We are surviving the “Age of Covid” guided by ancient wisdom preserved for us in the Bible’s Book of Proverbs. Today we are looking at one of the book’s favorite sayings, I say favorite because it repeats the same basic idea again and again as in this example:
A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, But an accurate weight is his delight
Using our color code system, shade that saying yellow because yellow identifies facts that are true for everyone everywhere.
This proverb addresses business dealings in which a scale can be adjusted or switched to cheat a customer, for example in a trade involving grain. But I believe the point about scales is repeated so often because it expresses an idea that goes beyond mere weights and measures. The initial point is that commercial cheating begins with the scale one brings to a marketplace. But the real point is deeper. Wrongdoing exists as intent before it takes expression in deeds.
With its focus on intention, Proverbs describes the fool’s orange coded plan to “deal sharply” and hints at its consequences this way:
Diverse weights and diverse measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
The habitual intention of the wise is quite different and their dealings receive a different evaluation (color code this one blue, the marker of the wise):
Honest balances and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are his work.
In an unusual step, the people who gathered the proverbs attached a special promise and warning to this matter of intention:
One who walks in integrity will be safe but whoever follows crooked ways will fall into the pit.