Things Which the Lord Hates

Proverbs

The book of Proverbs contains wisdom to guide us through life. In it we are shown the way that is right and warned about the way that is wrong. In the following passage, the wise man warned about things which the Lord hates.

There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Hate is a strong word, yet that is the word given by inspiration. Therefore, we should not gloss over the items on this list; instead, we should be sure we understand what these things are and heed this warning.Continue Reading

Qualities of Good Leaders

Moses and Jethro

When Jethro came to visit Moses, he observed how his son-in-law judged the people “from the morning until the evening” with no one to assist him in this enormous task (Exodus 18:13-14). He warned Moses that this arrangement was not good: “You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone” (Exodus 18:18). So Jethro advised Moses to appoint leaders over the people who could help act as judges. But he did not tell Moses to select just anyone – they had to possess certain qualities in order to be good leaders.

Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens” (Exodus 18:21).

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The Application of Wisdom: Character (Part 1)

Notes on Proverbs

As one learns to accept the wisdom that comes from above, the result will be a change of character. As we consider some of the character traits that one will gain from a pursuit of wisdom, let us first begin by contrasting them with the negative character traits of one who rejects divine wisdom. Below is a list the wise man gives of seven abominations.
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Woe to the Oppressive Rulers (8/12)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Jeremiah 18-22.

‘Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness and his upper rooms without justice, who uses his neighbor’s services without pay and does not give him his wages, who says, “I will build myself a roomy house with spacious upper rooms, and cut out its windows, paneling it with cedar and painting it bright red.” Do you become a king because you are competing in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me?’ declares the Lord. ‘But your eyes and your heart are intent only upon your own dishonest gain, and on shedding innocent blood and on practicing oppression and extortion’” (Jeremiah 22:13-17).

At the beginning of this passage, it may be easy to assume that the Lord is addressing the rich in general. But as we continue on in the context, it is clear that he is referring to those who rule over the people.
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"His Refuge Will Be the Impregnable Rock" (7/23)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Isaiah 31-34.

‘You who are far away, hear what I have done; and you who are near, acknowledge My might.’ Sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling has seized the godless. ‘Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?’

He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity, he who rejects unjust gain and shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; he who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; he will dwell on the heights, his refuge will be the impregnable rock; his bread will be given him, his water will be sure” (Isaiah 33:13-16).

Knowing that God is willing and able to render punishment to whom it is due, the question that naturally follows is this: Who can be spared from punishment? This passage shows us some of the characteristics one must have in order to avoid God’s wrath.
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Punishment for Dishonesty (4/21)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from 2 Samuel 1-4.

After the death of Saul, “a man who came out of the camp of Saul” (2 Samuel 1:2), yet identified himself as an Amalekite (2 Samuel 1:8), came to David to report to him of Saul’s death. Yet he was not completely honest in his report.

The young man who told him said, ‘By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and behold, Saul was leaning on his spear. And behold, the chariots and the horsemen pursued him closely. When he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I said, “Here I am.” He said to me, “Who are you?” And I answered him, “I am an Amalekite.” Then he said to me, “Please stand beside me and kill me, for agony has seized me because my life still lingers in me.” So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown which was on his head and the bracelet which was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord’” (2 Samuel 1:6-10).

This man had Saul’s crown and bracelet, so he had obtained them somehow. Yet his story was not accurate. Saul fell on his own sword, killing himself (1 Samuel 31:4). When the Philistines found him, “They cut off his head and stripped off his weapons” (1 Samuel 31:9), yet nothing is said of his crown and bracelet. What likely happened was that this man found the dead king before the Philistines did, took these two items, and was now bringing them to David.
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A Man of Integrity (1/11)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Job 29-31.

I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? (Job 31:1).”

As Job defended his integrity, he stated that his purity in heart was such that he would not even look at  a woman. While many in our culture argue that there is nothing wrong with just looking, Job made a covenant — a conscious decision and commitment — that he would not look with lust at one of the opposite sex.
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