December 14, 2023
Picture: Plumb Line
Amos 7:7-8; Acts 17:29-31
Amos was miles away from everything he knew. He was a simple man who had spent the majority of his life growing figs and tending to his sheep. His unpretentious demeanor seemed at odds with the opulent surroundings that He found in the kingdom of Israel under the rule of king Jeroboam. Far from enjoying the trappings of this wandering nation, he had come with a message from God burning inside him for the hypocritical people. God was fed up with the blind eye Israel had turned towards the poor and the oppression they indulged in as they preyed on the most vulnerable. Amos had been sent to confront these egregious sins. He chose an odd object lesson to levy his complaints.
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. 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.
Amos 7:7-8 (NKJV)
A plumb line is an ancient building tool used to determine if a wall straight. God through Amos was telling Israel that there is a righteous standard that a Holy nation had to live according to. They could no longer justify their actions based on the lowest common denominators of society. There would be no more patience for their justifications in how they were fleecing and oppressing the poor. In the same way, Jesus has become our plumbline. Mankind no longer can compare themselves to the righteousness of their neighbors and friends. The perfect Son of God is the standard by which we judge our lives and by which God will judge the world.
“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
Acts 17:29-31 (NKJV)
At Christmas, as we fix our gaze on the beautiful child in the manger, we must also consider that this child is the one who will judge the earth. Under His eventual reign all oppression shall cease. Justice will roll down like a river and righteousness like a mighty stream (Amos 5:24) setting all creation in harmony with His perfect standard. When measured against the unrelenting perfection of Christ, all fall short. Unless we receive his righteousness through salvation, all of us will find ourselves weighed, measured, and found wanting before the glorious King Jesus.