A Plumb Line

This is what he showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said, “Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them; the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”
Amos 7:7–9
A Plumb Line
The Lord God shows Amos a plumb line. Plumb lines are used to build straight and solid walls. The rebuilding and renovating of the old Israel, the old sinful nature, never works. Amid these “renovations,” the cause of the sin remained: the human nature stained in sin. The image of God was shattered and broken by Adam’s sin and our sin. So, the Lord must wipe it away and start anew. In Psalm 51, King David says, “create in me a clean heart.” He knows that it is his heart that is the problem and that there is no way to clean it up. Hearts of stone must be removed from David and from us. In its place, new hearts, clean hearts, and right spirits are created. A clean heart or new construction is what the Lord does in your Baptism. He is building and creating. This is how he deals with your sin: He offers up his only Son on the cross. Jesus receives the punishment for the sin of the world. Jesus rises again as victor over death and the grave. He has defeated all his enemies. Then in Baptism he makes Jesus’ death, your death, and Jesus’ resurrection, your resurrection. New construction is completed in you. The Holy Spirit takes up residence there while tending and nourishing your faith by the proclamation of the Word of God and the reception of the Sacraments. Thanks be to God for his creating and building in you.
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