Honest Weights and Measures

When it comes to purchasing diamonds, does God care about the four Cs? This may surprise you, but according to the Book of Proverbs, he does. Before I show you chapter and verse, let me explain why this is an important issue.
In the fall of 2004, I purchased an engagement ring for Tiffany—then my girlfriend, now my wife. I wanted to buy a flawless, princess cut diamond in a platinum setting. But since I am not a millionaire, I settled for a very good diamond which I could afford (barely). It took me months, and more than a dozen visits to different jewelers, to find the right stone. Along the way, I learned a lot about how diamonds are graded.
When you purchase a diamond, you want to pay attention to the four Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. In the United States, the Gemnological Institute of America and the American Gem Society grade most of our diamonds. The cut and carat weight of a diamond are objective measurements. But the color and clarity of a diamond are a bit more subjective. Unfortunately, the GIA and AGS don’t use the exact same standards for measuring color and clarity. So, caveat emptor if you’re in the market for a diamond ring.
Now, back to God. Several proverbs make it clear that God desires objective standards of measurement.
The Lord abhors dishonest scales,
but accurate weights are his delight (11:1).
Honest scales and balances are from the Lord;
all the weights in the bag are of his making (16:11).
Differing weights and differing measures —
the Lord detests them both (20:10).
The Lord detests differing weights,
and dishonest scales do not please him (20:23).
Notice several things about these proverbs. First, God is the source of honest measurements. “All the weights in the bag are of his making.” Second, as a consequence of the first point, honest measurements are a source of God’s happiness. They are his “delight.” God always delights in his good creation, you see. And third, any deviation from honest measurements is a source of displeasure to God. He “abhors dishonest scales.” He “detests” them. They “do not please him.”
Of course, these proverbs apply to more than the four Cs. They also apply to a quart of oil or a gallon of milk or a pound of beef. When you buy these things, you assume that the seller is using an objective standard of measurement. You assume that he’s not putting his thumb on the scale to charge you more money than what you’re buying is worth. An economy simply cannot operate without such basic honesty in our transactions with merchants. God cares very much about honesty—and about the economy.
But, at the end of the day, caveat emptor still applies. Let the buyer beware! Trust the seller, but be shrewd. Proverbs 20:14 praises the person who drives a hard bargain:
“It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer;
then off he goes and boasts about his purchase.
P.S. According to Tiffany, I bought the right ring.

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