What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “abomination?”
I’ll give you a hint … it has to do with a topic that’s super controversial in the Christian community right now.
Among other references, you may have heard this verse quoted a time or two on the topic I am referring to:
“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. — Leviticus 20:13
There it is. The biggie. The issue of the day.
At this point, your pulse may be quickening for one of two reasons. Perhaps you consider yourself a gay Christian, and you’re wondering, Is this going to be about hate and condemnation?
Or perhaps you believe strongly that homosexuality is a sin, and you’re wondering, Is this an attempt to get me to compromise the truth?
You can relax; I’m not going to talk about homosexuality today. That’s for another post.
Instead, we’re going to look at some other things that God calls an abomination — many of which we don’t pay nearly enough attention to.
Here is Webster’s definition:
“Abomination: something that causes disgust or hatred; loathing.”
And here is the meaning of the Hebrew word mainly used in Scripture, towebah:
“Something disgusting; an abhorrence, especially idolatry or an idol.”
There’s just no way to sugar-coat this: An abomination is something that is disgusting and loathsome to God. The term is consistently tied to idol worship.
Scripture abounds with examples. Plug in “abomination” to a Bible search, and you will find 121 references. Only a few are about homosexuality.
So what are all those other passages referring to?
In other words, what might we be secretly practicing in our hearts — and in so doing, disgusting the King of Glory?
Not a fun question, but God never brings things to our attention just to dismay us. He is all about freeing our hearts to worship him only. That’s what we were designed for.
Here’s a partial list of abominations, mostly out of Proverbs, which roughly fall into 7 categories:
- a devious person (3:32)
- haughty eyes (6:17)
- a lying tongue /lying lips (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 breathes out lies (6:19)
- one who sows discord among brothers (6:19)
- uttering wickedness instead of truth (8:7)
- a false balance; unequal weights and measures (11:1; 20:10,13)
- a crooked heart (11:20)
- the sacrifice of the wicked (15:8)
- the thoughts of the wicked (15:26)
- justifying the wicked, condemning the righteous ( 17:15)
- the prayer of one whose ear is turned away from God’s law (28:9)
- what is exalted among men / the love of money (Luke 16:14,15)
Q: What disgusts God?
A: Pride, dishonesty, injustice, divisiveness, cheating, manipulation and disingenuous religious activity.
Are you tempted to gloss over this overwhelming list, thinking you’re not really guilty of much of it? Me, too. But then I think of Matthew 5, and how Jesus’ words go beyond the jot and tittle of the Law.
It’s all about motives of the heart.
The Lord is repelled by the selfishness which drives me to get what I want out of others while still making sure I look good on the outside.
So the next time I run across the “a” word, I hope to apply it to my own heart. Rather than point fingers or pride myself on the sins I am not committing, I hope to humbly allow the Spirit of God to search my heart so it can be cleansed.
All of us are guilty of committing abominations. But there’s good news.
All of us can be transformed by the grace of God.
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