Seven Sins (05) Feet that Run to Iniquity

Date: 2/10/2008
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Seven Sins (5): Feet that Run to Iniquity
Dr. Gregg Strawbridge * February 10, 2008 * Proverbs 6:16-19

“These things which God hates, we must hate in ourselves; it is nothing to hate them in others” (Matthew Henry).
That is the problem. We would much rather talk about the sins of others than deal with our own. We would amputate another’s fingers, arms and legs with no anesthetic. But we can barely cut our own toenails.

In Step - These seven “abominations” move from inside to outside. If we are self-inflated (“haughty eyes” [1]), we will break relationships through “discord” (dissonance, dissension, strife) in the community. The personal and internal characteristics of pride, deceit and anger incubate in a plotting heart and hatch as unrighteous actions, schemes, and systems (Prov. 6:14). We must never sacrifice our personal righteousness and relationships for the pursuit of an ambition which we deem to be “worth the cost” of destroying others - “The enthusiastic and complete involvement in activities that bring pain to all concerned” (Expositors Bible Commentary).

Side Step - In this week’s sin, “feet that make haste to run to evil” - the term “evil” is “iniquity.” In this case, “evil” is too broad. Iniquity is literally “crookedness,” “perverseness,” from a root word, “to bend, make crooked, pervert.”

The ASV has it as “mischief” which is far too “lite.” Iniquity in Hebrew is literally “crookedness,” “perverseness,” i.e. evil regarded as that which is not straight or upright, moral distortion (iown - from iwwah, “to bend, make crooked, pervert”).

It is “not an action, but the character of an action” (Oehler, cf ISBE). You can see this with a phrase like, “the iniquity of my sin” (Ps 32:5). The character of David’s sin is more than just adultery leading to murder. Nathan the prophet seized hold of that character in his, “you are the man” confrontation. In this case the heart plan led to David’s execution of the execution of Uriah. David told Joab, “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die” (2 Sam. 11:15).
It is not the action of sin itself, but the character or nature of a sin. You can see this with a phrase like, “the iniquity of my sin” (Ps. 32:5, e.g., David).

Remember his position, blessed beyond measure, prominent and capable, yet he chose the “only lamb” of noble and upright Uriah’s house (Bathsheba) while untold virgins of Israel were his. The character (iniquity) of David’s surpassed its law-breaking.

Watch Your Step - We must apply God’s truth to our feet, as well as hearts. What we do matters. We are tempted to plan and carry out “bent” ambitions while masking our heart/real intentions.

In other words, an action which is “objectively” acceptable may just be “feet which run to iniquity.”

How can we get a barometer on our own plans, then?

Actions which are “iniquities” or “bent” proceed from a heart which also expresses the first three characteristics: “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.”

What are you doing?
Are you prideful?
Are you deceptive?
Are you angry and vengeful? Are you in any way trying to get back at a person who has wronged you?
Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more