A Study Of Proverbs 11:1

Today I want you to think about a balance; an old fashioned balance: You know, two scales hanging from a beam that is pivoting at the middle. In our High Tech society you do not see those things any more, but such balances were used for more than 3,500 years. They are called either a balance or scales, plural, because each balance had two scales, and they were used any time someone needed to weigh something: when something was bought, or when something was sold, or when money was weighed, and so on.

In the Bible God has a great deal to say about balances, weights and abominations. Let’s read in Proverbs 20, beginning at verse 9. We are not going to read the whole chapter, just a few verses.

Proverbs 20:9
Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Proverbs 20:10
Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.

Proverbs 20:11
Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

Proverbs 20:12
The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.

And now, we move to verse 21:

Proverbs 20:21

An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.

Proverbs 20:22
Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.

Proverbs 20:23
Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.

Proverbs 20:24
Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

All these verses are somehow related, believe it or not. The common denominator for all these verses is the text for our article for today, which is from Proverbs 11:1.

Proverbs 11:1
A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

The title for our article today is: “A False Balance”.

What an uplifting title. Really a topic that makes you feel warm all over, doesn’t it?

What is God saying to US here in this one verse:

Proverbs 11:1
A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

Let’s break this verse up in two parts. The first question we should ask ourselves is:

What Is a False Balance? (Proverbs 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. We can find all kinds of historical, or cultural, or moral applications to describe this false balance. But when you seriously want to interpret this verse, you have to keep two things in mind:

1. First of all, God wrote the Bible so 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 one of the moral laws of God, it means that we have to interpret this verse spiritually.

2. 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, then we may be building on quicksand. So, the first question is:

What is a balance for? (Daniel 5:1-6, 22-28)

God answered this question unambiguously when God wrote the story that is written in Daniel, chapter 5. Daniel was a captive from the nation of Judah, and king Nebuchadnezzar brought Daniel as a young man to Babylon. At the beginning of this chapter, Daniel had lived already 59 years in Babylon. So Daniel was already an old man. At this time the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar ruled the kingdom. His name was Belshazzar. Now read Daniel 5:1

Daniel 5:1
Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.

Daniel 5:2
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 Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.

Daniel 5:3
Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.

Daniel 5:4
They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

Daniel 5:5
In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister (the plaster) of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.

Daniel 5:6
Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

Everyone could see the hand that appeared, and the hand wrote on the wall words that nobody could read or interpret. And the king was so terrified that his knees were knocking against one another. Then the king brought in the astrologers, and the soothsayers, and the wise men of Babylon, but no one could read or interpret the words that were written. Finally Daniel was brought in, and Daniel interpreted the words that the hand of God had written. And Daniel said to the king:

“You, Belshazzar, knew what God has done to Nebuchadnezzar when He lifted up himself in pride: God drove him from his kingdom and God humbled him severely”.

And now let’s pick up the reading in Daniel 5:22,

Daniel 5:22
And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;

Daniel 5:23
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:

Daniel 5:24
Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.

Daniel 5:25
And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

Daniel 5:26
This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

Daniel 5:27
TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances (Lit: scales), and art found wanting.

Daniel 5:28
PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

That same night, while everyone slept, Belshazzar the king of Babylon was killed and his land was taken over by the Medes and the Persians. Now I want you to take a good look at verse 27:

Daniel 5:27
“TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the scales, and art found wanting”.

In the Bible, when we need a spiritual meaning for a balance, what is a balance for?

It is for weighing people! In fact, we read in the Bible that God speaks to the whole human race and says: “Thou art weighed in the scales, and art found wanting”. God says that:

“We all were conceived and born in sin”,

“We all went astray as soon as we were born, speaking lies”,

“We all were by nature children of wrath”,

“There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God”,

“We have all gone out of the way, we all have become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one”.

That is how we were born. That is our human nature!

And what is the consequence of all this?

God’s Justice requires payment for sin. Therefore, the whole human race, which is accountable to God, is on the way to Hell. And if God would not interfere, that is where we all would end up. That is what we deserve.

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 the Bible. It is the Word of God, the Two Edged Sword of the Spirit that Judges all the unsaved on the Last Day. The Lord Jesus Christ said in John 12:48,

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.

Therefore, what is the balance representing in Daniel 5:27?

The balance is The Word of God, the Gospel! And now we can understand why God said in Proverbs 11:1:

Proverbs 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!

Summarizing, we have already seen two conclusions we can draw out of Daniel 5:27

· A balance is used for weighing people, and

· The balance itself is representing the Gospel.

Now logically follows the third question:

Who does the weighing? (Proverbs 16:11, 20:9-10, 23-24)

Of course, we have already seen in Daniel 5:27 that it is God Himself who does the weighing. And we also find that in Proverbs 16:11.

Proverbs 16:11
A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are His work.

“A just weight and balance are the LORD’S”, because it is God who 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:

Proverbs 16:11
Scales and balance of justice are the LORD’S: all the stones of the purse are His work.

It is God who makes the judgment 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. Of course, the stone that God uses to weigh people is His Righteousness. We must measure up to His Righteousness.

But People do not like the Gospel of the Bible: They do not like the balance that God has provided in the 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 themselves. 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. God says:

Proverbs 20:23
Divers weights (Lit: A stone and a stone ) are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.

What is the meaning of “A stone and a stone “?

