And the list goes on …
I will capitalize (both to identify it and to emphasize its importance) today’s “sin!”
“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.” This list is found at Proverbs 6:16-19.
Now let me try to explain … “feet that be swift in running to mischief.”
The noun used here for “mischief” is spelled “ra” in Hebrew, and is pronounced “rah.” But it means so much more than what we call “mischief” today! It’s the ancient Jewish word for stark “evil!” For something “malignant!” It also carries a tinge of not just BEING “evil,” but DOING “evil” as well … maliciously harming others!
The verbal expression (an infinitive in Hebrew) “running” is “rutzs,” naturally meaning “run” or “run away” 74 of the 104 times it appears in Scripture. It also 14 times means “to guard” something. Here this wicked man is “protecting, savoring, delighting in” evil!
Next … the piel (verbal unit again) stem “mahar” is translated “swift” in our verse. This particular stem (piel) means that “great energy” is being expended in this pursuit of wickedness! And 44 times the idea of “haste” is emphasized with “mahar.” But “headlong” once, as well as “rash” once! Committed to sin, regardless of logic or dissuasion, NO MATTER WHAT!
And the noun “feet” (in Hebrew “ragal,” derived from a verb often meaning “to spy!”) indicates a “curiosity” about evil! I read this week a phrase, “the taste of forbidden fruit.” These feet are headed to that enchanted orchard! Post haste!
Also the “feet” in Scripture are often emblems of one’s “habitual lifestyle.” As Paul’s famous Ephesians 4:1 passage illustrates. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye WALK WORTHY (the feet being involved) of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.” Live seeking to please the Lord!
Truly … our Proverbs “phrase” today makes my feet want to walk in the way of the Lord!
After all, God HATES “feet that be swift in running to mischief.”
We used to sing a little chorus in Sunday School (when I was just a young boy) … “Be careful little feet where you go!” Does anyone remember that tune?
— Dr. Mike Bagwell