“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…’” vs. 8
Amos came from Judah (the Southern Kingdom) to Israel (the Northern Kingdom) with a message of impending judgment from the Lord. It was a time of great prosperity in Israel but in spite of opposition Amos persisted in pointing out the ways the nation had deviated from God’s plan for righteousness and justice. Here he uses the image of a plumb line, a carpenter’s tool for determining if a wall is perfectly vertical, to imply that Israel had tilted away from the Lord’s standards. He tells the people that God’s patience is at an end…judgment will be coming soon. Of course few paid any attention to what Amos said at the time…when things are going well and the economy is strong it’s easy for a country to overlook deficiencies. And all nations find it hard to change momentum once a direction has been established. Even in democracies reforms are elusive. Many prefer the comfort of the status quo to the uncertainties of change. And then there’s the constant debate about what God’s standards are…who can really know what God wants for our country? It would be nice to have a visit from Amos…or would it? Many think we’d be as unlikely to listen as was Israel!
Thought for the Day: What advice might Amos have for the rich and powerful?