PASTOR’S CORNER: Study the words and find truth

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Biblical words are amazing. If we study them with a focus on their deeper meaning, we can uncover knowledge that without such effort will elude us.

Consider if you will the nature of God. It’s common knowledge that, according to the Bible, God is love. It’s also scripturally true, but not so universally known, that God is also a God of wrath.

If we know God only by those two traits, then we have an incomplete picture of who he really is. If we want increased knowledge of him, we need to delve below the surface of the printed pages of scripture.

Let’s consider one word, “abominations” which we find 142 times in the Bible in reference to God’s attitude in certain situations.

When we see this word in scripture, it’s not hard to figure out that it refers to something bad, and not something good, in describing God’s attitude. For example, God shares seven acts with us that he hates and considers abominations in Proverbs 6:16-19, things we call the “seven deadly sins.”

These seven are just a sample. Scripture is full of other acts he describes in the same way.

God has not only labeled certain acts as abominations, he has likewise labeled certain men who commit certain acts as abominations. Here’s one that may surprise you: God says in Deuteronomy 22:5 that all who cross-dress are an abomination to him.

“Everyone that is proud in heart (Proverbs 16:5) is an abomination to the Lord”, meaning to show pride in daily life.  

Those who try to justify immoral acts are an abomination to the Lord, as are those who condemn the moral acts of the just (Proverbs 17:15). Those who willfully contrary, (Proverbs 3:32 and 11:20) are an abomination to God; and all liars (Proverbs 6:17 and 12:22) are likewise an abomination to him.

Up to now, we’ve seen that God has labeled certain ungodly acts and certain ungodly people as abominations. Here’s a couple more abominations to think about.

We staunch church-goers like to think that in the sanctuary God hears and accepts our prayers and our offerings. We could be mistaken, if we are among those who habitually live immoral, ungodly lives.

If you are in doubt on these issues, check out Proverbs 28:9 where we learn that the prayers of those who ignore and disobey God’s laws are abominations; and Proverbs 15:8 where it says that the offerings of the habitually immoral are also abominations to him.

None of these scriptures make exceptions for saints or believers. These abominations apply to all who meet the criterion.

So, what does God really mean when he thinks of us as abominations? At this point, we need to study the word. It comes from a Hebrew word that literally means something (or someone) that is morally disgusting; an abhorrence. The word abhorrence, as per Webster, means a feeling of extreme repugnance or aversion; utter loathing. God doesn’t think too highly of some of us.

Where do you stand? Take a good look in the mirror, and if you see yourself in these scriptures, all is not lost. There is redemption on the horizon. It’s called repentance. Look it up and govern yourself accordingly.   

Rev. O.L. Johnson, a retired LAPD lieutenant, is an associate pastor in his home church, Greater New Zion Baptist, 501 W. 80th St. in South Los Angeles.

Pastor’s Corner is a religious column that looks at the relevancy of scripture in life today. The column will appear monthly in The Wave and on its website, www.wavepublication.com.

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