Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 26:24
"He who hates disguises it with his lips, but he lays up deceit in his heart."
This is the Hebrew word sane, which means to hate, to detest, to despise. This is the opposite of love. Love seeks to meet needs, where hatred wants to destroy and see a person lose. Hatred wants something destructive or subtractive to take place to the object of its hatred. In this instance there are people who really want others to lose, who want some form of destruction to come to another person or group. They will not usually be very open about this emotional desire but instead will cover over their hope with words that don't sound so raw.
This is the Hebrew word nakar, which means to treat as foreign or strange, to disguise. Few people will come right out and openly say, “I hate that person and I want them to lose big time.” They will be much more subtle than that.
Solomon is trying to wake us up in this section to people who hate. This three-verse section on people who hate is meant to be an education on the real world where some people are not just interested in winning for themselves; they are interested in others losing. Some of us have a naive view of the world and those around us. We have a hard time embracing the fact that there are people around us who have as an emotional goal that certain other people would lose. They can hide it under a pile of different words, but their emotional goal is that someone or something would lose. And this is hatred.
There is a secondary subtle message in this proverb. When hate begins to infect our heart, it will not be open about its presence. We will lie to ourselves about our emotional goal towards others. We won't say that we really want their destruction or for them to, in some way, lose. We will say things like, “We hope they come to realize the pain they have caused others” and things like this.
Solomon may also be warning us about how to be wary of hatred taking over our own heart. Hatred is not an emotionally healthy goal. It is the reason that God tells us to forgive. Becoming committed to the destruction or loss of another person does not build anything in your own life. It seeks to take away from others, but it is taking away from your soul at the same moment. If you want to add to your life, you cannot do it by trying to take away from others. To live a full life is to seek to meet needs, even the hard ones. When we are wronged we must be careful that our soul will mask our hatred with rationalized words, but it will make as its emotional goal the loss or destruction of another. Choose to love rather than to hate. Instead of seeking destruction, find a real need and meet it.
This is the Hebrew word sith, which means to keep account, to put, consider, to appoint. The idea is that there is a mental or physical or emotional place where something is placed. When a person hates they have a storehouse of hurt or the desire for vengeance or mental picture of the loss or destruction. In this particular verse Solomon points out that the person who has given in to hatred has stored up ways of deflecting and deceiving people as to what they really feel about another person. The person who hates has storehouses full of ways to cover up their emotional desires.
This is the Hebrew word mirmah, which means deceit, treachery, deception. Remember that in this case the ultimate goal of the person is to see the object of their displeasure lose, so they will plan and scheme to accomplish their ultimate goal in various ways.
Solomon is trying to help us understand that there are people like this. He is also trying to help us not become like this ourselves.