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Monday, September 13, 2010

Seven things God has strong opinions about - Part VI

Here are six things God hates,
    and one more that he loathes with a passion:
      eyes that are arrogant,
      a tongue that lies,
      hands that murder the innocent,
      a heart that hatches evil plots,
      feet that race down a wicked track,
      a mouth that lies under oath,
      a troublemaker in the family.
(Proverbs 6:16-19)

We have two final characteristics that we will examine today.  The first is the mouth that lies under oath.  This differs from the tongue that lies in that it is associated with the giving of a testimony or acting as a witness.  Scripture also reminds us in other places that God hates a false scale (in other words, being dishonest in business affairs).  God expects his kids to live as model citizens in a society that may not have very many good role models.  

In our culture today, we equate being "under oath" with having sworn to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  We used to add the words, "so help me God", as we held our hands on a copy of the Bible.  Society found this offensive and "intolerant" of the various religions of the world, so gradually this has been "phased out" of many courtrooms as the foundation upon which our testimony may be judged as factual.

Yet, in God's economy, our word is our oath - he hears each and every word we speak and holds us accountable for the testimony we give.  The term "so help me God" is a telling term.  Think about it - if we truly speak these terms when giving an oath, we are asking God to help us tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  We don't want to miss a fact that would be pertinent to a fair judgment and we don't want to embellish a fact that would change the course of dispute.  Whenever we are called to give a "testimony", we need to think upon these words and ask God to help us be "solid" in our testimony - keeping us from bearing any falsehood in our testimony.  

The last characteristic that is outlined in this passage is labeled as the one thing that God loathes with a passion.  Okay, this is not simple dislike of a behavior - it carries the idea of being so repulsive that it turns the stomach.  God loathes a troublemaker in the family.  It is important to keep in mind that God looks beyond genetic lines to define family.  He defines his children as family, and his Body as the Church.  The destructiveness of one member of the family affects the outcome for the entire family.  That is why God loathes a troublemaker in the family of Christ - their behavior crosses the line.

God's view of these seven character traits is one of dislike and disgust.  He wants a holy temple in which to dwell.  In evaluating these seven characteristics this past week, we may have found certain behavioral tendencies that are reflected in our lives that we need the Holy Spirit to work on.  If so, remember that God always honors the prayer, "so help me God"!  He stands at the ready to transform the life that is willing to be transformed.