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(#33) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:1-Cheaters, Beware!

Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Judgments Solomon made about individual cases brought to him for Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10), or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 11:1: Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.

Whatever is “an abomination to the LORD” is as despicable as anything can be, for that places it along with: dabblers in the supernatural, Deuteronomy 18:9-12; prostitution, Deuteronomy 23:18; perverse heart, Proverbs 11:20; lying lips, Proverbs 12:22; everyone proud in heart, Proverbs 16:5. “Dishonest scales” certainly fit in that list. God’s Law through Moses was very explicit about this matter: “You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 25:13-16). Anyone who carries “differing measures,” or different weights, is planning to deal unfairly with someone, somewhere, sometime. The “all who do such things” means the practice is wrong, no matter if someone is poor, disadvantaged, under a “glass ceiling,” prosperous, an official of a government, tax assessor, tax collector, manufacturer, or all such “excuses.” When people plan to “buy and sell and make a profit” (James 4:13), it should never be as God condemned in Amos 8:5: “Making the ephah small and the shekel large, Falsifying the scales by deceit.” The “ephah” would have measured the produce and the “shekel” the money to purchase it. Shortening the measurement and acting as if the money amount was larger within a transaction is abominable to God! That describes today’s making the container look the same size but putting less inside; artificially inflating costs by printing more money without value; raising “minimum wage” for the same or less work; shortchanging customers; raising prices while lowering benefits in contracts; or any of the myriad of ways the wicked will invent to “profit.” God’s “fair labor law” was that the “poor and needy” laborer should be paid when the work was done (Deuteronomy 24:14-15), not at the convenience of the employer, regardless of ethnicity! Other proverbs uphold this: Proverbs 20:10: “Diverse weights and diverse measures, They are both alike, an abomination to the LORD;” Proverbs 20:23: “Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD, And dishonest scales are not good;” probably best summarized in Proverbs 20:14: “‘It is good for nothing,’ cries the buyer; But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.” Minimizing the product’s worth to get a good buy shows intent to deceive. Honest discounts, coupons, merchant sales, or actually factory defective products offered at low prices are not included in this proverb, however. Honest truly applies to economics as well as to words, deeds, relationships!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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Studies in the Book of Proverbs #10

(#10) Wisdom’s 2 Simple Rules for Life 3:27-35

Verses 27-30: How to “Love Your Neighbor.”

Verse 27: “Due” is the operative word. This refers to what is owed, whether something purchased, work hired, or payment promised. Moses’ Law required this: “’You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning” (Leviticus 19:13; Deuteronomy 24:14-15). The wisdom of Solomon required this: “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed- Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6). First Century Jews had long since lost this practice: “Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth” (James 5:4). It is not wrong to buy on credit, but it is wrong to not pay when you can and should!

Verse 28: Delaying promised assistance to one’s neighbor is an evil exercise that  frustrates mercy. “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17).

Verse 29: It’s bad enough to frustrate mercy to a neighbor in need, but to “devise evil” takes this to a newer, lower level of indecency! The word “neighbor” literally describes the ones closer to us than the rest of the world, and they probably have chosen our “safety” for neighborhood. This is a main missing ingredient in “the hood,” for neighbors should be able to rely upon each other for “safety” when police cannot always be there. “Neighborhood Watches” should be the order of the day everywhere.

Verse 30: In our litigious society, this must be re-instated! It is easy to ignore this rule of “neighborliness” when TV commercials are creating band wagonloads of people wanting to “sue” someone for something. Lawsuits should be limited to “harm done,” not in order to establish some “harm done!”

Verses 31-35: How to NOT Get “Suckered Into the Wrong Crowd!”

Verses 31-32: Don’t envy them. “The oppressor” who sues for no other reason than greed and who “devises evil” against neighbors shows a tyrant stripe wide enough to be seen! He/she/they should not be “envied” (desire what they obtain) because what they are doing is “perverse” and an “abomination to the LORD.” This unyielding damnation on their “oppression” should show this as a wrong path for the righteous. We may not see that God meets with the righteous, not oppressors!

Verses 33-35: Accept God’s Awaiting Judgments. God curses the “house of the wicked,” but “blesses the home of the just,” that is, He will not bless those whose will is to be wicked, and He will bless those who seek to do right. Verse 34 is quoted in James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 as: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” and in both passages this is a reason to “be humble.” Do not count “the legacy of fools” by their money, influence, power, glory, murders, conquests, but by their standing before Almighty God!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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