Aligning to God’s Plumbline
Amos 7:7-8 New International Version (NIV)
7 This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, [a] with a plumb line[b] in his hand. 8 And the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Amos?”
“A plumb line,” I replied.
Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.
It also symbolizes the standards by which God will rebuild his people.
Being a Combat & Geospatial Engineers, one of the most amazing things about the ancient buildings, temples, castles, different stronghold & such are how straight and true were the walls. I love studying photos, what we would consider blueprints from different ages of architecture to try and see their perspectives. For God sake, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is 183 feet (Architectural) and is still perfectly parallel. With today technology all I can say is, ah, what a perspective. Without college-educated engineers and modern technology, how in the world did the builders manage to move the huge, heavy boulders into straight alignment? The old Bible (as my Mom-Mom called it) informs us that the prophets Amos, Zechariah and Jeremiah, all referred to a plumb line. If someone were to try to build a wall without a plumb line, the wall would probably deviate off the vertical to some extent and thus have insufficient structural integrity! In this text, God is speaking through the prophet Amos about the condition of the corporate heart of His people. The word ‘wall’ in the Old Testament is often described as the human heart. The Lord now seems to stand upon this wall. (Heart) He measures it; it appears to be a bowing, bulging wall. The structure, the shrines, and the dynasty will fall! Again, the plumb line symbolizes God’s word! God’s word is always straight, perfect and pure! God’s word represents total soundness and integrity!
Brick masons and carpenters use this device to make sure the structure or wall they are building is straight. The plumb line has a sharp, weighted pointer at the end. When the weight attached to the plumb line stabilizes, it points to a precise spot, and the line above the weight is perpendicular. Using this tool, masons and carpenters are able to say with surety, “That wall is true. Everything lines up.” It is used symbolically to refer to the divine standard against which God, the builder of his people, tests and judges them. Each of us is constructing a spiritual building, and God has a standard of righteousness that is precise. He is saying to us today, just as He did many years ago, “I have a standard that is exact, and I want you to align to it.”
The words in this passage, “the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumb line,” interest me. They indicate that a wall had been built, and at the time of construction that wall was accurate and plumb. But the Lord stood beside it “with a plumb line in his hand.” He had come back to evaluate. Was that wall—the structure which was once so accurate—still the same? Was it still in alignment, or has something changed? The plumb line for our spiritual lives is the Word of God. It is the standard to which we must align. We thank God for church services, Bible studies, and camp meetings, and for the opportunity to read the Word. Each time we come to church or spend time studying the Bible, we are putting the plumb line to our lives. We pray that God will help us measure up to that standard.
Standards are a familiar part of contemporary society. For example, we know about “five-star” hotels. I do not always stay in five-star hotels, but I hear about them. I understand that the number of stars indicates how the hotel has been rated. Before a hotel receives a five-star certification, it must meet certain quality standards. When those standards are met, the location earns the rating. Standards are a part of spiritual evaluation as well. We have many Bible passages which point to this. For example, Hebrews 11:4 says that Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous.
That indicates a standard! Jesus also referenced a standard when He said in Matthew 5:20, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” We read in 1 Corinthians 3:13, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” God is going to check to see if we have aligned to His standard. Although God’s standard is very high, we cannot say, “It is too high; I cannot attain it,” and then sit back and fold our hands. God can empower us to attain to His standard. Can any of us know we are heading in the right direction, that we are on the right path? Oh, yes! As David so eloquently wrote: ‘Thy Word is a light unto my path, and a light unto my feet.’6 God’s Word acts as a plumb line for those who believe and follow him. God’s Word acts as a plumb line for those who believe and follow him.
Christ alone is your plumb line in this world. He is the standard and the Word of God. Put My Word first and spend time in it, rather than seeking supernatural experiences. It is out of a relationship with My Word that any other experience must flow. The Word of God will abide forever, follow Me and I will teach you and lead you into all truth. Allowing Jesus Christ to become your only plumb line will guarantee you great rewards in the Kingdom.
This blog was inspired by words from Christine Page.