God has been treated so carelessly and casually and the only accurate revelation of Him (the Bible) so ignored or rejected that much of the professing church would be surprised, if not shocked, to discover that the God of love is also a God who hates. And many of those who may entertain the idea that God exercises hatred might be startled by the stated objects of His hatred. Crimes like murder, kidnapping, and rape might come first to mind. Certainly, the Lord hates those sins and, in fact, hates all sin. However, the Lord has announced seven specific sins that he hates and abominates. Solomon tells us that “There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him.” The first is “haughty eyes” (Pro. 6:16, 17a).
We should not be surprised that this sin heads the list of things the Lord hates. After all, the sin of pride was a major contributing factor in the fall of man. Moses records the fact that “When the woman saw that the tree . . . was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate” (Gen. 3:6). Her pride being piqued by Satan’s temptation to acquire wisdom, Eve rebelled against God’s clear and specific command not to eat of that tree. And fittingly, near the end of the Bible, John warns us of three cardinal sins: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever” (I John 2:16, 17).
Pride is a double-edged sword. Swung in God’s direction it chops at the very root of who God is. Pride proclaims God to be unnecessary or irrelevant—or equally bad, a servant to my needs and wishes. Swung in man’s direction, it cuts down submission, dependence, and the righteousness of Christ and makes room for the growth of self-will, independence, and self-righteousness.
Scripture is replete with examples of people with “haughty eyes.” Through Moses, the Lord rebuked the Pharaoh of the Exodus for his arrogance: “Still you exalt yourself against My people by not letting them go” (Ex. 9:17). He came to a rebellious death by drowning in the Red Sea. Haman, the adversary of the Jews in the court of King Ahasuerus, rode his overweening ego right up to “the gallows which he had prepared for him [Mordecai],” Esther’s kin. Then there was Nebuchadnezzar, whose pompous conceit brought God’s curse upon him so that he became mad “and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws” (Dan. 4:33). Finally, King Herod, manifesting a colossal ego, accepted the praise of his bootlicking subjects: “The voice of a god and not of a man” (Acts 12:22). And to his chagrin, “immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died” (v. 23).
The comment on Herod reveals the essence of the sin of “haughty eyes,” or pride: it is a rebellious refusal to give God the glory that He alone deserves. Pride, whether manifested in a believer or a lost person, says, in essence, “I’m worthy. I deserve . . .” And although we may think that we are saying that vis-à-vis other people or even our circumstances, ultimately, God is the object of our derogation, for He is sovereign over the affairs of our lives. Pride is a failure to give God His due because of a sinful and erroneous sense of self-importance or merit. So universal is the sin of pride and its end so certain that many people in the world can quote (or nearly quote) Proverbs 16:18 (KJV): “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” God brooks no rivals. “The proud look of man will be abased and the loftiness of man will be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased” (Isa. 2:11, 12). God hates pride.
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