A Frown or a Smile?
There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him.
What do haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who stirs up dissension all have in common? These are things that God – the One who describes Himself as love – declares as “out of bounds.”
Human character doesn’t change in the face of a pandemic, and even though our media reports some acts of charity and human interest, there are also the stories of hoarders, internet and phone scams, and those deliberately disobeying the required limits of physical distancing and self-isolation. These things fall under heading which Proverbs Chapter Six declares as detestable to God (v. 16-19). However, there are things that God loves. While this chapter tends to dwell on a life out of control (i.e. the sluggard, the scoundrel, the villain and the adulterer), it helps me to get through this reading if I think of the positive qualities that please God. What are they?
God is pleased with eyes that are fixed on Him (Heb. 12:1). We can bring healing and wisdom with our words (Prov. 15:1-4). His pleasure is seen in hands that save lives, like those of our doctors and medical staff. The feet of those who bring the Good News of Christ’s love and forgiveness are called beautiful (Rom. 10:15). The Lord delights in the truth (Prov. 12:22). Jesus called peacemakers blessed and said they will be called sons of God (Matt. 5:9).
We cannot escape the fact that there are things – and I would venture to say that the list is much longer than six or seven things – that are displeasing to God. But it is important to balance this list with the equal number of things that please Him; that bring a smile to his face. It helps me to focus on Christ-like character and the need to be “walking in the light” (1 John 1:7). It causes me to think that today I want to see God’s smile, not his frown.