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The God of Measure

(2 Corinthians 10:13)

            Probably this is a subject which one has not thought a lot about. Nevertheless it has a great place in Scripture and therefore should not be overlooked.

            The matter of measure is spoken of by God in relation to the creation of the earth in Job 38:5 when God says as to it: “Who set the measures thereof...?” Today, Man is finding out that in nature there are a lot things that have to be exactly right or they will not function correctly, if at all. At the time of writing there is a good deal about this on the Centre for Intelligent Design web site under ‘The Fine Tuned Universe’. There is also quite a bit about this in Isaiah 40, particularly verses 12, 15 and 26.

            Consider Noah’s Ark and then the Tabernacle System. We find as to the latter that exact measurements were given for the utensils as well as the Tabernacle itself. The same is true of Solomon’s temple and later that of Ezekiel.

            If we go to the book of Revelation we find that there are temple measurements and later measurements for the holy city, Jerusalem (Revelation 11:1 and 21:15-17).

            In order to measure things we need numbers and we find that numbering has a great place in Scripture. It involves mathematics and if we go to Genesis 1 we have the days of the week numbered as well as the thought of division and multiplication. If we go to the last book in the Bible and the last chapter, we find there that we have addition and subtraction mentioned.

            God not only measures things, but numbers them. He numbered the days of the week, but He also counts the number of the stars (Psalm 147:4). Numbering things is to have an effect upon us so that in Psalm 90:12 we have: “Teach [us] to number our days, that we may acquire a wise heart”. Then there is the solemn side to numbering as we find in Daniel 5:26-28. We have it said that God had numbered the king’s kingdom and finished it and that the king had been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Note that both number and measure are spoken of. Weighing is a form of measuring. It is a serious matter if we have false measuring devices (Proverbs 11:1). This is true in relation to material things, but how much rather as to spiritual things (Psalm 62:9; Revelation 6:5/6). God puts limits on things, as tribulation (Revelation 2:10). Even the lake of fire has certain limits: it is a lake and not a sea or ocean of fire (Revelation 20:15).

            Christ Himself when here on earth said: “What measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you” (Matthew 7:2). This is to be a warning to us whether we are dealing with physical things or spiritual. In Revelation 18:6/7 we find that Great Babylon is to be recompensed even as she has recompensed: an example of our Lord’s statement just quoted. We must weigh matters according to the shekel of the sanctuary (Exodus 30:13), that is, according to God’s standard. As to physical things Scripture says we should have a just ephah  and hin (Leviticus 19:35/36), that is, our scales should give a true weight and our measuring flask should show the quantity it purports to show. In the present day there are authorities that check the scales that shopkeepers use. However, Christians should all use the same spiritual measurements and judge perfect judgement (Deuteronomy 16:18-20; 1 Samuel 2:3). We expect the judges in our civil courts to deal out the same sentences whether the offender is a commoner or royalty. If they do not they are not judging righteously (Deuteronomy 1:16/17).

            Much is often rightly made of God’s Words, but we should also consider God’s Mathematics, as we have both words and numbers in Scripture. One has only touched on the latter in this article and much more could be said.

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May 2013