Daily Devotional LifeJourney Church (MCC)

Six… No, Make That Seven

March 16, 2012 • Category: Proverbs

Today’s scripture: Proverbs 6:12-19 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Julie Walsh):

There are six things the Lord hates; seven that are detestable…

So which is it? Six or seven? How does the Lord interpret the difference between hate and something that is detestable? And which one of the seven is “only” hated and not detestable?

All of these questions may immediately come to mind when reading verse 16 at face value. It certainly did for me. I quickly learned, however, that successive numbering was a common literary device used in Hebrew poetry to emphasize a point. This was done in other passages as well, including Job 5:19 and Amos 1:3.

With that little dilemma solved, we now have the ability to focus on the seven detestable practices described in verses 17-19, which parallels the sentiment in verses 12-14. With these practices outlined, we are urged to examine our patterns and motivations. It’s likely that we engage in them in varying dimensions more often than we care to acknowledge. And what’s more, we may often rationalize and justify our behaviors.

For example, we might serve in a ministry or volunteer with a charitable organization in an attempt to boost our pride and gain notoriety by others. Perhaps we plot out schemes to manipulate people to see things our way in order to advance our own personal agendas. Or maybe we choose to lie by omitting certain facts and details of an otherwise inspirational story that may shed a negative light upon ourselves.

The good news is that we no longer live with the binding threat of disaster and destruction as outlined in this Old Testament proverb. We are loved by a merciful God who offers grace and forgiveness. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

So regardless of whether there are six, seven, or more sins in your life, God continues to love you and wants to have a relationship with you. God always welcomes you to leave your burden at the cross and start anew with each passing day.

Prayer for the day: God, often I fail to live up to my full potential, in both intentional and unintentional ways. I surrender my sins to you again today, trusting that you love me and forgive me for all my transgressions.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

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