Riverside Community Church

God Hates Haughty Eyes

Proverbs 6:17

Proverbs 6:16-19 English Standard Version

16 There are six things that the Lord hates,    seven that are an abomination to him:17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,    and hands that shed innocent blood,18 a heart that devises wicked plans,    feet that make haste to run to evil,19 a false witness who breathes out lies,    and one who sows discord among brothers.

The Lord hates. God hates? Hate is not logic, it is not a mental exercise. Nay, nay. Hate is an emotion, pure and simple EMOTION. God has emotions.

Definition of emotion: instinctive (natural reaction) or intuitive (perceived reaction) feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.

Do people have emotions, do we have feelings? Plenty of them, copious volumes of varying types of emotions. Do people love, hate, fear? Do people, like you and me, feel sadness, disappointment, horror, anger, disgust, envy, and contempt? These are all emotions.

And for sure, we feel those emotions running in our veins. A young man who hopes to marry his girlfriend hears a rumor that his one love dated another man. He is angry at the butting-in-man, disgusted and disappointed with his girl and fearful of losing her. His contempt grows to bitterness and soon he falls into hate. All these emotions, 9 if you were counting them, this young man felt upon hearing this rumor that turned out to be untrue.

And don’t forget, God has emotions too. Stay with me on this emotional roller coaster. There’s more.

Do people feel the emotions of kindness, happiness, joy, surprise, gratitude, and do people (meaning you -do you) feel shame, envy, pride, amusement, calmness, peace, anticipation, and contentment.

-we feel all those emotions; some are stronger than others, but all these feelings are ours, they are human emotions. So many, so strong, so deep, so hard at times. We are filled with emotions, men & women.

Where do these emotions come from?? You do recall that we are made in the image of God and that this image would include us mirroring what God is like including emotions.

God has emotions, God hates.

Question: are you suggesting, Pastor, that all of our emotions are from God, that God has all the emotions we have?

No, not all emotions that we have are from God, from His image. Some of our emotions are formed from our sinful nature. And still some of our emotions that mirror God have been tainted and twisted by our sin nature

Ie God loves, so do we.

God does not fear, we fear.

(God has nothing to fear), we have lots to fear

God can be angry (and righteously so)

-our anger can be righteous mirroring God but some of our anger can be wrong, twisted and tainted and can be wrongly motivated by selfishness or pride

  • Now to this emotion of hate, God hates. Here in Proverbs 6 -there are 7 things listed that God hates. God has this emotion of hate, which is totally righteous as God cannot sin but God does feel hate.

To hate is to feel intense or passionate dislike. 

-By knowing what God hates we can get a glimpse into what God is, His feelings, His makeup, His values, His temperament, His character. I did say glimpse, for we only get a partial look, a glancing view of what God is like. 

As God is unfathomable, and so we must settle for a shadowy look at God Almighty, El Shaddai. But we do get a glimpse, an expanding view of God as we study His Word. And here in Proverbs we see God with the emotion of hate, for God hates Haughty eyes.

#1 haughty eyes,

-most translations use haughty eyes but the literal Hebrew translation is “eyes high” (so when you look at someone with your eyes high you are looking down your nose at the other) a haughty look, eyes that look down on others. God hates that!

-the Amplified version states a ‘proud look’ meaning an attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others, that’s Haughty.

The opposite of what God says He hates in Proverbs 6:17 is what God says He blesses, or He loves, this is exactly what Jesus says in the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. The very first thing is:

Blessed are the poor in spirit -those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who have humility, have a humble self-assessment.

-poor in spirit -those who do not have haughty eyes, actually we lower our eyes, oh, how we need to be humble and have humility. Why? Because we know our own dirt, we know our own failures, weaknesses and sins, we need to view ourselves clearly. 

Why should we not have haughty eyes? Because a lot of times we can’t see our own weakness, our own sins or our own ‘missing the mark’ imperfections. Just knowing that I don’t know all my own failures should keep us all humble all the time.

Those with pride and haughty eyes look to themselves as right and self-righteous and look to others as lacking, not as good as they are.

