You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. And you shall observe all my statutes and all my rules, and do them: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:35-37 ESV
A just balance and scales are the Lord’s;
all the weights in the bag are his work. Proverbs 16:11
Do you ever buy fresh fruit and vegetables at the supermarket? Sometimes fresh produce is sold by weight. Maybe you or your mom or dad fill a bag with some cherries or grapes or green beans. When you check out, the checker will weigh what is in the bag, and what you pay for it depends on how much it weighs. We usually trust our supermarkets to have honest scales. If the scales aren’t honest, then we end up paying for more fruit or vegetables than we actually take home.
God expects his people to be honest in their business dealings. They aren’t to lie about what they are selling, or what service they’re providing, or to charge more money for something than is fair. That means that whatever scales and measures are used to weigh or measure things should be honest and accurate. Our first Bible reading talks about the ephah and the hin. The ephah was a volume measure. It was a little bit bigger than a bushel. The hin was a liquid measure. It was about a gallon and a half. People who sold things in Bible times would also carry weights in a bag, and balance things they were selling on a scale. God expected these weights to be true and accurate.
Sometimes we’re tempted to cheat when we make some kind of deal with someone. We want to get the better of them. We want to get more money, or more for our money, than is fair or right. Sin is the reason we do this. Sin makes us greedy, and to not trust God to give us everything we need. Sin makes us put ourselves first instead of thinking first about what is good for the other person. It’s God’s work in us that makes us more honest. He gives us his love and blessings and sends his Holy Spirit to help us want to be a blessing to others instead of to cheat them. Jesus died for all of our sins, including our sins of selfishness and greed. We are happy to become more like Jesus because we belong to him.
Dear Heavenly Father, please help us to be honest and fair because of the love you’ve given us in Jesus. In His Name, Amen.