“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. 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; 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.’
Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, ‘Amos has conspired against you in the very centre of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said, “Jeroboam shall die by the sword,and Israel must go into exile away from his land,” Amos 7:7-11.
In ancient times, architects faced a very difficult challenge as to how to ensure that a wall was completely vertical. One could use their eye sight, but this alone had its limitations.
The ancient Egyptians as early as the fourth century BC came up with the solution of a device that we now know as the plumb line. A cord would be dropped down a wall with a heavy weight attached to the end of it.
Because of gravity, the cord would be drawn tight, thus forming a perfect line of reference for the vertical alignment of the wall.
Even in the Hebrew scriptures we see the plumb line as a common use in the construction of walls and other structures. In Zachariah’s vision of the second temple we see:
“The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. … the seven eyes of The LORD that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel’” Zechariah 4:8-10.
However, from the eighth century BC onward, the use of the word of the plumb line became associated with the judgment of God. In this way then, the plumb line was used as an analogy to determine the uprightness of a community or nation.
We see its use brought forth as King Manasseh succeeded Hezekiah as king of Judah, as he turned from his father’s ways to worshiping idols and profaning the temple.
“I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down,” 2 Kings 21:13.
And yet again we see its use in the words of Amos again this time concerning Jeroboam II,
“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. 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; 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.
The two issues of idolatry and social injustice were the concerns of the prophet Amos in his scathing prophecies to Israel, Judah, and some of the surrounding nations. And yet where was the plumb line to be found?
The answer, for Amos, is the two-fold pair: mishpat and tzedakah, justice and righteousness.
And truly the use of a plumb line spiritually is one of justice. For we could truly ask in this hour where is justice to be found?
We see the senseless shootings of children in our schools more and more. We see Churches ravaged by senseless bloodshed from extremists from the fringes of our society.
And one would wonder about our present political climate and how black is white and up is down now. And yet the mere mention of a man at the helm now causes a stir of emotions where sticks and guns are raised at the mere naming of him.
We are a nation caught in deep division.
How could one drop down the plumb line from above and measure the true vertical wall of corruption within the very walls of our White House?
Who can truly access its angle when some of our supposed watchmen are deceived by this man?
Do we need an actual hand to come out and draw the writing on the wall as it was done at the time of Daniel for some to know the truth?
Perhaps some are using their own plumb lines now it seems. Well, I tell you this, you better get those devices calibrated or the time will come when you won’t know when something is straight or crooked.
I believe that time has already come.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to The LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?