Differing weights and differing measures—
the Lord detests them both.
Cheating customers is an abomination to the Lord; so is cheating clients and cheating anyone to gain an advantage. What is particularly offensive here is cheating through means that of themselves signify fair play. What can be trusted if we abuse the very seals and symbols that are meant to guarantee good faith?
Cheating is wrong, but its offense is heightened when scam artists take extra care to give a pretense of fairness – presenting false credentials, showing false information, etc. They prey on the poor and the elderly, anyone whom they can take advantage of through their deceit. They are the false advertisers who suffer no twinge of conscience for making fools of others.
They are just like us when we use unequal weights and unequal measures to justify ourselves before the Lord. For that is what we do when we measure ourselves against our neighbors in order to appear righteous before the Lord. The behavior of our neighbors is a false scale, but even then we will use false measures by which to judge them.
How fitting that this proverb follows the previous one: Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”? They are many who dare to make such a claim. But to do so requires unequal weights and measures; so then even while trying to prove one’s purity of heart, the individual is sinning.
Whatever measuring tool we want to use, understand that the Lord measures with perfect accuracy. We will be weighed on true scales. We will be measured with a true measuring stick. How then will we compare? Here is one way to measure what is in your heart. When you hear such a question, do you begin to think of ways to improve your chances, or do you turn for mercy to the One who alone can justify?
Why do the nations conspire[a]
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.