Sunday, November 18, 2012

Can an Abomination Be Anything Else?

As I was reading Scripture this morning I began thinking about the choice of words used in the King James Bible. One of those good old "King James" words is "abomination". It is colorful! It even sounds like something bad! But it just isn't a word that is used much today. From Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, "abomination" means:


1. Extreme hatred; detestation.
2. The object of detestation, a common signification in scripture.
The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. Prov.xv.
3. Hence, defilement, pollution, in a physical sense, or evil doctrines and practices, which are moral defilements, idols and idolatry, are called abominations. The Jews were an abomination to the Egyptians; and the sacred animals of the Egyptians were an abomination to the Jews. The Roman army is called the abomination of desolation. Mat. 24:13. In short, whatever is an object of extreme hatred, is called an abomination.

"Extreme hatred" does sum it up pretty well. While human beings can have abominations, as shown above, Scripture usually uses the word in describing those things that God really, really hates. Doing a study of those things that God hates could be quite an eye opening experience. Do believers really want to know? I found the following list in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (KJV)
16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

This is a good representation of many of the things that God finds detestable or abominable. Pride, lying, murder, wicked imaginations, doing evil, being a false witness, and sowing discord make up this list. But these things are easy for the believer to understand. These are obviously wrong and sinful. Likewise, the believer knows that God will always find these things abominable. Sin will always be sin. There should be agreement that what God has called an abomination can never be anything but an abomination. This is a logical and reasonable statement based on the fact the God never changes.

Hebrews 13:8 (KJV)
8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

But what about some of the other things that God has said are abominations?

Leviticus 11:10 (KJV)
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:

Leviticus 11:13 (KJV)
13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,

Leviticus 11:23 (KJV)
23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.

Leviticus 11:43 (KJV)
43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.

Deuteronomy 14:3 (KJV)
3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.

All of these verses refer to commands that God had given to His people regarding food.  He calls them abominations. Christians traditionally believe that Yeshua's death and resurrection changed the status of these so-called foods, that now believers can eat them. But how does God change something He hates into something that He doesn't hate?

Isaiah 65:2-4 (KJV)
2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
3 A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;
4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;

In this passage God is speaking. In verse 2 He calls the people rebellious. He says they walk in a way that is not good. Verses 3 and 4 list those things that they do that provoke God to anger. One of the ways is by eating swine's flesh.

Isaiah 66:3 (KJV)
3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.

The abominations listed here are slaying a man, cutting off a dog's neck, blessing an idol, and offering swine's blood. Again, the Lord says that they have chosen their own way and their soul delights in their abominations.

This is difficult for most Christians to understand. The prohibition of eating ham, shrimp, and other things doesn't make much sense. But if God has said that eating certain things are abominable to Him we need to understand it and obey. He will never change and He will never call it anything but an abomination. If believers want to be pleasing to God we need to look beyond traditions and Scripture interpretation that undermines the truth of God's Word and follow what it truly says.

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