This is what he showed me: 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, “See, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass them by; 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.” Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the very center of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said, ‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land.’” And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.” Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’
Food For Thought:
A plumb line was an ancient tool used to measure if something was straight. In this passage, the plumb line is used as a metaphor of how God is going to measure whether they people are on the straight and narrow. The Israelites were human just like us and they strayed from the path. God was going to hold them accountable for their actions. How do you feel that you are held accountable for your actions? How do you stay on the path that God intends for you as a Christian? How have you strayed? Have you asked God and others for forgiveness when you haven’t lived up to the call that God has placed on your life?
Steadfast God, your prophets set the plumb line of your righteousness and truth in the midst of your people. Grant us the courage to judge ourselves against it. Straighten all that is crooked or warped within us until our hearts and souls stretch upright, blameless and holy, to meet the glory of Christ. Amen.