We now come to the last of the seven things that Solomon listed as being “an abomination unto Him” (God) in Proverbs 6:16-19. That is, “He that soweth discord among brethren.”
The word “abomination” was “frequently used to express the idea of something loathed, especially religiously” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary). In discussing this word’s use, Vine also added, “It was looked upon with intense hatred.” (These things doth the Lord hate); “it denotes a detestable deed.” Among the definitions given by Robert Young, we find “detestable thing” (Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible). The New Oxford American Dictionary defines the word to mean, “a thing that causes disgust or hatred.” From these definitions it is not difficult to understand how disgusting and detestable it is in God’s sight for someone to sow discord in the church. The word “discord” here means, “strife, contention” (Young’s). It is also defined as “lack of agreement or harmony” (New Oxford American Dictionary).
The book of I Corinthians was written to clear up a number of problems in the church at Corinth. The first one that Paul takes on in chapter one is the sin of division within the body of Christ (I Cor. 1:10ff). It appears to this writer that most all of the rest of the problems at Corinth came as a result of this division.
On the opposite side of causing discord the psalmist wrote, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). No one enjoys being a part of division; no one likes a troublemaker. One who disturbs the peace of the Lord’s family is a detestable person in the sight of God. Jesus stated, “And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:24-25). Paul told the Corinthians their division was a sign of them still being carnal (I Cor. 3:3). Those who cause divisions and offenses in the church “serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly” (Rom. 16:17-18). The sowing of discord causes envy and strife, and James warns, “Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16). Is it any wonder that sowing discord among brethren is hated and detested by the Lord?
Instead of discord, envy and strife, we need unity. Jesus prayed for it just before the cross (John 17:20-23); Paul pled for it (I Cor. 1:10). Unity is pleasant (Psalm 133:1). It causes men to believe (John 17:20-23). If we expect to see the Lord, we must follow peace (Heb. 12:14). Jesus pronounced a blessing on the peacemaker in His Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:9).
Brethren, let each one of us determine to promote peace and harmony among brethren and never be guilty of “sowing discord among brethren.”
Paul M. Wilmoth