Prov 11:1 A False Balance and a Just Weight 4/27/2014
#1. What Is a False Balance ? (Prov 11:1)
#2. What Is His Delight? (Prov 11:1)
#3. Two Examples of False Balances
Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Proverbs, Prov 20:9 (2X). Today I want to preach about a balance. An old fashioned balance consists of two scales hanging from the two ends of a beam, and the beam is pivoting in the middle. It is called a balance, singular, or scales, plural, because each balance has two scales. In our present high tech society you do not see those things any more, but for more than 4500 years balances were used to weigh silver or gold in payment for something that was bought. We know this, because Abraham used a balance to weigh four hundred shekels of silver to buy the field where he would bury his wife Sarah. In the Bible God has a great deal to say about balances, weights and abominations. We read in Prov 20:9-12, “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD. Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.” And now, drop down to verse 21; we read in Prov 20:21-24, “An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed. Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee. Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good. Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?” All these verses are somehow related to a balance, believe it or not. The common denominator for all these verses is the text for our Sermon for today. Please turn a few pages back to Prov 11:1 (2X), which is the sermon text for today. There God speaks about a false balance, which is a balance that has been tampered with to give an unfair edge to the person who owns the balance. We read there in Prov 11:1,
Prov 11:1, “A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.”
The truth of this verse is given to us in two contrasts, like the title for our Sermon expresses it: "A False Balance and a Just Weight" (2X). What is God saying to us here in this one verse? Let us break this verse up in two parts. The first question we should ask ourselves is this:
#1. What Is a False Balance ? (Prov 11:1)
Is that a balance whereby one of the scales has a lead bottom to make it heavier, or have the weights been tampered with because the owner of this balance is a crook? He is not an honest business man. We can find all kinds of historical, or cultural, or moral applications to describe this false balance. But when we seriously want to interpret this verse, we have to keep two principles in mind: First of all, God wrote the Bible for the purpose that man may be saved. Through the Bible God teaches us about salvation. What has a physical balance to do with salvation? Nothing! Therefore, instead of seeing here only one of the moral laws of God, it means that we have to search for the spiritual meaning of the words God wrote in the Bible. And thus it is important that we ask God how to interpret each verse; which means that we do not look out into the world, but we look into the Bible for a suitable interpretation of each verse. Secondly, the word "proverb" is the same word as "parable". What is a parable? A parable is an earthly story with a spiritual meaning. All the proverbs are really parables, and we have to search out each one for the hidden spiritual meaning. Therefore we should try to find out, from the Bible, what the spiritual meaning is of a balance, and preferably we should not get the answer from another parable. If we interpret one parable with another parable, we may be building on quicksand. And so, the first question is:
· What Is a Balance For? (Dan 5:1-6,22-28, Isa 40:15-17, Matt 16:26, John 12:48)
God answered this
question unambiguously when God wrote the story written in Daniel, chapter 5. Please
put a sticker here in Prov 11:1, and please turn in your Bibles to the
Prophecy of Daniel, Dan 5:1 (2X).
Daniel was a captive from the nation of
Daniel 5:1-6 Belshazzar the king made a great feast
to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine,
commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father (grandfather)
Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in
could see the hand that appeared. It was the hand of God, and the hand wrote on
the wall words that no one could read or interpret. And the king was so
terrified that his knees were knocking against one another. Please drop down to
verse 22, Dan 5:22 (2X). Then the king brought in the astrologers, and the
soothsayers, and the wise men of
Daniel 5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; Thou hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances (Lit: scales), and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
That same night, while everyone
slept, Belshazzar the king of
How does God weigh people? What is the standard that God uses, to see if we measure up or not? Yes, you guessed it right; it is a stone, and the balance is the Word of God, the two edged sword of the Spirit that judges all the unsaved on the last day. On one scale is the person to be judged, and on the other scale is a stone. More about that stone later. The Lord Jesus Christ said in John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the Word (the Logos) that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” And so, what is the balance representing in Dan 5:27 ? The balance is the Word of God, the Gospel! And now we can understand why God said in Prov 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD, ……… Of course, a false gospel is an abomination to the Lord, because it leads people to another god; it leads people straight to Hell. That is why it is so important to tell the true Gospel! Let us summarize this: We have already seen two conclusions we can draw out of Dan 5:27. #1. A balance is used for weighing people, and #2. The balance itself is representing the Gospel. The next logical question we should ask is this:
· Who Does the Weighing? (Prov 16:11, 20:9-10,23-24)
