Honest Measures

“You shall have honest balances, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

Leviticus 19:36Modern English Version (MEV)

I must be honest and say that, whilst I am used to taking New Testament Scriptural truths and applying them to “modern” life, and whilst I will take Old Testament truths and look for the New Testament (post-resurrection) application and meaning, there are still large parts of the Old Testament that I gloss over, failing to remember that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 MEV).

Leviticus is definitely a book that I struggle to draw great meaning out of, but thank God for Holy Spirit inspired teachers of the Word who help to open my eyes to the hidden depths!

C H Spurgeon is one of teachers from the past that I have most respect for and many, many times I have been taken aback, overwhelmed afresh or found a new revelation from reading his teachings.  The verse above is one such example.

He pondered on this verse and saw that at face value the only current application was that of a Christian in business, checking to make sure that their dealings were fair and honest.  However he took me deeper into God’s Heart by meditating further that “There are, however, other balances which weigh moral and spiritual things, and these often need examining.”

What of the “measure” that we use to measure others by?  Who do we compare them to? Do we use one rule for them and one for ourselves?  Of course Jesus raised this very point:

“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged. And with the measure you use, it will be measured again for you.
“And why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank that is in your own eye?  Or how will you say to your brother, ‘Let me pull the speck out of your eye,’ when a log is in your own eye?  You hypocrite! First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. “(Matthew 7:1-5 MEV)

We may not realise we are judging others but, as Spurgeon wrote, “Do we not turn our own ounces of goodness into pounds, and other persons’ bushels of excellence into pecks?”

What about the scales on which we measure our trials and tribulations?  How accurate are they?  Shouldn’t we use the Apostle Paul as our guide to what is an honest measure? He weighed his afflictions as “light” but when you recall just what it was that he was weighing….

“Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes minus one.  Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I suffered shipwreck; a night and a day I have been in the deep;  in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brothers;  in weariness and painfulness, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, and in cold and nakedness.

(2 Corinthians 11: 24-27 MEV)

I don’t know about you, but using those weights to measure my own troubles… they barely register on the scales!

With the current political and social storm surrounding the migrant/refugee (depending on which side of the argument you stand) crisis, we should also be careful to make sure the measure with which we weigh our obligations and responsibilities are just.  Any glance at a newspaper (real or virtual) will show a very unjust balance between how society values the poor versus the adoration they give the rich and famous. More column inches given to pop stars, soap stars and footballers than to community, social action and responsibility.  I must examine my heart and ensure that I am not ever guilty of such an unrighteous measure.

Spurgeon encouraged his readers to consider what else we might add to the list of areas where our “weights and measures” may be dishonest.  This has really taken hold of me and it is something I shall be doing over the coming days and weeks, asking the Holy Spirit to make me painfully aware of any such unrighteousness in my thoughts, words or actions.  I encourage you to do the same.