Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 20:8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows all evil with his eyes. 9 Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”? 10 Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
The Day Of Winnowing
Today… let’s start with the last verse and work our way backwards. God hates all kinds of false weights and measurements. What does unequal weights and unequal measures mean? Well in biblical times, merchants weighed out herbs and grain to sell to their customers… or, like today they cut measured yards of material to sell for making clothes... But some used weights or a measuring stick that were less than the standard in order to cheat others... this kind of action is detestable to the Lord.
But if you think about it… false weights and measures extend further than things related to merchants greedy for money.
Too many times people like you and I proclaim ourselves to others as measuring up much higher and greater than we are.
Is it possible that this may be even a greater abomination to the Lord than the other? And even worse to proclaim this false sense of righteousness to God like the Pharisee in Luke 18.
Jesus is speaking beginning in verse 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Next moving backwards… verse 9 says:
9 Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”?
You know, these words of Solomon go perfectly right along with the words of Paul:
Romans 3:10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” … 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Then in verse 8 of today’s passage Solomon says:
8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows all evil with his eyes.
So to winnow is to separate or find out… to see through to the truth of the matter.
How does this relate to the other verses we read concerning our our self righteousness and sin?
This verse talks about a king sitting in judgment. I was thinking how an experienced Judge who has seen, oh maybe thousands of cases over their career… they gain much experience. They can look at a person as they make their case or as they respond to questions… watching both the one who makes the accusation and the defendant. Their body language with facial expressions including how and when they squirm. They know the tells a person normally gives when a they lie and when they tell the truth. Maybe a person will look away or down when they lie… They may scratch their nose or grip their hand on the stand. A good experienced judge can put this all together and have a good idea of what the truth is. I expect a wise king such as Solomon was experienced in this also.
And then how much more sure it will be on Judgment Day when we stand before God and he looks at us… He will winnow all evil with his eyes with absoluteness. Even now… we cannot hide one single thing from him. He sees all.
But you know a strange thing happens when God gives us eyes to see him… when we see how he is beautiful… how he is our only hope… how he is good news for our wickedness… how his righteous can only be received as a gift… a gift of mercy by delighting in Jesus and seeing him as our greatest treasure over everything the world offers.
And in seeing him as glorious we cannot help realizing our own sinfulness, and we realize that sin is not all it was promised to be… It is a false measure… a false weight… It is a fake, a phony, a lie… instead of good it brings us sorrow and discontentment and death. So as our eyes are open to see Jesus as the greatest treasure in the Universe we turn from sin and walk toward Jesus the rest of our life. Sure we sin… but we repent as we grow in the Lord and keep walking toward him from now on.