May 2021 Devotion
Using the Right Measuring Stick
Rev. Justin R. Childers
How big is a cubit and a span? A cubit is from the tip of one’s middle finger to the tip of the elbow. Most assume it to be 18 inches. Others say that it may have been measured by the cubit of the king at the time. King Saul was a large man so his cubit could have been 20 inches long. To make it more confusing, there are other lengths attributed to this measurement. The Babylonian cubit is known to be 20.65 to 21.26 inches long. The long Hebrew cubit was 18.36 to18.9 inches. The exact size of a span is also questionable. Its length is derived from the distance from an extended hand’s tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger. Most assume it is nine inches. One can easily see that this is also an unreliable measurement because it depends on whose hand is measured. Depending on what standard was used, the giant Goliath may have been 9.75 to 11.5 feet tall. One can easily see that a subjective, comparative measurement is not accurate.
Likewise, similar problems exist when measuring one’s “goodness” or “evil” with that of another. “I am not as bad as that adulterer” or “I’m not as bad as that liar and murderer.” Who made you the standard for measuring who is good or bad? Ultimately it is not man’s standards that are accurate or count. What one may think is good behavior, another may view as poor. Standards on measuring good conduct can change from one person to another, and even change several times a day. What is acceptable in one country may be abhorrent in another. Some behavior accepted today was frowned on in previous generations. For example, the immodest way the mainstream world, including many Church going people, dress and undress would be considered an abomination by our fundamental forefathers.
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” II Cor. 10:12 We are not to compare or measure ourselves by what others or another church is doing. We are commanded to measure ourselves against the word of God.
Ignored by most, the origin of what defines righteousness and evil is God’s Word, the KJV Bible. Within its preserved pages, man can read what God says is right and wrong. His word never changes and is the only rule that ultimately matters in the affairs of mankind. The Bible makes it quite clear, none are “good.” As hard as man may try, he is still a sinner, and his efforts in controlling his conduct are only external, temporary, and fall short of what God deems good and what He requires. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Rom. 3:23 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10 Also: Rom. 3:9, Gal. 3:22. God’s honest judgment of us certainly should change our judging of others. We are all sinners!
Except for God’s mercy and providing a way to have our sins forgiven and forgotten; there would be no hope for any of us to miss Hell. Forget your opinionated judgments of others and see yourself as God sees you — a sinner, and not “good”. Our measuring tool of goodness means little against the holiness and righteousness of God’s eternal word. Some sinners may not be as bad as others, but all are as bad off as the chief of sinners. The Bible declares that if we offend the law in one point, we are guilty of breaking the whole law. Therefore, all sinners have one thing in common. They need to be born again. Whether they be religious or an infidel. Whether they be young or old. Whether they have committed a million sins or one. A sinner is a sinner, not because of what they do and how much they do it, but because of what they are.
Rev. J.R. Childers