I don’t do that!!! We all protest our innocence of this offense to God and yet, perhaps, our own vision of ourselves is tainted, we are looking at specks of dirt in our brother’s eye (the haughty look) and don’t see the beam of wood in our own eyes.


As a young man I met George Bell, a retired missionary, who was not very handsome or talented. He was short and wore these really thick lens glasses. His ill-fitting suit was also worn out and saggy, and to top it off he spoke poorly. I was not impressed. Looking at Mr. Bell and looking at myself I drifted into ‘haughty eyes’ syndrome, even into the territory of ‘God hates that way of feeling’.

Then I learned of his 30-years of labour in China in the Tibetan highlands where several of his children, who were born in China were also buried there amongst those tribal people. I heard him speak of his love for Jesus and his absolute commitment to Christ. I was convicted of arrogance, of haughty eyes, of not being poor in spirit, of hypocrisy.

Jesus in His sermon on the mount called the ‘haughty-eyed’ people who could see specks in other people, hypocrites.

-are we speck seers? Hypocrites? Are our eyes lifted up?

& Robert Morris resigned from one of the largest churches in the world, Gateway Church, with a weekly attendance of 100,000, because of a moral failure 35 years ago. YouTube was inundated with **lsquo;Christians’ giving their critical opinions and hard condemnations of Morris and it seemed to me in much of this, to be hypocritical, haughty eyed, speck removing’ comments lacking personal humility and lacking being ‘poor in spirit‘. We must not do that.

God hates haughty eyes, we’re all sinners saved by grace, we all have shame and skeleton closets and the only thing that should be lifted high is not our eyes, but rather Jesus, let Him be lifted up high and praised for His amazing grace that saved a wretch like me, like us. 

God hates haughty eyes but loves the humble, the poor in spirit.

So how do we keep from falling prey to haughty eyes? We must seek humility and humble ourselves. Seeking humility means to pursue it and to practice it.

1 Peter 5:6-8 tells us:

Therefore, humble yourselves under God’s power so that he may raise you up in the last day. Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you. Be clearheaded. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Isaiah 66:2 God speaking.

My hand made all these things

and brought them into being, says the Lord.

But here is where I will look:

to the humble and contrite in spirit,

who tremble at my word.

We must be vigilant and work to be humble and not proud. We need to guard ourselves against any and all spiritual arrogance. Remember to have a clear view of yourself and truly know that we are all sinners only saved by God’s good grace.

The standard of righteousness that Jesus taught applied to internal qualities (that which is inside us, our thoughts, our emotions and feelings) this is what the eternal God loves -lowered eyes, humility.

Jesus taught in His Sermon on the Mount, that those who were Poor in Spirit were consciously dependent on God and not themselves. We have no ability to please God without God’s help, therefore, to think we can please God by ourselves or to look down (haughty eyes) on others is false. God hates haughty eyes but loves humility, humbleness.

Do we want to be blessed, or happy or fortunate then we must lower our haughty eyes and depend solely on God. Blessed are the poor in spirit.

The Bible, from cover to cover, from Genesis to Revelation, is unified and harmonious in it’s messages to us. What is stated and illustrated in the OT is stated and illustrated in the NT.

God hates haughty eyes, spiritual arrogance and pride in the OT as stated in Proverbs 6 AND God restates and illustrates this very theme in the NT.

-be Poor in Spirit (be humble), don’t gossip (that involves haughty eyes) or be ‘speck seers’ or be pridefully judgmental and critical. Don’t think of yourself higher than you should but be ‘sober thinking’. These are all NT themes reflected from the OT. God is still the same, He has not changed His mind or His emotion.

How shall we apply this to ourselves today, knowing that God hates haughty eyes. How then shall we live, how then shall we act, how then shall we even feel with our emotions???

-seek to be humble, God loves that when you do that.

-pursue being humble, God loves that when you do that.

-God loves when you put down pride and spiritual arrogance. 

-this is a mindset to control our emotion of pride. 

This needs to be your mindset.

-only you with the guidance of the Spirit of God can apply this to your life. God keeps working on me in this and I know God desires to work in your life in this area.

I know I must lower my eyes in all things, each day, with all people and in all circumstances for I know that God is pleased with that, and it is God who will lift me up.

You too. Ditto. God wants to work in you too.