructions for godly living. It doesn’t take long for him to issue warnings of being a wicked person, of being lazy, and of the consequences of making ungodly choices. His desire to warn us is why, early in the book, Solomon reminds us — or perhaps plainly details — the things God hates.
“These six things the LORD hates. Yes, seven are an abomination to Him.” Proverbs 6:16
Notice that Solomon first says there are six things but revises it to seven. Scholars believe Solomon stated it this way on purpose as the order of numbers is meant to convey totality. In other words, these are all the things God hates most. They also are meant to get the reader’s attention. We see the use of this type of wording also in Job 5:19 and Amos 1:3.
In Biblical order, the seven abominations are:
- A proud look
- A lying tongue
- Hands that shed innocent blood
- A heart that devises wicked plans
- Feet that are swift in running to evil
- A false witness who speaks lies
- One who sows discord among brethren
Let’s examine these seven sins in more detail.
Why God Hates These Sins Most
If we take a closer look, we discover this list summarizes Solomon’s previous warnings in verses 12–14.
- Proud eyes are winks in verse 13a.
- A lying tongue is a perverse mouth in verse 12. This verse also refers to false witnessing.
- Hands are fingers in verse 13c.
- A heart making wicked plans is a heart practicing perversion in verse 14.
- Feet running to evil are shuffling feet in verse 13b.
- Sowing discord is someone who devises evil continually in verse 14.
Solomon’s choice of words here is entirely based on the culture of his day.
Those who went about winking, shuffling their feet, and pointing fingers were tactics criminals commonly used at the time. The criminal, fearing detection, would make every attempt to cover his tracks. As he told lies to his victim, he would wink to try to convey sincerity. He would also give other signals with his eyes, hands, and feet to his partner in crime, ones he could easily interpret, so he could fully carry out the deception. Think of them as gang signals.
Solomon wasn’t only referring to arguably the worst segment of society. His warnings apply to everyday people living their everyday lives too. And Solomon calls the people who practice these deeds “wicked.” Such truth should cause us all to examine our lives and ask ourselves,
Are we committing one of God’s seven abominations?
God Hates Sin
The Bible says those who think they have never sinned are only fooling themselves (1 John 1:8). All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). There are no exceptions except for Christ Jesus, who was the only one who never sinned. So, if we have all sinned, chances are good we have committed one of the seven abominations.
We may not all be murderers, but many of us have lied about something. Whether we have outright lied to avoid severe consequences or lied to our children about how much ice cream is left, we’ve all done it.
Likewise, we may not be purposely running toward evil, but many of us have shuffled our feet toward it. We cut corners, we allow unrighteous language to come out of our mouths, we cut people off in traffic, we refuse to give our time, talent, and treasure to those in need, or we prefer to lay in bed instead of crossing things off the household to-do list. We’ve all done it to some degree, haven’t we?
Another example may be with our work. Some of us may have won a competition or company contract. Maybe the boss chose us for promotion over someone else. Our intent may be to celebrate, but we often drift into boasting, making us look boorish, or we (at the least) hurt feelings.
First Corinthians 13:4 says love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, and does not behave rudely. When we lack love and compassion for others–when we have a proud look–we boast, and we are committing an abomination against God.
We often think such actions and words are no big deal and have no bearing whatsoever on the kingdom of God.
But they do.
Every act of unrighteousness is unholy, and everything unholy is an abomination to the Lord. The Bible clearly tells us those who commit such actions have sinned against Him, and the punishment for sin is death. So, there is only one remedy.
We must repent.
Repentance is Crucial
When we sin, we are choosing our desires over God’s. We make exceptions for ourselves, thinking what we’re doing isn’t significant enough to warrant attention. What’s the harm? What we often fail to see, then, is we are sinning regardless.
It’s essential for us to know we only sin against God. We cannot sin against another person because they are also sinful. Only God is holy. And as our Creator, we must accept that He sees what we’re doing. King David confessed this truth in Psalm 51 after he had committed adultery with Bathsheeba.
“For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight.” Psalm 51:3–4
David recognized that God is just, and His judgments are always right (Psalm 51:4). He knew his sin was not God’s fault, and he alone made the decision to sin with Bathsheeba. In verse five, he acknowledges he was born into sin. We all are. But ultimately, it is our choices and our rebellion against God that causes us to sin.
So, David did what we all should do: repent.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (v10)
Before we can repent, we must humble ourselves. We must feel godly sorrow for our choices.
“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted.” 2 Corinthians 7:10
Godly sorrow is sorrow that is produced by the Holy Spirit within us. Genuine repentance cannot happen without it. It is the very heart of our salvation, both initially and continually. We repent when we first come to Christ, but we keep repenting daily so we can hold onto God’s joy and blessings through our relationship with Him.
David goes on to declare it is a broken and contrite heart God desires. In his words, he says, “These, O God, You will not despise (v17).” God does not hate a broken heart because a broken heart produces godly sorrow, leading to salvation.
That’s exactly what God wants. He wants to save us from our sins. He longs to set us free and give us eternal life with Him. And as many of us know, that is something we never regret.
God Does NOT Hate You
There is no doubt God hates all sin. He knows sin is what separates us from Him. That’s why Solomon made a detailed list of the things God hates most. Other types of sin are also wicked and no less punishable, but the seven abominations in Proverbs 6:16–19 are the ones He truly despises.
If you have studied yourself and recognize these sins in you, repentance is crucial. A good prayer to start with is the one David used.
“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” Psalm 51:12
When you approach God with godly sorrow, He is more than happy to restore the joy of your salvation. You can count on Him to uphold you with His exceedingly generous Spirit. The apostle John talks about this in 1 John. He also gives us an important reminder.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1 John 1:9; 2:1–2
God will never push you away. He will never reject you if you approach Him with a genuine heart seeking forgiveness. He longs to restore your joy and your relationship with Him, even if you have committed one of the seven sins He hates most.
Remember, God hates sin, not you! God loves you with an everlasting love, one that will never be cut off from you. He always has, and He always will. That’s His promise to you.