Of course, we have already seen in Dan 5:27 that it is God Himself who does the weighing. And we also find that in Prov 16:11. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Proverbs, Prov 16:11 (2X), and there we read, “A just weight and balance are the LORD'S: all the weights of the bag are His work.” And this is logical, is it not? "A just weight and balance are the LORD'S", because it is God who has crafted the fabulous Gospel of Salvation that we find in the Bible. Actually the first word “weight” and the second word “weights” are totally different words in the Hebrew text. Literally this verse says in Prov 16:11, “Scales and balance of justice are the LORD'S: all the stones <68> of the purse are His work” (2X). It is God who judges whether the scales are balanced, and it is God who crafts the stones of His purse. The stones are used for weighing. A stone is put on one scale and the person who is to be weighed is put on the other scale. But it is God who must determine the weight of the stone; because this verse says that "all the stones of God's purse are His own workmanship". He is going to make sure that the Judgment He does is right and perfect. What does the stone represent? Of course, the stone that God uses to weigh people is His Righteousness. We must measure up to His Righteousness. Please turn now to Prov 20:23 (2X). But people do not like the Gospel of the Bible: They do not like the balance that God has provided in His Word. They prefer to make up their own way of salvation: They make a false balance, a false gospel. And they do not like the stones that are God's workmanship. They make up their own stones: They make up their own weights with which to compare them-selves. People like to think that if they have lived a fairly decent life here on this earth, and have done more good than bad, then God will consider them good enough to take them up into Heaven. But that is not good enough. That kind of a gospel is an abomination unto the Lord. Therefore, God says in Prov 20:23, “Divers weights (Lit: A stone <68> and a stone <68>) are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.” What is the meaning of " A stone <68> and a stone <68>"? The answer is: These are stones crafted by man, or else they would not be an abomination to the Lord. These stones are weight measures of their own invention so that they look good in their own eyes. When they compare themselves to other people they appear to be in good standing with the Lord. But it is their own self-righteousness; it is not God's Righteousness. Likewise, men are not in charge of crafting their own gospel. That is why "A false balance is not good". It is God alone who has authority to design the Gospel. It is God alone who decides whom He is going to save. Look at the next verse. The key to understanding verse 23 is verse 24. We read in Prov 20:24, “Man's goings (Lit: Man's steps) are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?” (2X)
The answer is: We can understand our own way through the Bible alone. That is the only way we can understand that our steps are ordered by the Lord. God says in Psalm 37:23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and He delighteth in his way.” But if God is the One who determines our steps, then it is only God who decides whom he is saving. And so we see here again God’s salvation plan, God elects people unto salvation! Election is a necessary step required by the fact of man’s Total Depravity. Without election no one would turn to God, for we all prefer the ways of the Devil rather than the ways of God. None of us liked to live a life that honors God. Exactly the same information is given in Prov 20:9,10. Let us first look at verse 10. We read in Prov 20:10, “Divers weights (Lit: A stone <68> and a stone <68>) and divers measures (Lit: An ephah <374> and an ephah <374>), both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.” This has nothing to do with dishonest practices of the business men in those days. Instead this has everything to do with the Gospel story. A stone <68> and a stone <68> , an ephah <374> and an ephah <374> represent measures of weight and volume of man's own invention, and they are typifying our own measures of righteousness. But only the Righteousness of God will be acceptable to God. That is why the previous verse says in Prov 20:9, “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” No One! No Not One! Nobody can purify their own soul. Only Christ can impute our sins to His account, and impute to us His Righteousness. Only then will we have the Righteousness of God, as a free gift.
Let us now return to the second half of the text of our sermon, Prov 11:1.
Prov 11:1 ¶ A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
#2. What Is His Delight? (Prov 11:1)
Literally, the second half of this verse says: "but a Perfect Stone <68> is His delight". God delights only in a Perfect Stone. The Perfect Stone must come from God, or else it would not be Perfect. What is that Perfect Stone?
· A Perfect Stone <68> (Isa 8:13-14, Rom 9:31-33, Gen 49:10)
When we search the Bible, we find that this perfect stone is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. And when we are in Christ, then we have inherited by imputation the Righteousness of Christ, and then we also have become the delight of the LORD. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 8:13 (2X). Paraphrased the Lord said to Isaiah, “Do not join this people in saying, “A conspiracy, a conspiracy!” neither fear ye what they fear, nor be afraid. That is not the real danger. The real danger is the danger of apostacy; that is what you should warn these people for.” Therefore you should warn these people with the words of Isa 8:13-14, and there we read,
Isa 8:13-14, “Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and
let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary; but
for a stone <68> of stumbling
and for a rock of offence to both the houses of
LORD of Hosts" in verse 13 means "Jehovah of the Armies",
and God explains in verse 14 that this refers to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ became a stone <68> of
stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of
Ro 9:31-33 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
· A Foundation Stone <68> (Isa 28:16, Psalm 118:22-23)
Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy
of Isaiah, Isa 28:16 (2X). In this part of the chapter God addresses the
religious leaders of the nation of
Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone <68>, a tried stone <68>, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste (Or: he that believeth shall not come quickly).
