Amos was not a priest or prophet . He was not even the son of a priest or prophet. In fact he was a humble herder of sheep and tender of fig trees in the countryside of Judea. But God gave Amos a vision of the future and told him to take it to Israel. The people had been living beneath a pious veneer of religion; they had substituted superficial religious exercises for spiritual integrity and obedience toward God and He was about to pass judgement.

In one of his visions Amos saw the Lord standing beside a wall using a plumb line to see if it was straight up and down. The Lord said, “I will test my people with the plumb line. I will no longer ignore all their sins…and I will bring the dynasty of Jeroboam (King of Israel) to an end.” The situation today in our country is a carbon copy of the days of Amos except that it is more serious now for several reasons. One, we appear to be morally and spiritually in far worse condition than they were, two, man now possesses weapons of mass destruction that they did not have in prior times, and three, Israel was facing judgement by a neighboring country while we face judgement from God at the end of time.

My father was a carpenter and I remember as a young boy him using a plumb line to make sure a wall was vertical. There were more modern levels available at that time but for things that required accuracy he preferred the plumb line. I still have that plumb line in my tool box and think of him each time I see it. It is imperative that we, who call ourselves Christian, set a plumb line to see if we have become complacent, for it has been said that ‘a complacent present leads to a disastrous future’. Is it possible that the modern ‘level’ in our tool box today has been bumped and is out of adjustment? Perhaps, we should use the more accurate measurement of the plumb line of God and return to the straight and level way of life.

There’s a God who’s standing at Heaven’s door,
He’s looking this universe o’er;
He sees each mortal with a searching eye,
You cannot do wrong and get by… (You Cannot do Wrong and Get By)