Deuteronomy 7:26 “And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction.”
There are certain words that are common in biblical language but that we almost never hear today. One of them is the word “abomination.” The words “abomination” or “abominable” occur 139 times in the Old Testament. The word means something that is completely and totally disgusting. Typically, in biblical language, the word is pointing to things that are completely and totally disgusting to God. Likewise, if we call ourselves believers who are to be people “after God’s own heart,” they should be completely and totally disgusting to us.
So, what are those things? What are the things that God is so disgusted with that He names them as abominations in His Word? One place we can look is Leviticus 18. Here God gives a list of moral behaviors that He finds disgusting. They are practices that were common in places like Egypt while the Jews were slaves there, as well as among all the nations that lived throughout the Promised Land before Israel entered it. For one, all forms of incest are an abomination to God. Incest disgusts Him. He was known to totally destroy nations from the face of the earth that practiced it. Another abomination: bestiality. It occurred in the ancient world, and God hates it. Then there was child sacrifice. Included in the religious practices of the ancient Canaanites was the worship of the god Molech. Part of that worship included sacrificing little children in the fire. These things offend our modern sensibilities as well, for wouldn’t most people find such things to be disgusting?
But what else does God see as an abomination? Well, besides incest and bestiality, any sexual relationship not between a man and a woman who are married to one another is likewise an abomination to God. These are things that were at one time viewed with disdain in the world in which we live, but now they are viewed by so many as good and acceptable. Another list, this one from Proverbs 6: “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” Then we are told that “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 15:8). It’s the idea of worshipping God on the one hand and living in ways that are abominable to Him on the other. He hates that! But then there are summary statements like these: “The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD” (Proverbs 15:9), and even “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 15:26).
You see, any sin is an abomination to our righteous and holy God, and we can be sure that sin and those who are given to sin will never find their way into His holy presence. Isn’t it incredible then that it was while we were sinners, steeped in such abominable sins, that God sent His own Son to die for us (Romans 5:8)? And shouldn’t we who are the recipients of such awesome grace and love abhor the very abominations for which Jesus gave Himself up for us on the cross?
May God help us, in this society that is so given to tolerate and even promote the things that God hates, to see sin for what it is, and never be satisfied as long as it raises its ugly head in our lives. God commanded Israel to utterly destroy any vestige of things He saw as an abomination in the land they were to enter. Should we be any less tolerant of such things in our own lives today?