The Standard of Measure :: By Nathele Graham

Measuring things has always been important. Through the years, there have been various standards of measure, which can make some things not exactly clear.

For instance, when God told Noah to build the Ark, He gave the dimensions. “And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it” (Genesis 6:15-16). It was the perfect proportions to float without sinking through the storm of judgment because God’s standards are always perfect.

The question is, how long is a cubit? Most people say it’s the measurement from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, which is somewhat of a standard of measurement, but people have different arm lengths. Also, what happens if you measure from a different spot on your elbow? Even a small difference could make a big difference! Historians say that a cubit is approximately 18 inches to 21 inches in length, but I measured my cubit, and it’s 15 inches. That doesn’t sound very exact since Noah’s cubit may not have been the same as his son’s cubits. Had Noah used his standard of measure while Shem, Ham, and Japheth used their individual cubits, that Ark would have been wonky and probably would have sunk. There had to be a standard by which to measure.

Another Old Testament reference to a cubit is used when describing King Og. How tall was he? We don’t know, but his bed is described as being huge. “For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man” (Deuteronomy 3:11).

Assuming that the cubit is around 18 inches, and using that as a “standard,” the bed was 162 inches, or 13 1/2 feet, long, and had a width of 72 inches, or 6 feet, wide. If that cubit was 21 inches instead of 18, the measurement would have been larger. This verse qualifies it as being the cubit of a man, so it wasn’t Og’s cubit, which would have been much larger. Basically, we know the bed was very big, so Og must have been a big guy, but without a definite standard for the length of a cubit, it’s impossible to know exactly how big he was.

Do you remember Goliath? If you attended Sunday school when you were a child, I’m sure you heard about the epic battle between David and Goliath. The young boy, David, went up against the giant Goliath and won. We aren’t told how tall David was, but when King Saul put his own armor upon David, it was too big. Scripture does give us Goliath’s height. “And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span” (1 Samuel 6:2).

If this is based upon an 18-inch cubit, then that totals about 9 feet. Of course, he was “six cubits and a span,” so you need to figure out how big a span is. It’s described as “approximately a half-cubit, or the distance from the thumb to the little finger of an outstretched hand.” That pins it down, doesn’t it? Based on an 18-inch cubit, a span would be 9 inches, which means Goliath was nearly 10 feet tall. What if the cubit was 21 inches? Well, going through the calculations, he would be over 11 feet tall. The next question is, was it a “standard” cubit, or was it Saul’s cubit, David’s cubit, or Goliath’s cubit? Whatever standard was used, Goliath was very big. God was bigger, though, and was David’s help in slaying that giant.

Life has a measurement also. There’s one used by the world and one that’s of God. A Christian must measure life by the standard of God’s word. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). God’s standards are clear and need to be honored. Parents need to teach their children to honor God and give them a firm foundation upon which to build their lives. I’ve heard Christian parents say that they won’t force their child to go to Sunday school and will allow the child to decide if they want to be a Christian or not. On the other hand, they send that child to public school run by secular humanists who pound the ways of the world into that child’s mind.

Evolution is not Biblical. “Gender choice” is not Biblical. “Two mommies” is not Biblical. Parents, if you’re allowing your child to be brainwashed into Satan’s lies, then you are not training your child in the ways of God. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). This is a standard of Biblical measurement that every parent needs to use in raising children.

In his second letter to Timothy, Paul commended Timothy’s mother and grandmother for their faith that they passed on to Timothy. “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also” (2 Timothy 1:5). Because of their faith, Timothy was raised to follow God’s ways, and Paul recognized that fact. Obviously, Lois and Eunice measured their ways by God’s standards, and Timothy was taught God’s ways.

Secular people have no guide to follow through life and are very lost. They stumble around in the darkness of this world, never finding truth but always seeking the light. Jesus is the Light of the world, and by following Him, we will never be overtaken by the darkness of Satan’s evil ways. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). That’s the standard of measurement for a Christian…following the light of life.

When God created Adam, there was only one rule… don’t eat the forbidden fruit. When Adam sinned by disobeying God, the entire world was engulfed by sin and death. God’s standard was compromised by sin. The standard remained the same, but sinful man chooses to interpret God’s standards in various ways. Mostly the variations allow sin to rule rather than obey God.

God’s love never changed, and He made a way for mankind to be redeemed. First, He gave the Law in order for a standard to be established. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). The Law was only a hint of the standards of God, which mankind will never be able to attain. Only through the blood of Jesus can we be redeemed.

When Jesus began His ministry on earth, He showed us the standard by which to build a life that is pleasing to God. The Law, the schoolmaster, showed a basic standard of life that, through works and animal sacrifice, could cover sin for a while. This Law was given to Israel, which meant that Gentiles would need to “become Jewish” in order to be right with God. Jesus Christ, God incarnate, changed that. God’s standard is still perfection, but salvation is open to all people.

Peter, who was a Jewish man who walked with Jesus and became a leader of Christians after Jesus’ resurrection, confirmed that Gentiles don’t have to first be put under the Law in order to find salvation. “And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they” (Acts 15:8-11).

God’s perfection has always been the standard of measurement in life. God’s standards haven’t changed, but the Law has been fulfilled. The standard to follow is Jesus. His life is our example. In Christ, salvation is available to everyone no matter what ethnic group a person is born to. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

Unfortunately, the world has no set standard. Whatever whim of man is accepted at the moment, that’s the way to follow. For example, some religions encourage men to beat their wives or even have multiple wives, but God’s standard for marriage is very different. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:25-28).

Loving your wife as Christ loves His church is a very high standard. That means you honor your wedding vows. You love your wife in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, until death do you part. Remember, Christ loved us enough to give His life. Husband, that’s how you are to love your wife. Wives, you are also to honor your wedding vows, and you are to submit to your husband. Like it or not, God’s ways are the standard.

Adam was created first, then Eve. Adam was given the “rule” not to eat the forbidden fruit, and Eve was to follow Adam’s lead and use God’s truth as the standard. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” (Ephesians 5:22-24).

Secular humanism teaches we evolved from pond scum, which leaves out God’s truth of creation. By ignoring God’s hand in creation, it’s easy to believe there’s no right way of living and everyone does what is right in their own eyes. God’s standard of a one-man/one-woman marriage is ignored, and even marriage is considered unimportant. Brothers and sisters, use God’s ways to measure your life and don’t compromise by following the ways of the world.

Today we have people saying, “All roads lead to heaven.” Is that the truth? Absolutely not! That way of thinking leads to destruction, not to eternal life with Jesus. If you use a varied standard to measure morality, you’ll live a lopsided life that doesn’t lead to salvation. You’ll have no guide for truth. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). That’s the standard. Jesus is our example in all things, and if you desire eternal life with him, then you must accept His death, burial, and resurrection. Once you’ve done that, then you need to use His example to guide your words, actions, and choices.

Faith brings salvation, and a changed way of living is the example you show to the world. If you don’t desire to follow His standard today, what makes you think you will want to follow Him throughout eternity?

Sometimes the choice of which standard to follow isn’t easy to make. The world does try to pull us away from Christ. If you make choices using various standards, you will have a wonky life, just as using various standards of the cubit would have made a wonky Ark that would have sunk rather than give refuge to Noah, his family, and the animals. The good news is that once you’ve truly accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation, His grace continues to cover you. “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Ephesians 4:7).

Use Christ as your standard, and be thankful for His grace.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

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