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Amos 7:8. See, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel.
A few years ago, I was doing some consulting for a humanitarian project to improve education in rural Tanzania. At one of the schools we were visiting, we were shown some new construction under way. As I approached the site, I noticed one of the workers building a cinder-block wall, using what I immediately recognized as a plumb line. It was the first time I had ever seen one in use.
If you haven’t seen a plumb line, it’s about the simplest construction device there is, especially compared with the laser-guided gizmos for sale in big-box stores in the United States. A plumb line is simply a rock tied to a wire or string. The weight of the rock keeps the string perfectly straight and true. You can hold it up to a wall and see if it’s straight.
Amos’ plumb line is that simple as well. We over-complicate at our peril. God’s moral vision includes justice for all and right worship of the Lord. If we are honest, the plumb line is going to reveal some pretty crooked places in our lives, our church, and our culture.