Can I Justify the Wicked Scales?
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Pastor Steve Ellison
As I read through the Bible pausing to examine the questions asked by the Creator to His creatures, I sometimes find myself growing weary of coming to the same topic on such a regular basis. Of course, I quickly come to my senses and remember that it is I who is the creature. I have no right to question my Creator. He must have reason, very good reason, for repeatedly making the same point. Even in my limited, finite, and decrepit mind, I can think of several good reasons. Often, we fail to listen at all. If we do happen to hear His point, we often ignore it, over and over and over again. This repeated ignoring of our Creator can mean only one thing: a lack of trust on our part. We don’t believe He exists; or we don’t believe He means what He says; or we don’t believe He can carry out His promises to reward or punish. In Micah 6, God once again points out the same concrete example that proves our lack of faith.
Micah 6 is a well-known passage, especially verses six through eight. These verses have been used mightily and misused mightily to prove various political positions. I have heard several powerful messages based on these verses.
I have preached on these verses more than a couple of times myself. Micah 6:6-8 gives us a spelled out three-point summary of what God requires from us. We are to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him. Questions immediately follow these famous verses. Micah 6:9-11, “The voice of the Lord will call to the city — And it is sound wisdom to fear Your name: “Hear, O tribe. Who has appointed its time? Is there yet a man in the wicked house, Along with treasures of wickedness And a short measure that is cursed? Can I justify wicked scales and a bag of deceptive weights? (NASU)
God repeatedly comes to us with this message. I suppose because this particular temptation is so hard to resist. Evidently, we are selfish, greedy, people who do not trust our God. God tells us in verse nine that we ought always to fear His Name because we cannot know the time when reckoning will be required.
Verses ten and eleven let us know that our deceptive, dishonest, shortchanging of others around us will not and cannot be justified by Him. There will be consequences. The rest of the chapter describes these consequences.
God declared that their city would be full of violence and lies. God said He would make the people sick, striking them down. He said they would eat but not be satisfied. He said that the people would try to safely store their wealth, but what did not waste away would be taken with violence. God declared that they would plant but not harvest and if they did harvest anything; it would not make it to the point of actually being used.
God said He would give them up for destruction, that they would be a reproach. As I read this passage, I cannot help but think of my people in my country, but what I really need to think of is me. It is very easy to see the deceptive, dishonest, shortchanging of others in the corporate fat cats, the political fat cats, those on the welfare doles, etc. However, that is far less productive than seeing it in me.
The only way for me to effectively change the situation is to change me. The only one I must answer for is me. The real questions raised in this passage ask if I have been deceptive, shortchanging, or dishonest with anyone or any entity. Real faith means I will do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God.