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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Our two measures

13-16 Don't carry around with you two weights, one heavy and the other light, and don't keep two measures at hand, one large and the other small. Use only one weight, a true and honest weight, and one measure, a true and honest measure, so that you will live a long time on the land that God, your God, is giving you. Dishonest weights and measures are an abomination to God...
(Deuteronomy 25:13-16)

In the times that these words were penned, the trade of goods meant that there was a "measuring" of what was traded against a "known" weight.  In other words, if we wanted a pound of flour, we weighed it on a scale with a "known" one pound weight on the other side of the scale.  When they were balanced, we knew that we got exactly what we asked for - one pound of flour!  The caution given in this passage is that of having "two measures" - one allowing us to be honest, the other allowing us to be dishonest.  The idea is that of credibility!

When we say something is credible, we are saying that it is believable - we can place our confidence in it.  There are lots of things we place our confidence in that are not entirely that "credible".  For instance, we trust in our finances to bring us peace and security.  When the market changes, we panic because what we thought we had may suddenly become of less value in the present economy.  Another example is believing we have a "right" to act a certain way just because another has acted against us in a particular manner.  In fact, the opposite is often true - God expects us to turn the other cheek and forgive.

Credibility is based on trust.  We come to trust that thing or person - usually because it has proven to be "trust-worthy".  The warning to us in our passage today deals with having TWO weights - one is trustworthy, the other is not.  In real life, this is kind of like having one way of treating someone when we see them "measuring up" to our expectations, and another when that individual does not meet our expectations.  I am so grateful that we don't serve a God with a dual-standard (two "measures" or weights) that he uses as he deals with us!

God has "honest" standards - they can be trusted.  When he says, "Let's see here...as I place you on the scale with the "counter-weight" of my Son, Jesus, on the other...I get a perfect balance!"  In other words, God is saying that we perfectly "measure up" to the exact person he wants!  The problem is that we tell God that we want to use a different weight on the scale....like the one we create in our minds that tells God we are NOT measuring up to what he expects!  Then we get all down on ourselves because we see ourselves as always a little "light" in the "measuring up" category!

Guess what that is called?  Here's a hint...it begins with the letter "s".  Yep, you guessed it...shame.  We don't see ourselves as "measuring up", so we actually are believing that there is no hope we will ever "measure up" or be perfectly "balanced" when compared to the "honest weight" on the other side of the scale (Jesus).  The fact of the matter is that God has only one weight in his bag by which we are measured and that is Jesus!  All other weights we try to create and place on that scale to evaluate if we are "measuring up" are simply not reliable.

So, the next time we are tempted to pull any other weight out of our bags by which we will want God to "measure" us against, let's be cautious about that.  We have been given a very reliable (trustworthy) weight to be placed in the balance - Jesus.  That "counter-weight" is always keeping us "on the level" with God.  No matter what our sin, the "counter-weight" by which God views us is ALWAYS Jesus.