He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)
Pitfalls In The Lord’s Service: Deceit (1) : Proverbs 20:10-13
10) Divers weights, [and] divers measures, both of them [are] alike abomination to the LORD.
11) Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work [be] pure, and whether [it be] right.
12) The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.
13) Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, [and] thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
In this chapter, Solomon reminds us of many different pitfalls that can ensnare a Christian in his service of Christ. In this section of Scripture, Solomon begins to look at the pitfall of deceit. His full discussion on deceit will be covered in vs 10-17, and will be covered in this today and tomorrow’s devotional.
10) Divers weights, [and] divers measures, both of them [are] alike abomination to the LORD. 11) Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work [be] pure, and whether [it be] right.
Deceit in business practices:
1. The use of varying, inconsistent, weights (that were used in merchandise scales) and varying, inconsistent, measures (used to measure goods that were for sale)
2. Both of these deceitful and unjust business practices are abhorred by Jehovah, who is Lord over all.
3. The true character of everyone, including children, is clearly shown through their actions. The innocent, lawful actions of the individual reveal a moral character.
For the Christian, the idea of using deceitful weights and measures to make unjust business gains is clearly off limits. We are told that these are abominations in the eyes of the Lord, one fo the strongest possible terms used in the OT to describe the displeasure of the Lord…. Note here are a few sins that are described as “abominations”… homosexuality, murder, pride, and the ultimate, idolatry. This list helps us to recognize the degree of sinfulness that is linked to the sin of deceitful business practices.
Why might this be considered so great a sin? The ancient business man was one of the richest of men in ancient society. In many cases, this sin was the wealthiest individuals taking advantage of the poor, the widow, or the naive. These lower class citizens were easily deceived and abused with limited access to an alternate source of goods or justice from the courts.
“Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. [But] thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. For all that do such things, [and] all that do unrighteously, [are] an abomination unto the LORD thy God.” (Deuteronomy 25:13-16)
“For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.” (Luke 6:43-44)
12) The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them. 13) Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, [and] thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
Deceitfulness in the use of the blessings of God:
1. The ear that is able to hear sound, and the eye that is able to see, are gifts given to man by Jehovah.
2. Realizing these are blessings given to us, we need to use them for His glory and honor.
3. Therefore, we are not to desire to keep our eyes and ears closed in sleep, but we are to desired to use them in the way God has intended for us.
4. If we do not use His gifts for His glory how can we expect to have our needs supplied for two reasons:
a. We have chosen to abstain from using His gifts to meet our own needs.
b. We have chosen to dishonor Him by slighting and misuse His blessings in our lives.
By acknowledging the source of our blessings, and accepting our responsibility to use them properly, we can develop a wonderful testimony that honors and glorifies our Lord.
“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”
“He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain [persons is] void of understanding.”
We have seen in this two part study, several areas of Godly living that is hindered greatly by the existence of a self-centered attitude in our lives…
1. Those who are lazy, selfish, and uncaring will not give of themselves to meet their own responsibilities and needs.
2. Great care and self-sacrifice must be exercised in seeking the advice of others. Unselfish, Godly discretion must be exercised and choosing the Godly path to take.
3. Serving from prideful motives is a perversion of true, Godly ministering and will result in loss of rewards and favor in the eyes of the Lord.
4. The man whose life is lived in pleasing the Lord will be a blessing to his children, through the receipt of household blessings and presentation of a Godly example for their learning.
5. Those who possess authority over others, should exercise that authority to discourage sinfulness and encourage morality.
6. A person who either denies the existence of sin in their life, or takes credit for the abstinence of personal sin shows themselves to be deceived and prideful.
7. The use of deceitful business practices are abominations in the eyes of the Lord.
8. If we do not use the Lord’s gifts for His glory, how can we expect to have our needs supplied for two reasons.
Are we keeping our eyes on our Lord and His will for us, or are we keeping our eyes on ourselves, hindering our walk with Him?
By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.
May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.
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