The Bible contains some very surprising things. Here’s one of them! In these instructions to His people, God makes a direct correlation between honesty (or lack of it!) and how long people might live. Superficially, what possible connection can there be between selling someone short and the length of time your body is able to live?
Such things make no sense at all if you only think in terms of the body as existing in isolation and independence from the person whose body it is. But from Genesis to Revelation there is a message that runs right through the whole of the Bible – sin has its consequences, and those consequences can be worked out through the flesh. Paul described it as a law of sowing and reaping in Galatians. Our spirit, soul and body are all different dimensions of the same created order. What happens to one, affects the others.
When a trader gives short measure through using false weights, it is a form of stealing. The trader is making a conscious choice to ignore the voice of God within (the conscience) and then to involve the whole being in the deception. There is another divine law which says that how we treat others is the way we ourselves will be treated. So, if a trader sells his customer short, it makes total sense that his life might as a result be shortened! What happens in reality is that when we choose to act deceitfully like this, we are turning our back on the protection of God (remember it was Daniel’s innocence before God which kept the lions’ mouths closed - Daniel 6:21).
Deceiving others for our own selfish gain gives the enemy greater access to our lives and he is a thief and a robber. It’s better to always deal honestly in all our relationships and never to cheat anyone out of what is their right. Satan will just use the rights we give him to steal from us. Zaccheus got the message loud and clear. When Jesus challenged him over collecting more taxes than he should have done, he undertook to repay people four-fold (Luke 19:8). Jesus considered stealing from others a very serious issue. So should we.
Prayer: Help me, Lord, to remember any times when I have not been fair and honest in any of my dealings. And then give me the courage to put things right before You and with whoever it is that I’ve wronged. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.