A double standard of weights and measures— both are disgusting to the Lord.
A double standard of weights is disgusting to the Lord,
and dishonest scales are no good. (Proverbs 20:10, 23 GW)
(Context—Proverbs 20:9-25 GW)
“The numbers don’t lie!” Well, maybe not the numbers but those who manipulate numbers for their own gain at the expense of others—they do lie. This is the nature of a double standard. What should be trustworthy isn’t.
Remember the Enron scandal? The numbers lied. Well, those who reported the numbers lied about the numbers. How about Bernie Madoff? Remember him and his Ponzi scheme?
Both of these scandals involved billions of dollars and affected thousands of lives. Not just the principal investors but the ripple effect it had on others. But none of this is new. The scale may be greater but the schemes are ancient.
The double standard in these verses refer to the use of differing weights used to measure goods paid according to weight. The principle is the same—deception of others to profit the deceiver. Somewhat of a bait and switch approach or shell game ruse.
It’s nothing new and God hates this type of deception. It “disgusts” Him. Or, as said in another version, it’s “an abomination.”
Seem to harsh? Well, it’s evil but for more than obvious reasons.
My wife and I delight in our grandchildren, as most grandparents do. We play and interact with them as we did with their parents (our children) but without the immediate responsibility as parents. That’s part of the fun of being grandparents!
I’m a jokester, always have been. My kids and now my grandkids are on to me though. They expect me to joke with them, tease them, and play tricks on them. And believe me, as they grow older they learn to turn the tables on me and it gets harder for me to trick them.
One silly thing I would do, as they became conscious of weight as a measure of their growth, is to step on the scale behind them as they weigh themselves.
When the numbers are much higher than expected, their eyes widen with astonishment. Then either Nana or I tell them how I tipped the scales to fool them. I can’t do this but once or twice before they wise up to my trick.
Now, as innocuous as my tipping the scale is, it reveals an underlying principle of humanity. We are trusting by nature. It’s innate. We trust until we learn not to trust.
To trust is innate until we learn not to trust
This is the real issue with double standards and differing weights and why God hates this. I’ve seen this truth over and over. Trust only exists until it’s violated.
God hates it when trust is broken. When trust is violated it breaks the bond of relationship.
This goes back to the garden with Adam and Eve. When they stopped trusting God implicitly because they believed the lie of the serpent, their innocent and pure relationship with God was broken (Gen 3:1-10).
They believed God was holding something back from them and it all went downhill from there (Gen 3:11-19). Since then, deception of others and of self continues to prevail because lies—even small ones—violate trust and break relationships.
Trust is easy to break but hard to mend
I’ve learned that even with my jokes and teasing, I need to be careful not to cross a line. I don’t want to break or undermine the trust of those closest to me nor anyone else who looks to me as a trustworthy person.
We all need to be careful in our interactions with others in whatever environment or situation in life we find ourselves—home, work, business, community, church, or wherever. Trust is a fragile element—easy to break but hard to mend.
The real issue with double standards and differing weights and why God hates them is an issue of trust. Trust only exists until it’s violated. It’s easy to break but hard to mend. Lies and deception only lead to broken trust and broken relationships.
If you find yourself trapped in some form of deception—of others or yourself—ask God to help you see how to put an end to it. Ask the Lord to help you be honest and open, and if relationships and trust have been broken, ask Him how to restore them.
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