Proverbs 26: King James Bible
Seven Abominations – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty six, Verses 20-28
20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife cease. 21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. 22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
23 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. 24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; 25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.
26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. 27 Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him. 28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
Daily Inspiration from These Verses – Seven Abominations
There is a whole lot being said in the scriptures above, but I didn’t want to break it up because contextually it all fits together.We’re being instructed about talebearers, liars, flatterers, backbiters, contentious, haters, and deceitful people.
We’ve discussed what a talebearer is: “A Talebearer”
We’ve seen what the Lord thinks of liars: “Liars and Thieves”
Also a thing or two about flattery: Same as Talebearer above
We’ve spoken of backbiters: “Backbiters”
We see how the Lord deals with haters in Proverbs Chapter one: “Fear and Desolation”
If we were to tally up all of the different traits or behaviors listed above, we wind up with this list of seven abominations, which is being referred to in verse 25, found in the heart of the wicked.
That being said, let’s talk a little about strife, and what the Lord is directing us to do in the scriptures above. Strife is a big deal, and can cause a lot of damage in every area of our lives. Added stress, added mental issues, added physical ailments, family problems, division between friends or loved ones, loss of personal property, and also loss of faith, can all begin with a dose of strife craftily worked into place.
This is just the tip of the iceberg though relating to what strife can do, and the Lord doesn’t tell us to extinguish the fire that strife causes, but rather to remove its fuel, in order for it to burn itself out. To me anyway, that’s an interesting distinction.
When we dump water on a fire, it’ll go out, but will leave behind scorched wood. That scorched wood will at some point dry out, and be fit to continue burning one day when someone tries to rekindle that fire. There is still strife left behind to be rekindled.
Plus when you do this, there’s a large amount of steam and smoke that erupts from the fire. Perhaps while sticking with this analogy, this plume of steam and smoke could be considered the drama and all of the irritants that transpire when dealing with strife this way.
But when you remove the fuel source, whatever is burning will burn out yielding the same result, but ends in a whimper, not in a bang. There’s no drama, but just the opposite.
Watching a fire burn itself out is an underwhelming experience. However, whatever is aflame is totally burned through, leaving nothing behind. There’s no strife left behind to rekindle in the future.
A wicked heart feed off of strife, and the seven abominations listed above are it’s toolkit. Any one of, or all seven of those iniquities can be found in the heart of the wicked, and we are instructed by the Lord to stay away from them for our own good.
He is the one looking out for us, not them. The wicked does a good job of lip service to make us feel like they’re the ones looking out, but they’re out to do harm, and look out only for themselves despite the consequences toward anyone else.
Remove the fuel from the fires of strife, and the strife will cease. And the rest of the scriptures above describe what will eventually happen from verses 26-28, after being found out and removed.
Their own ways will consume them, and the need to cause harm will come down on themselves. Kind of like starving someone, they’ll eventually eat things that will do them harm or even cause for them to die, just to get something in their stomach. Same idea going on in the scriptures above.
The same stone they pushed up the slope will come back at themselves. That wicked heart needs to feed off of something after being removed. And if it can’t find anything to feed from, it turns its iniquities upon itself. This is the tragedy of the wicked.
With some pray, divine intervention, while at the same time being separated from their fuel, this is the place where the wicked either fall for good, or repent from their wickedness, and are reintroduced into the fold cleansed from all of these iniquities. Or in other words, delivered.
It is often a terrible place that the Lord pulls people from, especially the wicked. They are not without hope, regardless of the Lord’s instruction of removing the wicked from the congregation. The optics appear as cruel and un-Christlike, until we understand that this might just be the process the Lord has established, in order to get this person delivered from their own evil ways. Yes, the Lord knows how to do things while we’re not looking.
It’s easy to understand how it benefits us, because we have less conflict in our already complex lives. Removing strife is always better than having it always picking at you. But what might not be so easy to see at work, is the Lord’s willingness to do some personal time with the wicked through discipline. So many of us have come out of darkness, rather than simply being persuaded to be obedient to the Lord.
Personally, I believe that those who are pulled out from underneath that boulder that came back at them, are far more appreciative toward the Father’s mercy than those who haven’t needed it to the same extent as a wicked man. Don’t forget, Jesus came to heal those who were sick, not those who didn’t need a physician.
Related New Testament Scripture
12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Thank you for your Word, and for the lengths you’re willing to go so that even the wicked have a chance to repent and turn toward you, rather than stay stiff-necked against you. Help us to have the resolve to remove those who must be removed to cease strife. And lead us in this, so that we are not acting under false pretenses or selfish motives ourselves, but rather guided by your Holy Spirit, that we don’t become the problem ourselves. Your Word says that it’s not your will that any should perish, and we pray that your will be done with the wicked, as well as with the just, just as effectively on earth as it is done in heaven. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Have you ever needed to be delivered from any one of these seven abominations?