We don’t use the word abomination very often. It is not a part of our everyday vocabulary. In a sense, this is good. Words that we use often can tend to lose their ‘punch,’ whereas, words that we don’t hear as often usually cause our ears to perk up and take a closer listen.
The word abomination, despite its scarcity in our contemporary vernacular, is a powerful, stunning, devastating word. When we hear it, it should make us stop and ponder for a moment. As a noun, the word is defined, in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “Something Abominable” (I was always told in Elementary School to not use the same word in definitions; what’s the deal?), or, in other words, something “Worthy of causing disgust or hatred.” It is a strong word. When I think of things that are worthy of causing disgust or hatred, I think of spiders (disgust) and abortion (hatred).
The Scripture uses the word abomination. One portion of the Scripture where the word is concentrated is the book of Proverbs. The English word ‘abominatation’ is good translation for the Hebrew word. This Hebrew word is also used to describe idolatry (Deut. 7:25), sexual perversion (Leviticus 18:22-30) and human sacrifices (Deut. 12:31). Again, it is worthy of repeating: abomination is a strong word.
So when the book of Proverbs speaks of those things that are abominations to the Lord, our hearts should react with genuine seriousness and holy fear. It should make us stop and give strong consideration to those things that qualify, in God’s sight, as abominations, and examine our hearts and lives with a readiness to repent.
So, what does God consider an abomination. In God’s view, what things are worthy of disgust and hatred? Here is a list:
- Haughty, proud eyes (Proverbs 6:17)
- A lying tongue (6:17, 12:22)
- Hands that shed innocent blood (6:17)
- A heart that devises wicked plans (6:18)
- Feet that make haste to run to evil (6:18)
- A false witness who breaths out lies (6:19)
- One who sows discord among brothers (6:19)
- Wickedness (8:7)
- A false balance (11:1, 20:10, 23)
- Those with a crooked heart (11:20)
- The sacrifice of the wicked (15:8, 21:27)
- The way of the wicked (15:9)
- The thoughts of the wicked (15:26)
- Everyone who is arrogant in heart (16:5)
- He who justifies the wicked and condemns the righteous (17:15)
- He who disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart (26:24)
- The prayer of one who turns his ear away from hearing the law (28:9)
What should we do with this list?
1. Meditate over these verses for the sake of our own hearts. If we come away from reading these Scriptures with the answer, “Oh, yeah, I got it: don’t lie,” or “Don’t be proud,” we haven’t received the full benefit of these Scriptures. We need to not merely know them, we need to feel the weight of how abominable these acts are to God. It is only when our hearts sense the utter disgust that God has for such sins that we will truly turn away from them.
2. Meditate on the cross and the forgiveness given to us in Christ. On other other hand, if we merely meditate on these verses, we could fall into despair if we did not couple it with meditations on our Savior. He became an abomination in order to pay for our abominations (II Corinthians 5:21). When we have a clear sense of the wickedness of our sin, and the grace given to us in Christ, then we can we move to the next recommendation.
3. Turn away from those things that we find are abominable to God. In order for our meditations to be fully profitable, they must lead to action. After your heart has been convicted, resolve to turn whole-heartedly from those things in your life you find to be an abomination to your heavenly Father.
4. Meditate over these verses for the sake of unbelievers. Are our hearts moved by the terrible state that unbeliever’s are in? They are living in and practicing things that provoke God to wrath and disgust. O how our hearts should break for them and spill over into purposeful evangelism so that they might come to Christ and be eternally forgiven for their abominations.
My prayer is that God would grant us a true and lasting sense of His hatred for the above sins so that we might turn away from them, enjoy Christ’s forgiveness, and lay down our lives for the salvation of unbelievers, as we consider abominations.