The book of judges ends with this statement: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (KJV) Actually, they had a King. His name was Yahweh or Jehovah. And they has the Mosaic Law. But none of that mattered. Every person was a law unto themselves. There were no spiritual or morel absolutes. Does that sound familiar?
Here in the United States, we live in an era where the common theme is: “What’s right for you may not be right for me,” or “My truth isn’t the same as your truth.” Even among our government lawmakers, there is often a breakdown of any absolute standard of right and wrong, or of a single truth.
I still remember about 60 years ago when I was first acquainted with the need for absolutes; though, at the time, I wasn’t aware of the valuable lesson I was learning.
My grandfather worked for the State of Illinois: Division of Standards, Department of Weights and Measures. His job was to drive from town to town, and through some rural communities, where he would check gasoline pumps and grocery store scales for accuracy. In his car, he carried a set of weights and cans for doing his job.
Often, in the summer when there was no school, I went along with him. My job was to affix the official decal to the pump or scale which certified that it had been tested and found to be giving an honest quantity.
On one trip, rather than going out on his route, we went to Springfield, Illinois, the state capital, to his headquarters. He drove into a parking garage and down to a place where his cans and weights were off-loaded, and a different set was loaded into his car. He explained that all of the weights and cans needed to be calibrated every so often to be certain that they were accurate. Otherwise, there was no guarantee that the tests of those gas pumps and store scales would be valid.
Once the exchange was made, he took me to the department offices and introduced me to the people who were over him. They explained to me that there was a similar office operated by the United States government. They traveled to every state in the country to check their calibration equipment for accuracy.
They also said there was an international office which established the worldwide standard for weights and measures, and which inspected the national offices around the world. In that way, there is assurance that a pound is actually a pound, and a kilogram is actually a kilogram, no matter where on earth one travels.
It occurred to me that people are so careful to be sure that a pound of beef is a pound of beef and that a liter of gasoline is a liter of gasoline. Yet, at the same time, they are so uncaring about their standards for truth, for spiritual principles and for moral values.
There has to be something wrong with that. Don’t you think?