Piety and Equity
Ezekiel 45:10
You shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath.

Ye shall have just balances. Devotion, when divorced from morality, is worth nothing in the sight of God. Men have thought and taught that the one thing that God (or the gods) required was to be reverently approached by his adherents, and to receive their numerous offerings (see Micah 6:6, 7). But his disciples did not so learn Moses, and we have not so learned Christ. Under him we have come to understand that every good tree must bring forth good fruit, and that it is he who doeth righteousness that is righteous. In this great matter of equity between man and man it is difficult to over-estimate its religious importance. By error and failure therein we separate ourselves from God; by rectitude and fidelity therein we commend ourselves to his loving favor. We take the injunction as covering more ground than the words themselves express; and we look, therefore, at -

I. THE RANGE OF ITS APPLICATION. "Ye shall have just balances" means, of course, more especially - Be fair in your dealings when you trade one with another; but it also means - Do what is just and upright in all your relations; do sound and thorough work at the carpenter's bench, and at the fore, when you build the house or dig the garden or plant the field; be true and faithful to your scholars, to your people, to your clients, to your constituents, in the schoolroom, or the pulpit, or the court, or the House of Commons. Do what you undertake to do; be what you profess to be; be honest, sincere, faithful in every sphere in which you move.

II. THE DIVINE REGARD. "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good;" but if they could overlook anything they would not fail to observe whether men did or did not do justice to their fellows. If we suppose that there are some things respecting which God is indifferent, among these, assuredly, is not the question whether we do or leave undone what we have promised to do. From the formal compact, carefully drawn and solemnly ratified between the sovereign and the nation, down to the word of promise made by the tradesman or the seamstress, all our human dealings and undertakings are the object of the Divine regard. "I have seen" is a sentence we should do well to hear at all times and in every place when we covenant with men.


1. Approval or displeasure. We may make quite sure that, when we are acting unfairly or unfaithfully in any relationship whatever, however we may be gathering money or reaping honor, we are laying up a large measure of Divine disapproval; the "anger of the Lord is kindled against us." But when we are acting conscientiously and equitably: however we may be disregarded and passed by on the part of our fellows, we are enjoying the favor of our Lord.

2. Reward or penalty. Faithfulness will bring

(1) our own self-respect;

(2) the esteem of those whom we serve;

(3) the consolidation of our Christian character;

(4) commendation and promotion in the day of Divine recompense (Luke 19:17).

Unfaithfulness will have to bear a penalty corresponding to this - the loss of self-respect, public reprobation, degradation of character, Divine condemnation in the future. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath.

WEB: You shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath.

God Requires Just Dealings
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