Devotional — Take time to measure life’s activities

Published 2:15 pm Saturday, July 23, 2022

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. 8 And the LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” — NRS Amos 7:7-8

Amos was a simple shepherd who, in the eighth century, was called by God to prophesy to the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The image of God showing Amos a plumb line against a wall quickly lets us know that something is askew in the land.

Israel was a very vibrant place in that day. A very bustling place that was a crossroads for many peoples to move about the Middle East to trade goods. Unlike its southern farming and herding neighbor Judea, it was a budding metropolitan civilization where business was more bargaining, exchanging and making a profit than about actually growing things. God called Amos to condemn the methods that the traders were using, especially against the poor and powerless. These unscrupulous business people were corrupting and defiling the entire country. They were exactly contrary to God’s command to, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” With the plum line of God’s justice in plain sight, the prophet could see the skewed world the merchants of the kingdom were creating and living in. Amos talked of God’s wrath burn and the doom of the northern kingdom.

How often do we hold the plumb line of God’s word up to our actions? Of course, we spend much time talking about Jesus, forgiveness and love…but there is a time to remember for what God wants us to strive. Justice. Not just legal justice, but moral justice. How often do we intentionally hold up the plumb line of God’s commandments? How often do we see our actions through God’s eyes?

I believe that I would be much closer to God’s plans for my life if I would seek God’s plumb line to be hung next to my daily activities, my thoughts and prayers so I could see where I am off. Then, I would know where I need to seek forgiveness and guidance.

Perhaps it is time to take more “measures” of our lives.

Keith Leach is Pastor of College Church and College Chaplain at Hampden-Sydney College. He can be reached at kleach@hsc.edu.