God Hates Haughtiness

Series: The Way Of Salvation


Sermon By Terry Siverd

Cortland Church of Christ / March 01, 2020


That God is love (1Jn.4:8) has to be one of the most comforting thoughts known to mankind.

But the Scriptures also teach us that God hates.

“God loves sinners, but He hates SIN.”  This is a truism that most of us understand.

God is just and holy and righteous in every way.

“It is God's love for man that prompts Him to hate sin with a vengeance.”

Sin works harm (small and big) to the very creatures God loves the most, ones made in His very image.


The word hate is a strong word - - to loathe or detest or have an abhorrence for someone or something.

In the case of God, the object of His hated is SIN.


We sometimes use this word “hatred” more loosely than the word actually demands.  I hate guacamole.

I don't really hate it.  I have no desire to blow them to smithereens - - to borrow a phrase from Yosemite Sam.

I just don't like the taste or the texture of the fruit.  I don't mind if you like it, I just don't.


Shan Wood hates needles.  Not sewing needles.  Not your typical shot-in-the-arm kind of needle.

He hates needles that are put in his mouth.  If I understand him correctly, he outright refuses them.

His aversion to dental needles astounds me.  I couldn't take serious dental work without them.


But when it comes to God hating sin, this is not a mental hang-up on the part of God.

He truly HATES sin because of the damage it does those He loves so dearly.


Open your Bibles to Proverbs 6:16-19.

Here we read sacred words from Solomon that encapsulate God's hatred.

It's not meant to be exhaustive - - but in Scripture it is the most compact list provided of things that God hates.

There are six things which God hates, Yes seven which are an abomination to Him:

HAUGHTY EYES, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans,

feet that run rapidly to do evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.


This morning we want to speak about the headliner to this list - - HAUGHTY EYES.

The word haughty cannot be fully discussed without talking about pride & arrogance and conceit & snobbery.


Sometimes haughtiness is almost an “act” - - a mask or “put on” to accentuate a desirable persona.

Cassius Clay (aka, Muhammad Ali) probably falls into this category. I'm not saying it's okay to be a play-actor

with this detestable attribute, but some people aren't really as bad or haughty as we're lead to believe.

The comedian Don Rickles probably falls into this category, and, I'm hopeful that this was the case with Ali.


I chuckle at a story told about Ali.  In his heyday as the heavy-weight boxing champ,

he had taken his seat on a 747 which began to taxi down the runway for take off.

 The flight attendant walked by and noticed that Ali had not buckled his seat belt. She said to him,

“Please fasten your seat belt, sir.”  Ali looked up proudly and snapped,  “Superman don't need not seat belt.”

Without hesitation she stared at him and said, “Superman don't need no plane.” 


When we talk about haughtiness, we're not just referring to occasional “smack talk” - -

the kind of uber-jousting we frequently witness in sports competitions nowadays.

I'm not condoning that behavior, but what we're talking about this morning is genuine (pure-dee) HAUGHTINESS.

I prefer the days of Jim Brown - - running hard and sometimes long, carving up the opponent's defense.

Getting up, without any taunting or flaunting and going back to the huddle to do it again and again.

Haughtiness in it purest form is seen when we come to think we are superior to others.

Pride is not satisfied with the inflation of self, but it works to bring the deflation of others around  us.

Any form of snobbishness that looks down one's nose at others is behavior that God finds despicable.

Haughtiness is a high-mindedness that is truly detestable to God.


God speaks in Prov.8:13b saying, Pride and arrogance and the evil way, and the perverted mouth, I HATE.

Prov.16:18 declares, Pride goes before DESTRUCTION, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.

Prov.21:4 (NEB) says it plainly, Haughty looks and a proud heart, these sins mark a WICKED man.


Over and over again in the Old Testament we read passages like these.  The “I” is God talking - -

Amos 6:8 / I loathe the arrogance of Jacob

Jer.13:9 / I will destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem

Zech 9:6 / I will cut off the pride of the Philistines


As a spokesman for God, Isaiah writes (Isa.5:21) - - Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes...


In the prophetic books of Jeremiah and Daniel, we read about a high-minded King named Nebuchadnezzar.


In Jer.50:31, God tells this haughty ruler:  Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one,' declares the Lord of hosts, 'For your

 day has come, the time when I shall punish you.  The arrogant one will stumble and fall with no one to raise him up.'


Dan.4:28ff tells when the king strutted on the roof of his royal palace in Babylon, he paused to commend himself.

 Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory

of my majesty.  While the word was in the king's mouth, a voice came down from heaven, saying, 'King Nebuchadnezzar,

to you it is declared:  sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given to grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever he wishes.'

Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until his hair had grown like eagles feathers and his

nails like birds' claws.  But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored him who lives forever...Now I praise, exalt, and

honor the King of Heaven, for all His ways are true, and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.


In the New Testament we read (Js.4:6 & 1Pet.5:5) - -

God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.


Last Sunday we read aloud the text of Rom.12:9-21, which overflows with many positive exhortations.

Nestled in the middle of that text is vs.16 - - do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly.


In Paul's now-famous chapter on love, we read (1Cor.13:4) - - love is not arrogant.


 Someone has aptly written,

“Arrogance is a weed that grows mostly on a dunghill.”

I know it sounds a bit coarse and may have to be explained to the kiddos,

but that quote might be worth putting on the fridge for everyone to think about often.


John Ortberg tells a story about a CEO of a Fortune 500 company who pulled into a service station to get gas.

He went inside to pay, and when he came out he noticed his wife engaged in a deep discussion with the

service station attendant (it must have been a couple of decades ago, before self-serve came into vogue).

It turned out she used to date this man back in high school.  The CEO got in the car, and the two drove in silence.

He was feeling pretty good about himself when he finally spoke:  'I bet I know what you're thinking.

I bet you were thinking you're glad you married me, a Fortune 500 CEO, and not him, a service station attendant.'

His wife said, 'No, I was thinking if I had married him, he'd be a Fortune 500 CEO and you'd be a service station attendant.' 

(This anecdote reminds us that pride, arrogance and haughtiness is not partial to either sex).

I want to conclude this morning's sermon with a wonderful old story from the Old Testament.

It is the story of Naaman found in 2Kgs.5:1-14.  It begins as follows:

Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram was a great man with his master, and highly respected,

because by him the Lord had given victory to Aram.  This man was a valiant warrior, but he was a leper.


The story reveals how a young girl from Israel had been captured and became a servant to Naaman's wife.

One day the servant-girl told her mistress, Naaman's wife:   I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria!  Then he would cure him of his leprosy.  Naaman's wife told him and he told the king and the king sent a

letter to the king of Israel, accompanied  by ten talents of silver, 6,000 shekels of gold and ten changes of clothes.


When Naaman delivered the letter, the king of Israel's reaction was to rend his garments and say,

'Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man is sending word to me to cure a man of leprosy?'

The king of Israel thought it was some kind of ruse or stunt to provoke a quarrel.

Elisha the prophet caught wind of how the king had torn his garments and sent a message to the king:

Let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.


So Naaman went with his horses and chariot and with his letter of request from the king and a wagon-load of goodies.

He stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha the prophet.  Elisha sent a messenger telling him,

Go wash in the Jordan (river) seven times and your flesh shall be restored to you and you shall be clean (vs.10).


Vs.11 states, Naaman was FURIOUS and went away and said, 'Behold, I thought, He will surely come

out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and cur

the leprosy.  And are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus better than all the waters of Israel?

Could I not wash in them and be clean?'  So he turned and WENT AWAY IN A RAGE.


Thank goodness this is not the end of the story.  Naaman's servants were bold enough to intervene.

Vss.12-13 records that they said to him, My father, had the prophet told you to some great thing,

would you not have done it?  How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean'.

So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of

the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.


This is not a lesson about baptism, but, as they say - - if the shoe fits, wear it.

The next time you find yourself questioning the power of simple obedience, go back and re-read this text.


To sum up - - think of the painful death that Naaman would have suffered had he not swallowed his pride.

Before this life-changing turn of events, Naaman was a proud man and some may be tempted to say, rightly so.

As the opening verses attest:  He was not just a captain, he was THE CAPTAIN of THE KING.

He was viewed as a GREAT man in the eyes of his master.  Furthermore, he was HIGHLY RESPECTED,

as a VICTORIOUS and VALIANT WARRIOR.  But, as the text also notes, “He was a leper.”


Someone has written, “Haughtiness is the trunk of the tree from which all others sins sprout”.

Naaman's haughtiness engendered anger (he was furious...and went away in a rage).

His stubbornness (another off-shoot of arrogance) almost brought about his demise.

Some become so full of pride that they refuse to admit wrong, even lying to keep from confessing.

King David's haughtiness led him into all kinds of sins:  lust, coveting, adultery, deception and murder (2Sam.11).


The next time we stick our nose in the air and start pondering our own greatness,

we would do well to remember the story of Naaman.  As great as he was, “he was a leper”.

No matter how much good we might accomplish in this life, we must never forget, “we are sinners!”

God's word speaks to every single one of us in declaring:  there is none righteous, not even one (Rom.3:10).

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