“The Lord GOD has sworn by Himself—this is the declaration of Yahweh, the God of Hosts:
I loathe Jacob’s pride
and hate his citadels,
so I will hand over the city and everything in it,” (6:8 HCSB).
God’s declaration was true; backed by the One Who Is Truth. And there could be no doubt of His intent. He would enact His judgment on the sin so loathsome to the Holy God Who Loathes the Pride of His People
Consider Him Who Loathes the Pride of His People
Oh, the danger of delusion. The people of God sit dense to the danger that is headed their way, and worse, seemingly clueless as to their own culpability in the matter. And rather than repenting in sorrow over their sin, they are reclining in their self-made security; rather than grieving over the woeful state of their nation, they are gripped by their yearning passion for personal comfort and gluttonous pleasure.
Woe to those who are at ease in Zion
And to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria…
4 Those who recline on beds of ivory
And sprawl on their couches,
And eat lambs from the flock
And calves from the midst of the stall,
5 Who improvise to the sound of the harp,
And like David have composed songs for themselves,
6 Who drink wine from sacrificial bowls
While they anoint themselves with the finest of oils,
Yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph, (6:1, 4-6).
At the root of their wanton lifestyle so detestable to Holy God, is what the Lord God absolutely abhors; Pride, “I loathe Jacob’s pride.”
It’s interesting to note, that this Hebrew word translated pride or arrogance, is a word that refers to the majesty and excellence of God.
Arrogance/Pride: “1347. גָּאוֹן gāʾôn: A masculine noun designating pride, majesty, arrogance, excellence. It refers to the exalted majesty or excellence of the Lord (Ex. 15:7; Isa. 24:14; Mic. 5:4) and even to His redeemed people and their pride in Him (Isa. 4:2)… Israel, Jacob, Judah, and Israel are all depicted as possessing excessive pride (Jer. 13:9; Amos 6:8)…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
Consider the use of this Hebrew word (underlined) in the following verses depicting the majesty and excellence of God:
“And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You;
You send forth Your burning anger, and it consumes them as chaff,” (Exodus 15:7).
They raise their voices, they shout for joy;
They cry out from the west concerning the majesty of the Lord, (Isaiah 24:14).
And He will arise and shepherd His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God.
And they will remain,
Because at that time He will be great
To the ends of the earth, (Micah 5:4).
This detestable sin of Pride in man distorts truth and wrongly ascribes the majesty and excellence to oneself that rightfully belongs to only God.
And it was Pride, this obsession to become like God, that started it all in the heavenlies.
“How you have fallen from heaven,
O star of the morning, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth,
You who have weakened the nations!
13 “But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
14 ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High,’” (Isaiah 14:12-15).
And it was Pride that precipitated the fall in the garden.
The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” (Genesis 3:4-5).
To be like God. It was the enemy’s downfall and it has become his primary tool.
And God’s People fell victim to his wiles as they proudly presumed that the majesty and excellence that is ascribed to only God was theirs for the taking. They were God’s chosen people after all.
But when Pride is in self rather than being ascribed to God, it is detestable in His sight. Pride stopped up their ears, impeded their walk, and perverted their worship. They were called to be His People and to make His Name known in bringing Him glory and praise. Instead, their Pride led them away from God to serve self; and Pride would lead them straight into His coming judgment.
“For behold, I am going to raise up a nation against you,
O house of Israel,” declares the Lord God of hosts,
“And they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath
To the brook of the Arabah.” (6:14).
It is Pride that refuses to seek God, even going so far as to deny His existence.
For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire,
And the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord.
4 The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him.
All his thoughts are, “There is no God,” (Psalm 10:3-4).
It is Pride that deceives People to believe they are invincible against Almighty Omnipotent God.
“The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,
You who live in the clefts of the rock,
In the loftiness of your dwelling place,
Who say in your heart,
‘Who will bring me down to earth?’
4 “Though you build high like the eagle,
Though you set your nest among the stars,
From there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord, (Obadiah 1:3).
But the day is coming when God alone will be exalted and the Pride of all People will be humbled.
The proud look of man will be abased
And the loftiness of man will be humbled,
And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, (Isaiah 2:11).
How do we respond to Him Who Loathes the Pride of His People?
God did not mince words when He shared His holy attitude about Pride. He Loathes, Abhors, Hates and Detests Pride.
From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
Loathe/Abhor: 8374. תָּאַב tāʾaḇ: A verb meaning to loathe, to abhor. This unquestionably strong term of detest is used only in Amos 6:8. The Lord employed it to convey His utter contempt for the pride of the people of Jacob.
Hate/Detest: 8130. שָׂנֵא śānēʾ: A verb meaning to hate, to be unwilling, to be hated. This verb is the antonym of the Hebrew verb ʾāhaḇ (157), meaning to love…God came to hate the palaces of Jacob (Amos 6:8; Hos. 9:15); and even the religious services of His own people because they were false (Amos 5:21).
And much attention and words of caution against this insidious sin are provided in the Book of Wisdom. We would do well to take the time to prayerfully consider what God has to say about the sin of Pride He Loathes.
When pride comes, then comes dishonor,
But with the humble is wisdom, (Proverbs 11:2).
Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
Assuredly, he will not be unpunished, (Proverbs 16:5).
Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling, (Proverbs 16:18).
Before destruction the heart of man is haughty,
But humility goes before honor, (Proverbs 18:12).
Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
The lamp of the wicked, is sin, (Proverbs 21:4).
So how are we to avoid falling into the sin He Loathes? Humility is surely the first answer that comes to mind. But how can we be certain that we are truly humble before Him?
May I suggest that humility and faith must go hand-in-hand, and that before there is humility there must be faith? For faith ascribes the majesty and excellence to Him and Him alone; and perhaps this is precisely why faith so pleases Him.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, (Hebrews 11:6).
Faith not only believes that He exists, but faith also believes the truth of His majesty and excellence, that He is the only One worthy of praise and honor and glory. And because faith sees Him as exalted, faith rightly takes the low position.
For though the Lord is exalted,
Yet He regards the lowly,
But the haughty He knows from afar, (Psalm 138:6).
Oh, may just the thought of God ever saying He Loathed anything about us absolutely break our hearts; and He will not despise our brokenness.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise, (Psalm 51:17).
Oh, that the Lord would so grow us in faith, that we, as His People, would never be caught in the sin of Pride that He so Loathes. And as we seek to know Him by faith, let us pray that we will come to know His majesty and excellence revealed in His lovingkindness, justice and righteousness, that all our Pride would be in knowing Him.
Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord, (Jeremiah 9:23).