Thursday, July 24, 2003

[Through the years, my study of this Old Testament book has yielded a gold mine of God's wisdom. Now, if only I would live in the insights provided here...]

Proverbs 6:16-19
This passage lists seven things God hates: (1) haughty eyes; (2) a lying tongue; (3) hands that shed innocent blood; (4) a heart that devises wicked plans; (5) feet that hurry to run to evil; (6) a lying witness who testifies falsely; (7) one who sows discord in a family.

In a sermon series he did several years ago, Pastor Gerald Mann of Riverbend Church in Austin, Texas spoke of how people experience God in their lives. He called these individuals "God-feeling people" and suggested that they experience God by exhibiting the positive attributes which, according to this passage, are the opposite of the seven things God hates.

Mann looked at these attributes through the prism of Hebrew thought. The eyes, for example, were regarded by the ancient Hebrews as the windows of the soul. A person's eyes, it would thought, would demonstrate whether they were arrogant or humble. Humility is an attribute that allows God entry into our hearts and souls. On this score, I'm reminded of the story Jesus once told of the two men who went to the temple in Jerusalem to pray. One was a religious man, proud of his religiosity. He says to God, "I'm so thankful I'm not like other people. I'm thankful that I do the right things and I'm not like other this tax collector over here." The other man praying in the temple was a tax collector, member of a brood who in that time were known as corrupt extortionists. The tax collector's prayer was simple. He said, "Have mercy on me, God; I'm a sinner." Jesus concludes His story by saying that the tax collector left the temple justified--that is, forgiven and right with God; he, not the religious man, had the humility to see himself truly and of his need for God.

Do Mann's exercise yourself: Turn the things that God hates around and see how God is able to make Himself known to you when you seek to live with the sort of honest need of Him that the tax collector exhibited.

Proverbs 6:32:
"But he who commits adultery has no sense; he who does it destroys himself."

I absolutely agree with this. My observation of people who’ve gotten involved and stayed involved with adulterous relationships has been that they’re sort of out of their minds. They are so deluded that they can’t understand the pain they’re causing to their spouses and families and friends and to themselves. I've seen it time and time again.

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