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:

Proverbs 20:24
Man’s goings (Lit: Man’s steps) are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

The answer is: 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: “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. You see, God Elects people unto salvation!

Exactly the same information is given in Proverbs 20:9-10. Let’s first look at verse 10:

Proverbs 20:10
Divers weights (Lit: A stone and a stone ) and divers measures (Lit: An ephah and an ephah ), both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.

A stone and a stone , an ephah and an ephah are 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:

Proverbs 20:9
Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Nobody! Nobody can purify their own soul. Only Christ can wash us from our sins and impute to us His Righteousness. Only then will have the Righteousness of God, as a Free Gift.

Let’s return to the second half of the text of our article, Proverbs 11:1

Proverbs 11:1
A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

What Is His Delight? (Proverbs 11:1)

Literally, the second half of this verse says: “but a Perfect Stone 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 then is that Perfect Stone?

A Perfect Stone (Isaiah 8:13-14, Romans 9:31-33)

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 had the Righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and then we also have become the delight of the LORD.

Isaiah 8:13
Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.

Isaiah 8:14
And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin (trap) and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

“The 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 of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, both to Judah as well as to Israel.

We now turn to Romans 9:31 where this verse is quoted:

Romans 9:31
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

Romans 9:32
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

Romans 9:33
As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Only the Righteousness of Christ is acceptable to God. He is the Perfect Stone.

But to most of the nation of Israel Christ became a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence. They wanted a salvation by works. They wanted to become right with God by performing the Ceremonial Law. But God’s salvation is a salvation by Grace alone.

It is a Free Gift!

Again, when we search the Bible, we find that this Perfect Stone of Proverbs 11:1 is also spoken of as a precious Foundation Stone.

A Foundation Stone

Again it is the same word Stone that appears twice in this verse:

Isaiah 28:16
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone , a tried stone , 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; first we lived a life of sin.

And when you see the word Zion, it usually means: The place where God resides. Just like here, Zion in this verse, is not physical Jerusalem, but spiritual Jerusalem because God says: Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone . Christ is the foundation for the Church (New Jerusalem – see Galatians 4:25-26, Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 3:12 and Revelation 21:2-10), not for physical Jerusalem. He is just the opposite for physical Jerusalem. Remember, in Isaiah 8:14 God said that Christ would be “A stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”

The same information has been repeated in Psalm 118:22.

Psalm 118:22
The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

Psalm 118:23
This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

The Lord Jesus quoted these verses to the Pharisees, after He told them the Parable of the wicked vinedressers. Jesus made it clear that He was the Stone, which the builders rejected, and that He will become the head stone of the foundation. Therefore He said in Matthew 21:42,

Matthew 21:42
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?

Matthew 21:43
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

Which nation was the Lord Jesus talking about?

Paraphrased, Jesus said: The treasures of the Kingdom of God would be taken away from the nation of Israel, and God would give those treasures to the nation consisting of all true Believers throughout the world.

Let’s summarize now what we have learned from the text that we have under consideration:

Proverbs 11:1
A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a Perfect Stone is his delight.

The balance is used for weighing people one by one.

The balance itself represents the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit.

God Himself does the weighing, which means God is the Judge, God decides what is right.

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: Christ must be my Substitute.

Christ must have taken all my sins upon Himself and Christ must have endured the wrath of God, the Judgment of God, for all my sins when He suffered and died on the cross in 33 AD.

Then Christ must also send His Holy Spirit to give me a new soul, so that I can believe that Christ has successfully paid for all my sins. That is the time when I receive what Christ has already prepared for me in 33 AD: I receive the forgiveness of sins and am made aware that the perfect Righteousness of Christ has been charged to my account. I rejoice that I have been made righteous in the sight of God because of what Christ Jesus did for me.

All this God gives to us as a Free Gift.

There are Two False Balances that are prevalent in these days:

The balance can be false because the weights, or the stones may be falsified.

The stones may be an abomination (Proverbs 16:11, 20:9-10, 23-24)

Let’s look again in Proverbs what we have learned about false stones:

Proverbs 16:11
A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the stones of the bag are his work.

If we have a gospel where the stones for the balance are not 100% God’s work, then we have falsified the stones. If we have to do 0.1% or 0.001% of the work to get ourselves saved, then the stones are not 100% God’s work, and we have falsified the weights.

Can you see that?

Proverbs 20:9
Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Nobody can say that. God 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.

Proverbs 20:24
Man’s steps are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

If I do not admit that the Lord has guided all my steps through this life, then I take on some of the credit that belongs to the Lord. 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 be do something before I can be saved, then I have falsified the stones. God says: That is abomination. It is disgusting to God. It is robbing God of the honor that belongs entirely to Him.

But there is another false balance that is very popular these days:

Not the stones, but The balance itself may be false (Revelation 22:18-19)

In many churches the Word of God itself has been falsified and changed.

They have ignored the warnings of Revelation 22:18-19.

Revelation 22:18
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:

Revelation 22:19
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.

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. All those are additions to the Bible. God promises that they who practice bringing those additions to the Word of God, are still unsaved and are in danger of the Judgment of God.

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, ………..

All these are false balances that God warns us for. God says: Watch out!

Proverbs 11:1
A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a Perfect Stone is his delight.

By Alfred Chompff

One Comment on “A Study Of Proverbs 11:1

  1. Wow thank you for this it was amazing great job on all the biblical info

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