1 Samuel 2:3
Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogance come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge…
By him actions are weighed. It is customary to determine the worth of many things by weighing them. For this purpose a fixed standard is used, and a comparison is made with it by means of a balance and scales or other instrument. Nothing can be more natural than to speak of determining the moral worth of actions in the same manner, and Justice is commonly represented as a woman holding in her hand a pair of scales in which "actions are weighed." In this sense the above expression is employed; not, however, of men, whose judgment is often mistaken or unjust; but of "God, the Judge of all." His judgment is -
I. A PRESENT JUDGMENT. They are (now) weighed. According to the ancient Egyptians, there was erected at the entrance of the unseen world a balance or scales, over which the Judge of the dead presided, and by it the character of every man was tested as soon as he died. In one of the scales the figure or emblem of truth was placed, and in the other the heart of the deceased; and the result determined his destiny. This is not an unworthy conception of the judgment to come. But their religion pertained chiefly to what would be in the future, rather than to what exists in the present. And there are many at the present day who never think that they have anything to do with God or his judgment except when they come to die. They forget that the living and all-seeing God "pondereth their goings" (Proverbs 5:21), "judgeth according to every man's work" (1 Peter 1:17), and that to him they stand responsible (Hebrews 4:13 - "with whom is the account").
II. ACCORDING TO A PERFECT STANDARD. The estimate which men form of themselves and others is often false, because it is not formed by means of such a standard. As "weights and measures" need to be examined and to be rectified by an imperial standard, so the human judgment and conscience need to be examined and to be rectified by the righteousness of God as declared in the Law and the Prophets and the Gospel of Christ. What is our relation to this standard?
III. ACCORDING TO MOTIVES. The moral worth of actions does not depend upon their "outward appearance," but upon the heart. In the sight of God, who sees hearts as we see faces, the inward motives, principles, and intentions are in reality the actions which are weighed (Proverbs 16:2; Proverbs 21:2; Proverbs 24:11, 12; Isaiah 26:7). Our ignorance of these necessarily makes our judgment imperfect, even in relation to ourselves. But "he is a God of knowledge," "searches the heart," and perceives the motives which underlie all actions, and which are often so different from what they are thought to be (Psalm 139:33).
IV. UNIVERSAL. "The Judge of all the earth." It pertains to all actions that have in them a moral element; to the actions of every individual soul (for each soul stands before him in its separate personality, bearing its own burden of responsibility and of sin, and is dealt with by him as though there were no other); and to every one of its actions, however apparently insignificant, though it cannot be really such because of its relation to God, and its bearing upon character and destiny.
V. EXERCISED WITH A VIEW TO REWARDING EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS. It is not useless and ineffective; but is attended with important consequences (Jeremiah 17:10). This life is not simply one of probation; it is also, in part, one of retribution. The approbation or disapprobation of God is always followed by corresponding effects in the mind and heart and conscience of men, and often by startling providential occurrences; as when it was said, "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting" (Daniel 5:27, 30); "The world's history is the world's judgment;" and, "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ" (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Application: -
1. "Let a man examine himself."
2. Seek forgiveness of the sins that are past.
3. "Walk before me, and be thou perfect." - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.