Look at ourselves: We did not come
quickly to the Lord Jesus Christ; we first lived a life of sin. And when you
see the word
Ps 118:22 The stone <68> which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
The builders are a symbol for the
religious leaders of the nation of
21:42-43 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye
never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same
is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is
marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The
Which nation was the Lord Jesus
talking about ? Paraphrased, Jesus said: The treasures of the
Let us summarize now what we have learned from the text that we have under consideration:
Prov 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a Perfect Stone is his delight.
#1. The balance is used for weighing people one by one. #2. The balance itself represents the Word of God, which is the Sword of the Spirit. #3. God Himself does the weighing, which means God is the Judge, God decides what is right and who is Righteous. #4. The weight that God uses is the perfect Righteousness of Christ
Unless we receive the perfect Righteousness of Christ, we will be weighed in the balance and found wanting. It is a matter of eternal life, or eternal damnation. How then can I receive that perfect righteousness of Christ? There is only one way: The Lord Jesus Christ must be the one who pays the debt that I owe. Christ must have imputed all my sins to His account and Christ must have paid the full payment of the wrath of God, the Judgment of God, for all my sins when He suffered and died on the cross in 33 AD. It means that my Redeemer must be both man and God. He must be man for man has sinned and thus man must pay the penalty for sin. Moreover, since God declared that I was in God the Son from before the foundation of the world, I can see that my sins were already imputed to His account the moment Christ was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He must be also God, for only if God would give the man Christ Jesus the strength to endure the full payment, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, would He be able to make the full payment without being consumed in the process. Then Christ must also send His Holy Spirit in this century to regenerate my soul and give me faith, so that I can believe that Christ has success-fully paid for all my sins. That is the moment when I receive what Christ has already prepared for me in 33 AD: I received the forgiveness of all my sins and I received the imputed perfect Righteousness of Christ, and I received the promise of God, which He declared with an oath, that the glorious New Heaven and New Earth will be mine forever. All this God gives to us as a free gift. And even though this entire process of sin and payment for sin, and judgment and glorification have the Righteousness of God as the dominating factor, we must recognize how great the love of God is for all His children, for all the elect, already shown to us before the foundation of the world, and lasting for all eternity in unbroken fashion. Let all the heathen scoff and ridicule this God whom we worship, we know that we will be eternally grateful to Him, and God will smash all the heathen with a rod of iron.
Now we want to look at some of the consequences of the results we found in this parable.
#3. Two Examples of False Balances
There are two false balances these days: The balance can be false because the weights, or the stones are falsified.
· The Stones May Be Abomination (Prov 16:4,11, 20:9-10,23-24)
Let us look again in the Prophecy of Proverbs what we have learned about false stones. Please turn again to Prov 16 and Prov 20 (2X). The tenor of the verses in chapter 16 are shown to us in verse 4. There we read in Prov 16:4, “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” Wow! When I saw this verse for the first time, I hardly could believe my eyes. I searched what the original Hebrew text says, and I came up with the literal translation which says, Prov 16:4, “Jehovah hath made all for His purpose: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” Paraphrased this says, “Jehovah made all people and all things for His own purpose.” This tells us that God is absolutely sovereign in all that He does. God made all people, both the elect and the non-elect, for His own purpose, and He does not have to disclose His purpose to us, for He is not accountable to us. Therefore this verse gives us a bit of the flavor of God’s sovereignty throughout this chapter. Look, for instance at verses 10-11. Prov 16:10, “A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.” Who does the King represent in this verse? The King represents God, or the Lord Jesus Christ, for Christ is God and Christ has been appointed to be the Judge of all mankind. His judgment is pronounced on every human being who ever has lived on this earth, and His divine sentences were finalized when He hung on the cross in AD 33. That was the only day in history that sins were forgiven. That was the only day that the sins of His elect were atoned for and were forgiven, and the sins of all the non-elect were retained by them, for Christ passed them by. And when Christ, the Judge, pronounced His judgment, His mouth did not transgress, for the judgment of God is both righteous and just. When the unsaved shall suffer for their own sins, God’s judgment shall be just and well deserved. Therefore God says in Prov 16:10, “A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.” If we doubt the righteousness of the judgment of Christ we have modified the stones of the balance that God used to weigh these sinners, and then we would have falsified the stones, and God says that these stones are an abomination in the sight of the Lord. So, let us be careful that we never