Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Plumb Line

"Then he showed me another vision. I saw the Lord standing beside a wall that had been built using a plumb line. He was checking it with a plumb line to see if it was straight. And the Lord said to me "Amos, what do you see?" I answered, "A plumb line." And the Lord replied "I will test my people with this plumb line.  I will no longer ignore all their sins. The pagan shrines of your ancestors and the temples of Israel will be destroyed, and I will bring the dynasty of King Jeroboam to a sudden end." Amos 7:7-9 (NLT)

A plumb line is a tool used to determine if something is straight and upright. It would ensure the straightness of a wall. (Our modern version of this is a level) A wall that is not built correctly leveled will collapse.

The Lord measures each of us with His own plumb line-His word, and He looks at our lives. Can we stand upright in God's eyes? We may have accepted Christ in our hearts as our savior, but do the walls in our lives stand strong? Our walls need to be built on the foundation of God's word, not on the world's values.

In the book of Amos, the Lord is frustrated with Israel.  They have oppressed the poor, been idle, been lazy, been accepting of things they shouldn't. They've ignored God and been gluttonous and greedy. Amos is exposing their sin to them. Though they declared themselves upright and grand in the eyes of God, God tells Amos they are not and that compared to His plumb line, they are almost in a state of ruin.  We seem to think of ourselves this way still. This was written long ago, but God's word here applies to us today.

"How terrible it will be for you who sprawl on ivory beds surrounded with luxury, eating the meat of tender lambs and choice calves. You sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and you fancy yourselves to be great musicians, as King David was. You drink wine by the bowlful, and you perfume yourselves with exotic fragrances, caring nothing at all that your nation is going to ruin therefore, you will be the first to be led away as captives. Suddenly all your revelry will end." Amos 6:4-7 (NLT)

Nation is referring to Israel, but I also believe "nation" can be interpreted as God telling us that we care nothing that first we are allowing our homes and the hearts dwelling in them to go to ruin. Godly homes are the building blocks of a Godly nation. Many homes, even Christian ones, are not built upon God's holy truth. We have allowed in our complacency for the world to come into our homes and influence us.  We allow books, movies, music, wrong money principles, materialism, lack of modesty and humility before God in our hearts, and worldly opinions and values to creep in and soon we are not standing upright to God. Soon our wall is measured by God's plumbline and it is about to collapse. Soon all of these homes have made a nation and we are a nation whose walls are crooked yet we can't even recognize it. God is going to measure us against His absolute truth.

God was downright angry with Israel. He warns "Do what is good and run from evil-that you may live! Then the Lord God Almighty will truly be your helper,  just as you have claimed he is. Hate evil and love what is good; remodel your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on his people who remain. Therefore, this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty says: "There will be crying in all the public squares and in every street. Call for the farmers to weep with you, and summon the professional mourners to wail and lament. There will be wailing in every vineyard, for I will pass through and destroy them all. I, the Lord, have spoken! Amos 5:14-17

Here the Lord gives the nation of Israel a warning, do what is good and change your ways or your destruction is certain. But the Lord who loves us always gives us a choice to do what is right in His eyes.

“In that day I will restore the fallen house of David. I will repair its damaged walls. From the ruins I will rebuild it and restore its former glory. And Israel will possess what is left of Edom and all the nations I have called to be mine.” The Lord has spoken, and he will do these things. “The time will come,” says the Lord,“when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested.
Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine. I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands,and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine.  I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God. (NLT)

Maybe the Lord is calling you. Do you feel like the nation of Israel? Is your life going to crumble and go to ruin if you don't rebuild? You have a choice. Rebuild your spiritual wall on God's truth. He is giving a very clear choice. Go the way of evil that Israel went in Amos and you shall be destroyed. Go the way of truth, and you shall be restored. God will help you to repair your damaged walls just like he promises to Israel.  

Don't just go to church, participate, and then stop there. Don't just say "I believe there is a God" or "I believe Lord but just don't have the guts to truly follow you." God expects us to truly love Him. He wants nothing more than for us to show Him our true love so He can bless us and spend eternal life with us. He doesn't need to prove His love to us or show us His love. He already has. He bridged that gap when He sent His only son to die on the cross for us and shed His blood. 

 He expects us to allow our belief in Him to overflow into each area of our life. He cares about even the smallest details of our lives. As you build your spiritual wall, God wants to be involved in each quality that you add. He wants that spiritual wall of your life to eventually reach to eternity, where we will have eternal life with Him. Then He wants it to reach your children, and your children's children. Maybe you are afraid to trust God, or be the first in your family to ever make these choices, to live by God's eternal word. God will walk with you, and just like the above scripture, He will firmly plant you in His truth.

Lord, give us wisdom to see where we need to rebuild our eternal wall. If we need to start over give us your strength because we cannot do it on our own. Show us how to build a life that walks in your absolute truth. Help our hearts to not be deceived by what is not your eternal truth. Help us to build a straight, strong, and eternal wall of life.

And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:29

But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14

But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.” John 6:27

The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63

For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. 1 Peter 1:23

No comments:

Post a Comment