God is a hater.
JANUARY 15, 2024
God is a hater. And I’ll explain on this edition of Key Life.
Key Life is all about God’s radical grace, grace that has dirt under its fingernails and laugh lines on its face. If you want the Bible to be a book of rules, you may want to stop listening now. But if you’re hungry for the truth that’ll make you free, welcome to Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you guys had a great week-end. And as I always say, and always mean, I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. And we’re continuing, if you’re just joining with us, in our study in the Book of Proverbs. And I know if you’re trying to take notes and you’re making outlines, you’re having a hard time because this book doesn’t work that way. It skips around with all kinds of subjects. And all kinds of directions, giving us all kinds of wisdom. And generally, when I teach a book, the first thing I do is I sit down and I do an outline of the book. And then I pretty much follow the outline and the teaching of the book. You can’t do that. I mean, there isn’t just one author. Don’t let anybody tell you that Solomon was the only author of the Book of Proverbs. He wasn’t. Book of Proverbs tells us that there were others and there is wisdom coming from a thousand different directions about a thousand different subjects. Jesus said.
Be as Innocent as a dove and as wise as a serpent.
And that’s what this is about It’s about the wisdom of doing that, how to be a street-smart Christian. Well, we’ll get back into it, but first, let’s pray. Father, when we come into your presence, we have no excuse for doing the dumb things we do, the sinful things we do, the rebellious things we do, but you still keep the door open. You still have the celebration. There’s still the sound of the music and the taste of the wine. So, Father, we’re here to praise you, not because we’re good, but because we’re yours, and you make sure that will never change. Father, you know the people who are listening to this broadcast, the hard places and the soft places, the tears and the laughter, the pain and the health, you know it all. And you’re in charge, and you’re sovereign, and we worship you because that’s true. And then, Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, that you’ll forgive him his sins because they are many, and you do. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. At the beginning of the broadcast, if you tuned in in time, I said that God was a hater. And if that didn’t wake you up, there’s something wrong with you. He really is, but what he hates is kind of unusual. And you’ll find it in Proverbs 6:16 through 19.
These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him. A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift and running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among the brethren.
Now, dear friend, a person who does those things is not somebody you want to have dinner with. I mean, this is not a pleasant person. So, there is a sense in which I look at that, and the first thing that hits me is, those are not the kind of people I want to hang out with. And then I begin to realize, Hmm, I’m the person. He’s not talking about somebody else, he’s talking about me. And there is a sense, and I’m not going to go into details, but there’s a sense in which, I’ve had a proud look. I mean there are times, did you hear about the woodpecker that was pecking on the tree when lightning hit it? Split that sucker right down the middle. And 15 minutes later the woodpecker came back with his friends pointing to the tree at what he had done. I’ve been there and so have you. Have you ever told a lie? That’s called a lying tongue. House, the physician of television fame, said everybody lies. And, you know, some lie more than others, but there’s some truth to that. I’ve told lies before. Hands that shed innocent blood. Well, I haven’t done that yet, but I’ve wanted to. Ruth Graham was asked if she believed in divorce, and she said no, but I believe in murder. She understood. Feet that are swift to running to evil. Oh man, a heart that devises evil ways. I’ve done that too. A false witness who speaks lies. I don’t think I’ve been that witness to somebody, but if I disliked him enough, I might. The one who sows discord among brethren. I’ve been accused of being very, very divisive. And there are times when I’m that. And the only reason I’m filled to tell you this is because you’ve been there too. And once we get that, we’re beginning to make some progress. I’ve wanted to, I have a late friend who was the president of Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, where I sometimes taught. And his name was Dr. Edmund Clowney. And I loved Ed a lot. I served on that board and we had been friends for a lot of years. I may have told you this, but some, one time, somebody came to me and said, Ed Clowney is really ticked at you. And I, that ruined my day. And so, I sat down right then, and I wrote him a letter. And I said, Dear Ed, somebody told me that I had offended you, and the first thing I want you to know is that I’m sorry, please forgive me. And the second thing I want you to know is if you’ll tell me what it was that offended you, I’ll change. Because I love you, and I respect you. And then I expected I would get a response in a couple of days, but I didn’t. Then a week went by, and I heard nothing. Then a month went by, and I’d heard nothing. And every time I thought about it, I was depressed. Cause I really did love this man, and I really did want to please him. But I figured it was a problem that just wasn’t fixable, so I went on about my life. And then a number of weeks later, I got an envelope from Ed Clowney. And you could barely read the address on the envelope and the letter. Because he had been very ill and close to death and in the hospital for weeks. And he wrote back in that letter, and I’ve still got it. He said, Dear Steve, you haven’t offended me. You just haven’t offended me. I love you, and I love what God is doing with you. Do say a prayer for me. Lovingly, Ed Clowney. Oh, man, I felt so good. And when I think about it, when I tell you about it, I can get emotional. But you know, that’s what’s going on here in this text in Proverbs, about the things that God hates. I know what he hates, but sometimes I can’t be good enough long enough, and I’m afraid that he includes me in his list of hatreds, and he never does. Never does. When you go to Him, it’s always, Child, you come here. I know, I understand the struggle. And I love you more than you know. So, when you read these kinds of things in Scripture, don’t start denying and saying, I haven’t done any of that, so I must be pleasing to God. Listen to me. The Bible teaches that God is already pleased with you. It’s what the cross is all about. And not only that, he’s imputed his righteousness to you. And that means that you’ll always be acceptable to him. Now, that doesn’t change the things that God hates. Because he knows that those things hurt us. Just tell him. It’s called repentance. Just go to him and quit trying to deny, and saying, as you go through the list, and I demonstrated it. As you go through the list, say, that’s me, that’s me. I’m sorry. That’s me. Are you still there? Do you still love me? Do you still care? And Ed Clowney, and God both told me that they did. And so, when you face the hard places in Scripture, buck up, and hang on to God. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown teaching about God’s imputed righteousness to us. Fancy word for the greatest gift ever. We’ll unpack more wisdom from Proverbs tomorrow. Do hope you’ll join us for that. Well, Google tells me it was William Faulkner who wrote, The past is never dead. It’s not even past. Well, I don’t know what Mr. Faulkner intended by that statement, but I can resonate with that feeling. How about you? Maybe you’re struggling with issues of doubt and loneliness. Maybe you’re looking for that elusive thing we call contentment. If so, I want you to check out a classic message from Steve called, How to Be Content…Not! Get it on CD for free by calling us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of the CD called How to Be Content…Not! Finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you join us in that work through your financial support? You could charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or you can now give safely and securely by text. Just text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950 and listen, if you can’t give, we get it, seriously. But if you’d pray for us, we sure would appreciate it. Thanks. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.