MEASURE UP TO GODLY STANDARD
Amos 7:7-9 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: And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.
A plumbline is an instrument used to provide a vertical reference line. To measure if an object meets up with the right standard its looking up to. It is used by builders, plumbers and other artisans. Spiritually, God is using the plumbline to ascertain if the believer meets up to the standard set by Christ.
To us individually and collectively, God continues to show us the measure of Him as far as our mind can comprehend.
His infinite power, His love capacity, His faithfulness, His mercy, His tolerance and His Holiness. He has shown us in incontrovertible stories in the Bible and in our daily lives. In our own personal testimonies. In the testimonies of others. The things He has done for us, through us and that we have witnessed.
Sometimes, God advertises His power and virtue by strange occurrence like Jesus coming to this world just as it was seen by prophets and recorded for thousands of years. The death and resurrection of Christ is an epic event. Sometimes, the magnificent display of nature signals to us the awesome nature of God.
1 Corinthians 15:1-8 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
1 Kings 18:30-39 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord : and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord , hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord , he is the God; the Lord , he is the God.
The truth of God is verifiable as He validates Himself to us, even though He is not obliged to do so. Sometimes, God validates His relationship with us by intervening in our situation, either by giving instant answers to our prayers or stretching his hands to save us from present, imminent danger or calamity.
In the principle of the plumbline, God is seeking to measure up His people to ascertain their fitness for purpose. The idea is to measure up or test to establish the spirituality, morality and genuineness of the people against the standard set by God. Are they exhibiting the characteristics of God.
WHAT GOD USE TO TEST
Revelation 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
Sometimes, those who fail to measure up are instantly removed from the scene.
The young prophet and the old prophet. 1 Kings 13:11-25
Saul and his family . 1 Samuel 15:17-19, 22-23 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel? And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord , but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord ? And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord ? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord , he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Isaiah 48:10-11 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.
Psalm 66:10-12 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
The yardstick of acceptance.
Acceptance of grace. God showed us what He wants. Just like He did with the Jews when they were redeemed with mighty hand. Then He gave them the law as spelt out in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. There were consequences and clear standards were set. For us too, we have been redeemed from the curse and grace extended to us. Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Galatians 5:17-24 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
From time to time, God brings out the plumbline to measure the status of His children if they measure up to standard. The result may be an applause from heaven.
Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever
Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Mercy will intervene for me, whenever I stumble. I shall not fall by the wayside. Mercy and grace will help me.