On Pride and Abominations

Man’s Problem

Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 6:15)

Pride in Abominations

The people of Judah in the day of Jeremiah had lost all sense of shame. When they committed abomination we are told not only where they not ashamed but they could not even blush. They were in a place of proud rebellion against God and were in a place where they were about to be judged by God and be taken captive by the invading armies of the Chaldeans. Before we can go any further we need to understand exactly what is an abomination?

The word itself is to`ebah and defines something or someone as essentially unique in the sense of being “dangerous,” “sinister,” and “repulsive” the speaker. (i) Now if we take the position (as I do) that the Bible is the words of God, then the speaker is God Himself. If you do not take the position that the Bible is the very word of God, then the rest of this post will not make any sense to you. The thought that when you commit something the Bible calls an abomination, we are considered by God to be dangerous, sinister, and repulsive. The question is then what does God consider to be an abomination? You all may be thinking of one thing, but the list is more extensive and may surprise some of you.

  • If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination [to`ebah]: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)
  • Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination [to`ebah] unto the LORD thy God. (Deuteronomy 25:13-16)
  • These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination [to`ebah] unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19)

It goes far beyond the surface of what even the conservative Christian thinks. We all think of homosexuality as an abomination (and it is) but so is corrupt business practices, being a liar, pride, murder, false witness, planning and thinking about revenge, sowing discord (being a gossip and that includes your “prayer request” used to bear tales about others). All these things (and there is more in the Bible). They are all abominations. There are not “super abominations”, abominations, and “abominations-lite” to fit our particular preferences. One is no better or worse than another.

Under man’s law, the price of murder is much higher than perjury but to God the punishment is all the same: And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27). Eternal life in the heavenly city is lost. There is a high price to practice abominations. If you are not written in the Lamb’s book of life, then there is only one other place for you to go:

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14-15)

Fortunately for us, God does not leave man in this situation without any hope.

God’s Solution, Man’s Rejection

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. (Jeremiah 6:16)

Stand ye in the ways [that is when you are at the crossroads] and look. This is not a choice between the lesser of two evils. If that is the situation you need to do as Charles Surgeon said: If you come to a choice of two evils, choose neither. (ii)

When I read this I thought of the famous Robert Frost poem The Road Not Taken, especially the last stanza: I shall be telling this with a sigh/Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference. (iii)

Jesus says it plainly this way: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

That is what the choice at the crossroads is all about: the choice between life and death, between blessings and cursings. My way or God’s way, and despite God’s loving call to us, so often we reject Him, and it just does not make any sense but the Bible tells us why:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19) and professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, worshiping the creation rather than the creator who is blessed forever, Amen. So we go our own way in rebellion to a loving God heading for a sinner’s hell missing the rest promised to us.

We stand at the crossroads in our lives. We each have choices to make. Which path will we walk down? Will it lead to life everlasting or everlasting death?

The choice is ours and nobody can make it for us. To enter the narrow gate, to choose to walk the narrow way, the path our Saviour walked. Will we be a source of blessings or cursing? Do not miss the rest God has for you. Make a choice today, and remember not making a choice IS a choice.

This post is a modified excerpt from my sermon Living Life @ The Crossroads. You can listen to the whole sermon here.

i. Abomination, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, © 1984, 1996 Thomas Nelson Publishers, E-Sword Edition

ii. Charles Spurgeon. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/charlesspu165811.html

iii. Frost, Robert “The Road Not Taken” http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173536 accessed 17 July 2014

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