DayBreaks for 05/10/13 – The Plumbline
NOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25. Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence! Thank you…I cherish your prayers! You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) until I’ve returned.
Amos 7:7-8 – “7 This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line 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.”
In the book of Amos, by the time the prophet has this particular vision, he’d already seen two preceding visions of horrible destruction. In both those instances, Amos pleads with God to spare Israel, and God agrees. In the vision of the plumb line, we see several truths that relate to our lives. But before examining those truths, it is first helpful to understand what a plumb line is. Simply put, a plumb line is nothing more than a piece of string with a weight attached to one end. The plumb line was useful in building projects because it could be used to determine what was straight and what was crooked. The line could be held in the hand or attached to the edge of a building and as gravity pulled it earthward, it was easy to tell if the wall was being built straight or not. Thus, a plumb line revealed what was straight and what was crooked.
FIRST: In Amos’ vision, God took the measure of Israel with the plumb line, and he found them to be ‘out of true’. God has always taken the measure of His people. We need to remember that if we are to be God’s people, we should expect that, just as he took the measure of Israel with the plumb line long ago, we should expect that God will do the same with us.
SECOND: in the book of Amos, the purpose of the “measuring” is to separate the true followers of God from those who are merely pretenders. In the case of Israel, the pretenders were very good pretenders. They fooled those around them into thinking that they were righteous and that they were God’s true servants. But when they were measured against the plumb line of God’s decree (“Be holy, even as I am holy”), they were shown to be fakirs and frauds.
THIRD: The plumb line that is in the midst of God’s people is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the True one by whom we are measured. It’s easy to measure our own progress against where we used to be, or even against the progress of others in terms of spiritual maturity. But that’s the not plumb line God uses.
We should never think that we are “straight” because we aren’t. We are ALL crooked and “out of plumb”. Only the blood of Jesus can put us right with God again. Nothing else can do the job.
Stay humble before God. There is no justification for pride in our own rightness. As J. A. Motyer put it: “Only one factor operates. Amos prophesied and Amaziah replied ‘Do not prophesy.’ He heard the word of the Lord but he did not listen, accept and obey. And the Lord of the plumb line drew near and measured these two men. One was taken and one was left, because one bowed before the word and the other did not.”
Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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