Friday, December 13, 2013

God's Plumb Line

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Thursday, December 12, 2013: Amos 7:1-9:15

Thus He showed me: Behold, the Lord stood on a wall made 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 not pass by them anymoreAmos 7:7-8 (NKJV)

Measurements are important.  A carpenter cannot do his job without a tape measure.  He must know how to measure and cut.  I'm reminded of the old joke, "I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!"

He uses a bubble level to determine if a surface is horizontal or vertical.  Similarly, Amos tells us that God uses a plumb line to measure us.

Imagine someone building your house with the philosophy, "Close is good enough."  Just so long as it is in the ballpark, who cares?  The result would be doors out of square, walls that don't quite meet, and roofs that leak.

Paul echoed this thought when he wrote, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves." (II Co. 13:5)

We live in a day that emphasizes PERSONAL AUTONOMY.  What right does anyone have to tell me how to live?  Authority of any sort is under fire.  With the loss of absolutes, everyone can build his house as he wishes.  Churches can operate in whatever manner they want.  Marriages can be laid aside at will.  Pledges and promises can be ignored if they are inconvenient.

What would happen if God dropped His plumb line into your life -- your marriage -- your church?  The purpose of the plumb line is not to condemn but to bring needed correction.  It's like a doctor visit.  We may dread hearing about our physical condition, but the doctor is there for our benefit.

God says of Israel, "I will not pass by them anymore." (vs. 8)  One of the worst judgments God could do is ignore us.  We are thankful for His patience, but there comes a time when He loves us too much to let us continue as we are. 

That really is the mercy and grace of God.

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