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Janet Denison
Center for Informed Faith, Dallas, TX
December 20, 2010

Janet wrote this year’s Advent book for our ministry. To help prepare for Jesus’ birth, we are using her essays for this last week before Christmas as our daily devotional.

Watch what you eat today

Differing weights and differing measures – the Lord detests them both (Proverbs 20:10).

Why in the world is that the verse for today? Because it is the 20th chapter, from the 20th book of the Bible, verse 10. I typed today’s date and found it interesting. The Hebrews often inferred significant meaning to certain numbers. For example, the number “7” signifies complete or perfect. The number 3 signifies the opposite of 7. The number 40 is a biblically significant number as well. And 666 goes without saying. Throughout history people have studied biblical numbers and some have even believed that they could predict the second coming of Christ based on their studies. (I’m not sure why God would tell them and not Jesus . . .) So far, all of them have found themselves, the day after, wondering where they miscalculated.

But, out of curiosity, I decided to find the 20th book because today was the 20th. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was Proverbs, the book of wisdom. Excitedly I turned to the 20th chapter. I read verse 1, just to get an idea of what I might find. It says, “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” Jim and I don’t drink so I gave a loud “amen” to that and hurried to find verse 10. (For the year “2010” in case I’ve lost you.) Imagine my dismay when I read, “Differing weights and differing measures – the Lord detests them both.” My first thought was the three to five pounds I traditionally will have gained by this point in the holiday. It didn’t help when I read verse 13, “Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.” The toughest thing about the Christmas season is that most parties cause me to miss my standard 10:00 curfew! And then verse 14, “It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer.” That could describe my cooking! It is at this point I began to question my study of Hebrew numerology. After all – I’m supposed to be writing a Christmas devotional. So…just in case I was led to Proverbs 20:10 for today, here is the real lesson of that verse. Don’t cheat.

Possible applications:
If the clerk gives you too much change or forgets to ring up a purchase, you do have to get back in line and make it right. The Lord detests cheating.
Treat all people with great respect – not just the ones you like. Don’t have differing measures for the value of a person.
And just in case. . . go ahead and watch what you eat. (That differing weights and measures statement might still be good advice!)
Proverbs 20:11 says, “Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.” So today, remember whose child you are and act accordingly. There you go . . .numerology for the day! (And ladies, don’t miss verse 29. Who knew we were dyeing away our splendor?!!!)

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