Harold Bennett - Scales - BW2 - Scales

Luke 2:19, Mary pondered in her heart.  To ponder means to weigh things up carefully.  We have some scales in our hearts and minds by which we are always weighing things up to determine whether they are a priority or not.  God also has scales; they can weigh things that no natural scales can weigh. (One of the most sensitive, accurate scales in the US is at the Philadelphia mint.  You could weigh your Bible on those scales, then take a knife and scrape off one period and weigh it again.  Those scales would show the difference!)  Our scales may be very inaccurate.  God’s are always in perfect adjustment, and they weigh, not for time, but for all eternity. 


Matthew 23:23, “weighty matters” on God’s scales—mercy, judgment and faith.


Proverbs 11:1, Job 31:6, Job’s friends were weighing him up — and his offences.  Other people’s offences seem to weigh more than ours!  But when the Lord weighs, they are always in an even balance.  “Justice” has been portrayed by a picture (or statue?) of a lady holding a scales; she is blindfolded so she won’t be affected by what she sees. 


Job 6:1, the Lord’s scales can weigh grief.  Here are some other things that have weight in the sight of God: 


(1)  Actions.  I Samuel 2:3, big talk has little weight in God’s scales.  It is actions that have weight.  Luke 6:46, when God’s servants came, my Grandmother noticed that when they speak about humility and love, they show it.  She saw actions of sacrifice and service.  A religious man once said, “You people have what my church is always talking about!”  In the religions of the world, talk has weight…silver-tongued orators who can move people to tears and laughter. “When all is said and done, more is said than done!”  We would like to close the gap in our own lives between what is said and what is done. 


(2) Hearts.  Proverbs 21:2, heads filled with intelligence weigh in this world, but God is counting hearts. I Samuel 16, the Lord directed Samuel to anoint David after all of his brothers passed by. “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” David’s heart had great weight in the scales of the Lord.  Those older brothers should have wondered, “What does the Lord see in my heart that He doesn’t approve of?”  Peter said, “I am ready to go with thee to prison and to death.”  He meant it, but his purpose exceeded his accomplishment.  God saw what he meant to do, and that is why Jesus dealt with him so tenderly. 


(3) Spirits.  Proverbs 16:2, we can do the right thing, but if we do it with a bad spirit, that doesn’t have any weight. It’s wonderful to obey, but willing obedience is what has weight…and lovingkindness, not selfish kindness,  patiently continue, not grudgingly continue.  There could be victory with a proud spirit, or failure with a humble spirit.  (The best would be victory with a humble spirit!)  It is our spirit that determines whether or not the Lord can give us His Holy Spirit. 


(4) What we ARE.  Luke 10:17-20, they were rejoicing in their successes and what they had accomplished.  What puts our names in heaven is not what we do or achieve, but what we ARE.  The world tries to teach people what we can have, but the Lord teaches us what we are.  Secret faithfulness puts our names in the Book of Life.  Sometimes God’s servants come to the end of a year and there is no visible success to show for it.  But what really has weight is not how many people professed in our mission, but what we are in private — our integrity and faithfulness. 


(5) Love.  Luke 7:36-50, love has tremendous weight in God’s scales.  The woman kissed Jesus’ feet and washed them with tears.  Simon stood back and weighed the situation in his scales — they were very inaccurate!  He put his own righteousness on one side of the scales.  He saw the woman as a sinner, and then he weighed Jesus up:  “He’s no prophet!”  But that woman’s love had such great weight in God’s scales.  I’ve known people who just loved the truth…they loved the Scriptures, they loved God’s people and servants.  Some had rough edges and not much grace…they could “put their foot in their mouth”…but there was no doubt they loved the truth and everything about it!  We want the Spirit to make us gracious…but it is still our love that has tremendous weight in the scales of God. 


(6) Giving our Best.  Luke 21:1-4, two mites — the smallest of the Roman coins.  She didn’t know Jesus was watching and He was weighing it up in God’s scales.  She could have given just one.  She gave her best and her all.  Our best has great weight in God’s scales.  You can’t give more than your best.  Nobody can ask more than our best.  Men would have weighed it according to what the rich gave…but God weighs what we are keeping back.  It might be what we are NOT willing for that has weight on the wrong side of the scales!  Doing our best will affect our living.  He doesn’t want us to be “the best,” but to do our best.  God doesn’t like competition!


(7) Repentance.  Proverbs 28:13, two of the worst kings in the Old Testament:  Manasseh in II Chronicles 33 was carried away to Babylon.  He sought the Lord, humbled himself greatly and he prayed.  God brought him back and he began to make things right.  (Humility is a great part of part of repentance.)  I Kings 21:25-29, Ahab sold himself to do every kind of evil, but his repentance moved God. If two men like that could put the weight of repentance in God’s scales and it came down on the right side…what a wonderful gift that is — getting ourselves out of any situation we might be in, if we make an honest, genuine repentance.


(8)  Unity.  I Kings 3:16-28, as soon as you divide a body, the life goes out of it.  When the babe spirit dies, there is no unity and no peace.  When there is trouble, we appreciate so much those who say, “Let the other one have it; I will take the loss; I don’t want the body divided.”


(9) Prayer.  Daniel 6, on one side of the scales Daniel put a lion’s den, and on the other side he put PRAYER.  His scales came crashing down on the side of prayer!  (They were wonderfully accurate!) Not praying as never before, but just kept praying the way he had been…because prayer had such a weight in his life.  He not only prayed, but he gave thanks in that crisis!  If you don’t pray, then you can’t be saved.  Saying prayers isn’t praying.  What we strive to do is just to pray when we pray!  Prayer is the single most important thing in our lives.  Reading and going to meetings is important, but (as the hymn says) “Prayer is a mighty source of power; without it we must surely fail!”  When you get down on your knees in the morning think, “This is the most important thing I will do today!” 


(10) Character.  Hebrews 11:24-26, Moses started weighing things up — Egypt and the people of God. He knew there was no other future than a place with the people of God. Reproach and affliction develop character. If you try to help a butterfly out of a cocoon, it can’t fly.  The struggle develops strength to soar.  We feel sorry when parents shield their children from the reproach of Christ.  Character has weight in the eyes of God.  We remember Judas because his scales were so terribly corrupted — selling his Master for 30 pieces of silver.  May God help us to keep our scales adjusted and not to omit the weighty matters.