“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”
There are many opposites in life that cannot exist together. Cold cannot exist if there is hot. Darkness cannot exist if there is light. Wrong cannot exist if there is right. Whichever opposite is stronger is the one that will exist.
Likewise, evil cannot exist if one has the fear of the LORD. Proverbs 16:6 says, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” Notice that when men fear the LORD that evil departs. It is interesting that opposites oftentimes can’t exist together, but opposites will also hate each other. For instance, hot must hate cold or hot could not be hot. Right must hate wrong or else right would no longer stay right. Likewise, the fear of the LORD must hate evil because evil will drive out the fear of the LORD. In the verse above, God diagnoses evil. God is saying that someone is evil when these things are present in ones life.
The first diagnosis of evil is that pride is present. Pride is always the first step towards evil. Pride is when one believes they are better than another. Pride will often cause you to look down on others because you feel you are better than they are. What is interesting about pride is that pride exists because of talent, position, appearance, possessions or accomplishments. All of these have been given to you by God, but yet pride will tell you that you are responsible for these. Pride will always turn to evil when one feels threatened by someone who may be better in one of these areas.
The second diagnosis of evil is arrogancy. Arrogancy is an attitude of superiority. When one is arrogant they are condescending. This is an attitude of one looking down on another because they feel they are more intellectual or know more than someone else. Arrogancy is an attitude that portrays to others that you are better.
The third diagnosis of evil is the evil way. Don’t fool yourself, pride and arrogancy will always lead to one living in the evil way. When one begins to believe they are better than others, then they start living the lifestyle of their choice because they believe nobody has a right to tell them how to live.
The fourth diagnosis of evil is the froward mouth. This is saying whatever you want to say because you feel you have a right to do so. When you believe you can live however you want because you have the attitude that you are superior than others, then you will believe you can say what you want because nobody has a right to tell you any differently. It’s having that attitude that you can say what you want to say because you feel you have earned that right.
Do you see any of these in your life? Be honest with yourself. Is there any person you find yourself feeling like you are better than? Do you ever find yourself looking down on any person? Is there any part of your life where you feel nobody has a right to tell you not to live that way? Do you find yourself saying what you want to say because you feel you have that right? When the fear of the LORD is present in your life, you will find these things will not be present. These things will only exist in your life when you take your eyes of Christ and place them on yourself.