doubt the Word of God. Let us now look at the next verse. We read in Prov 16:11, “A just weight and balance are the LORD'S: all the stones of the bag are his work,” or literally Prov 16:11, “Scales and balance of justice are the LORD'S: all the stones <68> of the purse are His work”. In other words, both the balance and the stones must all be the work of the Lord. If we have created a gospel where the stones for the balance are not 100% God's work, then we have falsified the stones. If we have created a gospel where God is not fully in control of our righteousness, if our righteousness depends partly on our actions, then the stones are not 100% God’s work. If we first have to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ before we can be saved, or if we first have to accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior before we can be saved, then we have to do 0.0001% of the work to get ourselves saved. But if we have to do 0.0001% of the work to get ourselves saved, then the stones are not 100% God's work, and we have falsified the stones and that is abomination in the sight of the Lord. Please turn now to Prov 20:9 (2X). Here are a few more verses that stress the sovereignty of God. Prov 20:9, “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” Yes, who can say that? Nobody can say that. Christ must do 100% of the cleansing. That is the only way I can pass the test when the Lord is weighing me in His balance. I cannot cleanse myself from my past sins. Please drop down to verse 24, Prov 20:24 (2X), “Man's steps are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?” In other words, how can we understand our own actions if our own actions are totally under God’s control? We must admit that the stones God uses to weigh our righteousness are determined by our actions, but our actions are determined by the Lord. If I do not want to admit that the Lord has guided all my steps through this life, except for sin, then I take on some of the credit that belongs to the Lord; and then I would have falsified the stones. If I have a gospel which requires that I have to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior, or if I have a gospel which requires that I must be baptized in water before I can be saved, or if I have a gospel which requires that I must partake of the Lord’s Supper before I can be saved, or if I have a gospel which requires that I must depart out of the church before I can be saved, or if I have a gospel, which requires that I must do something before I can be saved, then I have falsified the stones. But then God says: This is abomination. It is disgusting to God. It is robbing God of the honor that belongs entirely to Him. It is robbing God of the sovereignty that He as King of kings deserves. Watch out that we do not tamper with the sovereignty of God. But there is another false balance that is very popular these days:
· Not the stones, but The Balance Itself May Be False (Rev 22:18-19, 13:14-15)
In many churches the Word of God itself has been falsified and changed. They have ignored the warnings of Rev 22:18-19. Please turn in your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 22:18 (2X). When God dictated these last words to the last of the living apostles, God closed the Book and God declared that it was finished. No one should from henceforth declare that God has given him some additional information. We read in Rev 22:18-19
Rev 22:18-19, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
The Book that God referred to is the Bible. In many churches people believe that God the Holy Spirit is still bringing divine messages today in dreams, or in visions, or in angel visitations, or in an unknown tongue. That is a false doctrine, a carryover from the days of the Roman Catholic domination. This is a false balance, for here the entire gospel is a false gospel, leading people to Hell. All those messages are additions to the Bible. God promises that they who practice bringing those additions to the congregations, are still unsaved and are in danger of the Judgment of God. How do people take away from the Bible? In many churches people believe that certain portions of the Bible are not to be taken seriously. For example, they hold that the theory of evolution is also acceptable, which means that they consider the first 11 chapters of Genesis are allegorical, and not to be taken literally. And when we consider the NIV we find that the translators have both added as well as taken away thousands of pieces of the Word of God. In fact Rev 13 speaks of this. Please turn to chapter 13 of this Epistle of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 13:14 (2X). There God speaks of people who are, under the influence of the false prophet, making an image of the beast, where the image of the beast could both speak, and be the cause that many who would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. We read in Rev 13:14-15, “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
Think about this now. The Bible is the image of God. A falsified bible is the image of Satan. There are more than 250 million NIV bibles now distributed throughout the world. All these bibles convey the message of a free-will gospel. But these also portray an image to their god, which speaks, and which condemns people who do not believe exactly as the NIV bible tells it. And so, here we have an image to the beast that Rev 13:14-15 speaks about. All these additions and subtractions from the Bible are false balances that God warns us for. God says: Watch out that you do not add or take away from the Bible. It can be done so easily, you are not even aware that you are doing it. Prov 11:1, A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a Perfect Stone is his delight.
AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.