Puritan John Gill
Read My Two Cents
For the Letter Killeth
Seven Deadly Sins
by James Stalker
Omitting the Weightier Matters
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." Matthew 23:23-24
Omitting the weightier matters has become an epidemic in the Church today. I know preachers that will try to convince you that the unpardonable sin is two-fold, divorce and withholding tithes. Yet these same preachers build multi-million dollar churches and playgrounds while a lost world goes to hell. They will pass by the widow, the hungry, the naked, and the lost on their way to a temple THEY built for God.
"Blind guides, You have omitting the weightier matters". You serve and profess and God you do not even know.
Where is the justice, the mercy, the humility. "What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Micah 6:8 We strain at the gnat and swallow the camel with our religious pretense. "Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers..." Luke 20:46-47
Worthless are all of outward observances when the moral precepts of God are neglected. The Pharisees used outward observances for mere pretense, to be seen of other men. Jesus dealt with the heart issues, the motives of a man, "dividing asunder of soul and spirit." Men select their favorite demons to attack while covering those which expose their own sin and neglect, thereby adding to their account the sin of religious hypocrisy.
While the apostate church preaches against divorce and withholding tithes, "The Preacher" of Proverbs has this to say, "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:17-19
Jesus rebukes the religious leaders because of their conduct and practice which plainly "show their hypocrisy and deceit; since they were very strict in observing some outward things, which gave them credit with the people, and especially the priests and Levites, some little trifling ceremonies and traditions of their elders, whilst they neglected internal religion, and those things which were of the greatest moment and importance:" (John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible)
Jesus makes a point to say, "these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." All of God's commandments are to be observed and obeyed, the institution of marriage and the tithes, ought we to do... but not leave the other undone. The question is, what are the weightier matters with the Lord, what does He hate, what does He love. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5
Jesus said, "...the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63 Jesus always dealt with the root, for example, if a man steals, it's because he is a thief. If the issue were just stealing, a man could "turn over a new leaf," but men a sinners by nature therefore must be born again. "...if the root be holy, so are the branches." Romans 11:16
When our sole desire is to be pleasing to our Father in heaven and our lives are yielded to His Spirit, our spiritual priorities will be in harmony with His and we will indeed do justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with our God, and all other truths He instructs us to observe and obey.
— by Randy Munter
(From Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible on Matthew 23:23-24)
"They were very strict and precise in the smaller matters of the law, but as careless and loose in the weightier matters. They were partial in the law (Mal. 2:9), would pick and choose their duty, according as they were interested or stood affected. But hypocrites, who act in religion for themselves, and not for God, will do no more in religion than they can serve a turn by for themselves. The partiality of the scribes and Pharisees appears here, in two instances.
"But that which Christ here condemns them for, is, that they omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith; and their niceness in paying tithes, was, if not to atone before God, yet at least to excuse end palliate to men the omission of those. All the things of God's law are weighty, but those are most weighty, which are most expressive of inward holiness in the heart; the instances of self-denial, contempt of the world, and resignation to God, in which lies the life of religion.
"Judgment and mercy toward men, and faith toward God, are the weightier matters of the law, the good things which the Lord our God requires (Mic. 6:8); to do justly, and love mercy, and humble ourselves by faith to walk with God. This is the obedience which is better than sacrifice or tithe; judgment is preferred before sacrifice, Isa. 1:11. To be just to the priests in their tithe, and yet to cheat and defraud every body else, is but to mock God, and deceive ourselves.
"Mercy also is preferred before sacrifice, Hos. 6:6. To feed those who made themselves fat with the offering of the Lord, and at the same time to shut up the bowels of compassion from a brother or a sister that is naked, and destitute of daily food, to pay tithe-mint to the priest, and to deny a crumb to Lazarus, is to lie open to that judgment without mercy, which is awarded to those who pretended to judgment, and showed no mercy; nor will judgment and mercy serve without faith in divine revelation; for God will be honoured in his truths as well as in his laws.
"They avoided lesser sins, but committed greater (v. 24); Ye blind guides; so he had called them before (v. 16), for their corrupt teaching; here he calls them so for their corrupt living, for their example was leading as well as their doctrine; and in this also they were blind and partial; they strained at a gnat, and swallowed a camel. In their doctrine they strained at gnats, warned people against every the least violation of the tradition of the elders.
"In their practice they strained at gnats, heaved at them, with a seeming dread, as if they had a great abhorrence of sin, and were afraid of it in the least instance; but they made no difficulty of those sins which, in comparison with them, were as a camel to a gnat; when they devoured widows' houses, they did indeed swallow a camel; when they gave Judas the price of innocent blood, and yet scrupled to put the returned money into the treasury (ch. 27:6); when they would not go into the judgment-hall, for fear of being defiled, and yet would stand at the door, and cry out against the holy Jesus (Jn. 18:28); when they quarrelled with the disciples for eating with unwashen hands, and yet, for the filling of the Corban, taught people to break the fifth commandment, they strained at gnats, or lesser things, and yet swallowed camels.
"It is not the scrupling of a little sin that Christ here reproves; if it be a sin, though but a gnat, it must be strained at, but the doing of that, and then swallowing a camel. In the smaller matters of the law to be superstitious, and to be profane in the greater, is the hypocrisy here condemned."
What does God hate?
"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:17-19
Proverbs 6:17-19 lists seven things that God hates. In a Hebrew idiom used for emphasis, Solomon said, "These six things doth the LORD hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him:"
1. A proud look
Pride is manifested in lofty eyes, which is the literal Hebrew meaning of that phrase. Someone who is prideful has his nose in the air and his eyes uplifted. When pride fills the heart, it is reflected in one's mannerisms. God hates people who disdain everyone and everything. The sin of pride is probably listed first because it is the root of all disobedience and rebellion against God (Rom. 1:22).
2. A lying tongue
God is a God of truth who cannot lie (Heb. 6:18). That He loves truth and hates lying is illustrated in the account of Ananias and Sapphira, who lied to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-11). God took their lives as an example to the early church of His holiness.
3. Murderous hands
Verse 17 says that God hates "hands that shed innocent blood." God hates people with murderous, cruel dispositions who will kill rather than be denied or frustrated of what they want. God hates murder because He created life and established its sanctity. Therefore God ordained that when someone takes a life, he should pay with his own life (Gen. 9:6).
4. A wicked heart
God hates "an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations" (v. 18). It's bad enough for a person to do evil, but it's even worse when he plans at great length on how to do it. A wicked heart is the devil's workshop for devising new ways of sinning.
5. Mischievous feet
God also hates "feet that are swift in running to mischief" (v. 18). The difference between this and normal sinning is that normal sinning is described in the Bible as a falling or a tripping. But the mischievous person purposely runs as fast as he can he's in a hurry to sin.
6. A false witness
Another thing God hates is "a false witness that speaketh lies" (v. 19). God hates people who put the blame on an innocent party. David, Jesus, and Paul experienced accusations by false witnesses (Ps. 27:12; Matt. 26:59-61; Acts 25:7-8). Bearing false witness obstructs justice, destroys reputations, and even destroys lives in some cases.
7. A devisive spirit
Verse 19 says that God also hates people who "soweth discord among brethren." Troublemakers create divisions where there should be unity.
The things God hates are in direct opposition to the things He loves: truth, goodness, and unity. Because He loves men to worship Him in truth, He hates idolatry and hypocritical religion. His hatred is the antithesis of His love.
— Author Unknown