The Lord's Plumbline
Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more: ~Amos 7:7-8
If you have ever tried to make a straight line, you probably realized that you needed a level to help you make sure the line was truly straight and not veering off sideways. The same can be said when hanging pictures on a wall. You need a measuring device to help you make sure that the picture hangs evenly. A plumbline is a string that has a small, leaded weight attached to one end. Holding the string on the other end and allowing the weighted end to drop to the floor level gives a person a straight line. This plumbline has been a very useful tool in helping assure the integrity of a straight line. God uses this metaphor to speak about His righteousness.
There is the standard.
A plumbline applies the law of gravity to find right angles, to indicate the most direct route from top to bottom, and to keep things plumb. The standard is set by the plumbline. God’s Word is the standard for every life. His Word sets the directive, guidelines, and rules for living right. We cannot alter God’s Word to fit what we want to do. We must conform to the standard of God’s Word as to living the life that pleases God. The plumbline of God’s Word always is true. It never changes according to the whims and disobedience of man.
There is the statement.
“And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more.” When God said He was setting a plumbline among His people, He was declaring an end to their attempts to justify their crooked ways. The statement God is making is that we must obey His Word. To obey is better than sacrifice. We must obey God rather than man. This world sees everything as being relative to the trends and times. However, God and His Word are absolute and unchanging.
There are the stipulations.
When a builder does not line up his construction with the plumbline, the finished product will have flaws and eventually be exposed as unfit. Unless our lives meet the approval of God’s Word, we are building our lives on shifting sand and according to standards that will not stand the test of fire. When we obey God and live according the plumbline of His Word, we have His blessing and approval. When we allow our fleshly desires to dictate how we will live, we have difficulties and, eventually, failure. Follow the plumbline, and the finished product of your life will be approved.
There is the steadfastness.
A plumbline does not change, neither can it be altered. We refer to this plumbline as we build to make sure that we finish the project successfully.