The Plumb Line

If you had asked me before this morning where the “vision of the plumb line” is found in Scripture, I couldn’t have told you. I’m know that I’ve read it a number of times before, but it’s never really registered. Now, I’m learning that when something, that’s never “jumped off the page” before, captures your attention, it might be an indicator that the Spirit, your resident Teacher, might be wanting you to get something. So, I’m hovering over this “newly discovered” prophetic vision and wondering what God wants to say to me through it . . . here’s what I’m thinking . . .

“This is what He showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. And the LORD said to me, ‘Amos, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘A plumb line.’ Then the Lord said, ‘Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them; the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.’ ” (Amos 7:7-9)

I guess the plumb line has at least a couple of purposes. This cord with a lead weight at one end was used by builders to make sure that a wall they were building was straight up and down. But it was also placed beside walls that were already built to see if they were still straight up and down or if they were leaning . . . if they were “out of plumb” . . . if they were in danger of toppling over . . . if they needed to be torn down because they were no longer doing what a wall’s supposed to do. And it seems the latter use was the Lord’s intention in hanging His divine plumb line in the midst of His people in Israel . . . to demonstrate with finality that they were so far off kilter that it was needful to take down “the wall.”

And my first reaction is I’m grateful that, rather than standing beside a plumb line this morning, I stand in Christ. Rather than having to measure up to God’s holy standard in order to merit fellowship with Him, I instead rely on the “straight and true” nature of another . . . the blessed Son of God . . . He who has become my righteousness (2Cor. 5:21) . . . my acceptance being that of being accepted in the Beloved (Eph. 1:4-6). When God looks upon me this morning, it’s not with some measuring tape, but it’s through a portrait of His Son . . . the Lamb of God come to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Oh, the blessing of being “measured” by grace and not the plumb line of law.

But, as I think some more, I also imagine that there is a plumb line beside me . . . because I am under construction. He has begun a good work in me and will complete it (Php. 1:6) . . . and, I believe, complete it according to a perfect standard He has set. His determination is to conform me to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). How exciting is that? Not that I had the “raw material” to be like Jesus . . . but that I have been made a new creation in Christ (2Cor. 5:17) . . . having been given a new set of spiritual DNA . . . having now a new, heavenly composition. Redeemed clay in the hands of the Potter . . . a living stone being built into a spiritual house . . . all according to a divine standard . . . being fashioned according to His perfect plumb line.

Not my work . . . His alone. Mine is to believe He’s doing the work . . . mine is to submit to that work and welcome the standard . . . mine is to embrace the plumb line and desire the outcome. And I do so by faith . . .believing that He is able to mold this sinner saved by grace into something that resembles His Son . . . believing that the Spirit within me has the power to enable me to continue to put off the old man and to live the new man’s life . . . believing that God has given me all I need to participate in the divine nature. Mine is to welcome His work and His standard . . . wanting to be built up according to His word which acts as a perfect, true, and straight weight . . . wanting to be transformed according to plumb.

Thank God that I have been redeemed and saved from the judgment of the plumb line. But praise God . . . lift up His holy, perfect Name . . . that, by His grace, He has started a work in me that is aligned to the plumb of His Son . . . for His glory alone . . . amen!

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