A Standard to Discern the Paths of our Lives

Have you ever built shelves or hung a picture and used a level to make sure it was straight? A level is a device that you hold against something and it tells you whether the thing you are building or hanging is straight. Leveling something without this tool is particularly difficult if the only point of reference is something else that is not level.

In the Old Testament, God referred to something called the “plumb line.” It was the “level” of that era. A plumb line was a piece of string with something heavy attached at the bottom. When held up the plumb line, because of gravity, would hang straight up and down. This helped people of that age build walls and structures true and consistently vertical.

During this time, God spoke to His people and confronted them on their moral failure. They were not living in alignment with the plumb line of His law and Word…

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 7:7-9 NIV, emphasis added).

While many of these believers seem to have discarded the Scripture truths, there is no doubt that God did not discard His written standards and desires for them (and us) to live by. Without a standard of righteousness—a plumb line—any culture will wander and erode the standards based on personal preference, emotions, or vulgar desires. The Bible is our standard. The apostle Paul said,

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work (2 Timothy 3:16,17 NLT).

Is there anything that keeps you from aligning your life with the principles and truths of God’s Word? What would our culture be like if more believers set their path according to God’s desires revealed in the Scriptures?

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