Proverbs 8:13 Dissected & Defined
The fear (respect) of the LORD is to hate evil (which is to say, to hate): pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward (peevish) mouth, do I hate.
There are not a lot of things that the Bible tells us that God hates, for our God’s focus is love. However, he does hate evil. He loves evil people, but he hates their evil.
I think a lot of people misunderstand what God means by “evil.” I recently heard a man say that God flooded New Orleans because the people that lived there were evil. Yet, even that storm was followed by a rainbow. (Remember God’s promise!) No, that was not God’s judgment on evil men. That is yet to come. But what does constitute evil?
Our verse reads that if you respect God you will hate evil. Solomon then defines what evil is: pride, arrogancy, the evil way, and froward talk. What does this all mean? For surely pride, arrogance, and froward speech are around us every day, not just in New Orleans.
The Evil Way Isn’t Always What Others Are Doing, But What You Aren’t Doing to Help Others
Pride is an undue esteem of self. Arrogance is an undue disregard for others. The evil way is a course of life that engages in wrong behavior. It is a lifestyle of evil choices. A forward mouth is a peevish talker. That is someone who is apt to mutter and complain. They are hard to please. God hates this?!
Why, with the exception of an evil lifestyle, this doesn’t seem to be so bad. I have some of these problems myself at times. But I am NOT evil, am I? Unlike those in New Orleans, I am not gambling, doing drugs, drinking, or committing adultery. But what am I doing for the gamblers? What am I doing for the addicted? What am I doing for the adulterer?
I will tell you what many are doing with those who choose this evil “way” or lifestyle. They are complaining, muttering, and criticizing—but doing nothing about it! If that is you, then you are proud and arrogant! You don’t care about others, you only care about your own. God hates it when we don’t care enough to help others.