Honest balances and scales are the Lord’s, all the weights in the bag are his doing
The world values are upside down.
This chapter continues to provide examples of one of the main themes in Proverbs which is to seek wisdom. But, it throws in a couple of examples that are slightly different. Verse 11 is one of those examples. It is interesting to me because even though there are thousands of years between now and when this was written, it still rings true today. The world values money, power, and success. God values wisdom, truth, and honesty. He clearly states this in v. 8, 11, & 19. God doesn’t value ill-gotten gains. Kings and other leaders, don’t value someone that is not honest. Yet, man still seeks to gain the edge. We try to prosper using the wrong methods and value the wrong characteristics.
Scales are used to Judge and God will judge us.
Scales were used in commerce back when Proverbs were written. Weights of specific measure, thought to be true and accurate, were used to help determine quantity and, therefore prices of things such as food, spices, and precious metals. In fact, scales are used for commerce today just as they were back in the Old Testament times. We weigh produce at the grocery store and pay by “the pound”. Scales are used to measure the amount of gas we pump. Metals like gold and silver are still measured and sold by weight, jewels by carat weight. And we use scales to determine how much weight we gained over the holidays.
People, in biblical times used inaccurate weights as a way to cheat people and make more money. It may seem like it was easier to cheat back then but even with today’s digital scales, people try to cheat. I have read many stories of gas pumps cheating customers. The pump displays 12 gallons pumped, but in reality only 11.5 gallons were pumped because someone tampered with the scales. Diamonds are purchased as 1 carat only to be found later to be smaller. Football players weigh themselves but then exaggerate their weight to appear heavier, taller, etc. the reason people cheat is to make money, to gain an advantage, get and edge even if it’s just a physiological edge.
God uses a scale. His weights are perfect. His judgement is flawless. But He not only sees our actions, he knows and measures our motives. Our motives! That means we may do something that appears to be “right” but if our heart is not in the right place, if our motive is not in alignment, he will judge us based on our motive. We can say one thing but mean another. We can do one thing but have in pure motives. Man cannot always discern the truth and judge us based on the truth but God can and will.
Seek Wisdom. This chapter doesn’t state that money power and success are bad or wrong, but that we should not seek these things first. If theses come at the expense of wisdom, at the expense of truth and at the expenses of His plan, we are doomed. Wisdom provides benefits throughout our lives. Not only in the knowledge gained but in our influence on others. The wise person is different than the average person. The wise are sought out. The wise influence in a positive manner. They avoid evil. The wise please others. The wise develop a reputation for being discerning. The wise seek out others that are wise.
The average person doesn’t seek wisdom. They seek the easy. They seek the simple. They are short term, not long term. They are enticed by the earthly and therefore are influenced not by wisdom but by earthly desires. We learned that in Chapter 9 when we learned about Wisdom and Folly.
God will judge us. His scales are perfect. His weights are true. We should evaluate our lives to identify if our motives line up with our actions. Do our actions line up with our words? Are we putting ourselves first and Him second (or third, or fourth). Are we honest with ourselves or are we making excuses. When we are judged, there will be no excuses. No one to blame. No one to point fingers at and say “it was their fault” or “I didn’t know”.
Father, help me to keep Your word, to seek wisdom in all I do. Help me to identify the areas of my life that I am not putting You first, that I am not trusting You and seeking Your guidance and wisdom.