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The Weighing-In Time

December 07, 2020

One day, each of us will be held accountable for all God has entrusted to us.

FROM A SERMON BY Ivon Wilson

This article was originally published in the May 1981 edition of our magazine.

God has an excellent set of balances. His weights and measures are perfect. And some day there is going to be a weighing-in time for each one of us.

There is a story in the Book of Ezra that illustrates this. In it, Ezra gives an account of the Children of Israel returning to Jerusalem from Babylon. Through the years of captivity they had longed to return to their homeland, and to see the Temple rebuilt. A cry had gone up from their hearts, and God had heard that cry. Now, they would return, and they would not go empty-handed. Freewill offerings had been given in abundance, and Ezra was told that whatever more was needed would be given out of the king’s storehouse.

Before leaving for Jerusalem, Ezra distributed the offerings among the priests. He recounted, “I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them, and weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellors, and his lords, and all Israel there present, had offered: I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, and of gold an hundred talents; also twenty basons of gold, of  thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold” (Ezra 8:24-27). Ezra went down the line of priests and weighed out what each one was to be responsible for on the journey. He knew the number of the vessels, the weight of the talents of gold and silver, and all that was handed over to those selected priests. It was all recorded.

Then Ezra said to the priests, “Ye are holy unto the Lord; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the Lord God of your fathers” (Ezra 8:28). He was telling them that they had a responsibility! They were not only going back to Jerusalem to be there when the Temple was rebuilt, but they were going to take those holy vessels along with them.

He added the instructions, “Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh them before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and the chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the Lord” (Ezra 8:29). There was a weighing-out time when they were given those vessels and those talents, and Ezra was letting them know, “You take good care of these because there is going to be a weighing-in time when you get to Jerusalem.”

There has been knowledge and light given us, opportunities for service, and talents—something has been weighed out that will one day be weighed in.

A weighing-in time is coming for each of us! We will account for those talents that have been weighed out to us in this life. There has been knowledge and light given us, opportunities for service, and talents—something has been weighed out that will one day be weighed in.

And remember, Ezra said, “The vessels are holy.” The talents God has given us are holy. He has given each of us some skill, special ability, or calling. Have we treated that as a holy vessel or as something commonplace? Do we ever say, “If it is convenient I will do it,” or “If it is easy I will do it,” or “If I have time I will do it”?

The priests were to regard all that was given unto them as holy. They were not to take lightly the responsibility of carrying safely all that had been given into their keeping. They were to remember an accounting would have to be given—those vessels would be weighed in.

If we are given a holy vessel, a talent for the service of God, it is going to be weighed in over there on the other side. We will have to answer to God for it. We cannot satisfy Him with some excuse such as, “It was too big” “It was too insignificant” or, “It was not what I liked.” If God gives us a “vessel” to take care of, He will give us the grace, the power, and the ability to handle it in just the way that will honor and glorify Him.

Ezra and the priests arrived in Jerusalem, and “on the fourth day was the silver and the gold and the vessels weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest” (Ezra 8:33). There it was—the weighing-in time! They had to present what had been given them in Babylon. It had been their responsibility to transport these things across the desert and into Jerusalem. And there, in the house of God, those vessels were weighed in.

It was all recorded: “By number and by weight of every one: and all the weight was written at that time” (Ezra 8:34). They kept good books. Ezra knew the exact weight of each vessel, the exact amount of gold and silver that came out of Babylon. And it was checked off again there in the house of God in Jerusalem.

The Lord won’t delay His coming much longer. The Trumpet is going to sound, and you and I will have to start weighing in.

God is just as careful about those talents He has given us. They are all recorded, and the weighing-in time is coming. It is right at hand! The Lord won’t delay His coming much longer. The Trumpet is going to sound, and you and I will have to start weighing in. What is it going to be?

Belshazzar, the king of Babylon, faced that weighing-in time and was unprepared. He had made a great feast and had sent for the holy vessels his father had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. Then the golden vessels from the house of the Lord were used to serve wine at that party! God caused the fingers of a man’s hand to appear and write on the wall. Part of the message written was: “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting” (Daniel 5:27).

God knew all about that man Belshazzar. Some people think God knows only about the Christians. But God knew all about this wicked king; God had his weight, He had his number. When the handwriting appeared on the wall that night, the party came to a halt. God proclaimed the destruction of that kingdom—and the destruction came that very night!

God is a good recordkeeper. People can sometimes fool the government, their employers or those around them. They can falsify records, distort the facts, or hedge a little on the truth. And they may seem to get away with it for a while—sometimes for years. But none of us will fool God.

What we have heard and read of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and what we have felt of His convicting Spirit, is known by God. The opportunities or talents for His service that we have been given will all go on the scales. Every chance a person has had to pray and get right with God is recorded by Him.

Now is the time to make sure everything committed to us will weigh in correctly. We do not have much time left. Make sure that on your weighing-in day you don’t hear as Belshazzar did, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.”

The conclusion of the account in Ezra was that when the weighing-in was complete and the amounts had been recorded, everything was found to be in balance; there was nothing wanting. When our weighing-in time comes, we want this to be our testimony too, and it can be.

About the author

Ivon Wilson was called to the ministry in 1952, and assumed his first pastorate in 1967 in Yakima, Washington. He also pastored in Denver, Colorado; Grants Pass, Oregon; and Port Angeles, Washington. In 1984, he began full time work at our headquarters office ministering to the sick, grieving, and shut in. Rather than retire, he continued this work for nearly thirty years, and is remembered by many for his prayers and encouragement. He passed away in March of 2015.