Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 6:17
"Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood"
God begins to detail, through the mouth of Solomon, those actions and attitudes that He hates. It is a different list than we might expect it would be. What is interesting and foreign to our thinking is that God has strong emotions about some actions that we can take. Think this through. God is emotionally angry when you do any one of these seven things. We are not used to thinking about God in an emotional state. You could be doing something that God hates.
This is the Hebrew word “rum” which means high, lofty, haughty. Clearly the idea is pride, superiority, a condescending attitude toward others. When people look at others as beneath them or inferior to them, this is “haughty eyes.” When it is clear in how people act or evaluate others that they believe that they are better than the others – either because of something they have done, something they have, something they are – then this qualifies as what God hates.
Now what is important here is that this is a natural tendency in all of us, and we have to choose to treat people with respect and dignity and internally not put ourselves above them in some way.
This is the Hebrew word “seqer” which means lie, breaking a promise, deception, betrayal, denying a truth, leading astray. The original idea seems to be a spring that is intermittent in that one could not count on it to supply water or that it was bitter water.
Think this through. God hates when you act like something you are not; when you make a promise to a person that you don't keep; when you lead a person or group astray; when you deceive or lie to someone. He hates this type of action.
Now lying is always selfishly motivated. We believe that we can benefit personally by a lie more than the truth, but what we fail to realize is that the lie has to be supported. The lie takes us somewhere. There is no such thing as one lie just like there is no such thing as eating one potato chip. Lying is not a one-time thing; it leads to somewhere and something.
An important question is: Is any part of your life a lie right now? Are you having to prop up and support that which is not true about yourself? If you begin to live your own lie, then you dwell in an imaginary world and you will eventually lie to yourself.
This is the Hebrew word “sapak” which means pour or pour out. Clearly this is the idea of pouring out a person's blood in terms of killing them. The Hebrew idea of the body was that the blood was the active agent and when the blood was poured out, then the life was gone. The life was in the blood. So pouring out the blood of a person was a poetic way of saying to kill them.
Notice that Solomon notes that it is innocent blood being spilt that brings out God's hatred. The guilty being punished does not cause His anger or hatred. This is an important qualification that some have not made in our day.
It does not matter whether it is an individual or a group or a government which pours out a person's life. If a decision was made or action taken that caused the death of an innocent person, then it is wrong and God hates that. Note that while these actions and attitudes cause God to have a strong emotional reaction, it does not demand His action to stop this action from occurring. God has given us a limited freedom of choice; and He will allow us to play out, to a certain degree, the power and responsibility that comes from those choices. We then have to live in the wreckage of our lives.
In our day and age, we have begun to blame those in authority over us for every problem or difficulty that they could have prevented. We blame government for not preventing us from doing things we shouldn't have done. We blame our parents for not raising us in a perfect way. We blame God for not keeping every problem, difficulty, or evil out of our lives. We have embraced a lack of personal responsibility. It is always someone else’s fault who should have stopped it or moved us out of the way. The problem is that this kind of thinking does not correspond to the world as it is. God has said we are responsible for the choices that we make. They have consequences – some of which is to agitate God and destroy our relationship with Him.
You can choose to repent of lying, murder, pride, and bigotry. If you do not, then you will face an angry God come judgment day. You will also live in a selfish sewer of negative consequences.
This is the word “naqi” which means innocent, clean. This is not the idea of absolute innocence because even Solomon states that no one has that. But this is innocence in terms of having nothing that is deserving of punishment or death in relation to a particular incident. It would be safe to assume that it means in ancient Hebraic civilization what it means today. There are people who are minding their own business and not doing anything wrong; and yet wicked people hurt them through greed, violence, power, oppression, or in some other selfish way. They do not deserve what happens to them for it does not fit the life they have lived.
It is instructive that God states that innocent people do suffer and have their blood shed. While He is Sovereign, He allows this for some reason. The choices of the wicked are allowed to stand. The unthinking choices of the selfish are allowed to reverberate through time, destroying lives. God provides grace where sin abounds and offers to bring good out of the evil of man's choices, but in many cases He allows the choices.
God emotionally reacts to these choices of evil men to pervert righteousness for their own purposes. He hates those who do these things. It is also true that these men's wicked choices serve His larger purpose or He would have stopped them. None of God's ultimate purposes can fail, but He does not stop all wicked choices in this life. Just because God allowed it or you had support in doing it, doesn't mean that it has God's backing.
Do not do these selfish things that wound, hurt, or steal the life of someone else just for you to have more. Yes, the naive can be taken advantage of and if you don't, someone else will; but it matters that you don't. God hates the people who take advantage of the naiveté of people.