Table Scrapes
Salt of the Earth

Dust on a Scale

We all have a set of standards we use to judge things, and usually those standards are highly interconnected with our emotions and feelings. The Bible often uses scales or balances to represent this process of judgment or decision making. On one side of the scale or balance we have what we are judging and on the other side the weights (our standards, emotions, feelings, etc.). We judge our behaviors, the behaviors of others, the value of actions, people, political choices, all kinds of things. Our standards, emotions, and feelings are the weights we usually use on this scale. We might put someone's behavior on one side of the scale, then the weights (our standards and feelings) on the other side. And we make some type of value judgment depending on how it all balances out.

There is a scripture in Isaiah.

Isaiah 40:15

 15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
       they are regarded as dust on the scales;
       he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.

The Hebrew word for "dust" in this verse is often translated as cloud or sky in the Old Testament. The picture here is that the nations basically carry no weight when it comes to God's decisions and judgments. At the most God might blow the dust off the scale when weighing something; or he might just ignore the dust. His decisions are not swayed or affected by the dust.

The concept of a nation is fairly broad and within that concept we have things like governments, communities, neighborhoods, careers, families, and ourselves. We also have things like freedoms, rights, responsibilities, citizenship. And here is the point of all this. For our scales to be accurate and just in God's sight all of these things must become dust on our scales. The only weights we can use and have accurate scales are God's weights. This takes a lot of self-honesty. Often we will tell ourselves we are using God's weights when we are just catering to our own desires.

I fully believe Jesus loves me. I believe he loved his mother and brothers. I believe he loved Israel. But his actions were based on obedience to God. That doesn't mean he wouldn't do things for his mother and loved ones. But he never compromised his obedience to God in the process. He loves me, but that love for me is still dust on his scales. He loved his mother but that love was dust on his scales. He loved Israel and I am sure he was well aware of what the Romans had done and were doing to his people; of the slaughter of infants, children, and adults. But that was dust on his scales and he stayed true to preaching a kingdom that is not of this world.

His decisions and judgments were made using God's weights, not his own.

This can be a hard thing but it is a very important thing. As Jesus' disciples we have to take up our cross daily and learn to make all our standards, emotions, and feelings as dust on our scales. I love my family. That will not change and most of my life is centered on taking care of them. But my feelings for them must be dust on my scale. I submit my judgments and decisions to God in the hope that I can live my life using his weights. When I use my own weights my scales (judgments and decisions) become false. And God doesn't like false weights.

Make the nations as dust on your scales.


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