I know the list in Proverbs 6, “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)
I know God hates those things, but I also see where God hates other things. I know that God is Love, but with great love also comes strong wrath and hate. The attitudes and actions in Proverbs 6 that are at the heart of those that misuse and abuse others. I understand God hating that. I hope you hate those as well. I hope you and I are doing our best not to:
- Look down on others
- Lie (speak falsehoods) to promote our own advantage
- Kill the innocent and helpless
- Plan wickedness
- Get excited over evil
- Lie about others
- Pit people against others
Again, God hates these attitudes and actions, but there is more He hates. Look at Amos 5:21-23, “”I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.”
Did not God command Israel and Judah to celebrate certain feasts? Did not God command times of solemn reflection? Did God not command burnt offerings, grain offerings, and peace offerings? Was not singing and music part of activities in the Temple? If God commanded these things, why does He say He hates them?
To explain it simply, God does not want empty ritualistic worship. When the lives of God’s people did not reflect His justice, love, and mercy then their worship was in vain. Sacrifices, feasts, and songs do not replace a life lived for God.
Sacrifices, feasts, and songs do not replace a life lived for God.
I wonder if God were writing the His people, His Kingdom, the Church today what He might say. He might tell us, “I cannot stand your giving, I cannot abide the noise your call singing. I wish you would not eat of unleavened bread and drink grape juice, it turns my stomach. Stop your endless speeches about My love and grace, they hurt my ears. Your prayers offend Me, I cannot bear them.” Would He have any reason to say these things?
If you and I are not living for Him, I believe the principle He explains in Amos’ day still applies. I think He would tell us to get our lives in line with Him and then come to worship. Maybe that is what the following passages communicate:
- I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. – Romans 12:1
- I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
- What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. – Romans 6:1-6
- If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. – Colossians 3:1-4
Maybe, I need to make sure I am living for Christ day in and day out.