Definition and Significance of Plumb Line In Bible
The term ‘plumb line’ refers to a string with weight at one of its ends that is used to find a vertical direction (from a given horizontal plane). In the Bible, it is regarded as a signal of truth and justice.
The idea of plumb line as a symbol of truth and justice comes from the book of Amos in the Old Testament, which states: “Behold, the Lord stands upon a wall made by a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand” (Amos 7:7). The image of the plumb line stands for God’s standard of truth and justice. It conveys the idea that God will judge people according to His standard and that He will hold them accountable for their deeds.
In the Bible, the purpose of the plumb line is clear: to measure the spiritual and moral state of a person, a city, or even a nation. Its purpose is to determine who is living according to God’s standards. Thus, it serves as a tool for God to judge the righteousness of people, by determining whether they are following His law or not. As a consequence, the plumb line can also be seen as an invitation to live a life of holiness and faithfulness to the Word of God.
The imagery of the plumb line is also used in other places in the Bible, such as Proverbs 11:1 and Isaiah 28:17. In these verses, it is used as a symbol of stability and trustworthiness. In Proverbs 11:1 it states: “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight”. Isaiah 28:17 states “The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place”. In both of these verses, the plumb line is used to illustrate God’s standards of truth and justice.
The imagery of the plumb line is also significant in that it is a reminder that God is always there to judge us. This reminder serves to motivate us to live a life according to His standards and to pursue His justice. Thus, the plumb line is a symbol of God’s presence in our lives, pointing out to us where true justice can be found. It serves as an encouragement to pursue right actions, and to be faithful to His Word. Through its symbolism, the plumb line is a reminder of our accountability to God, and of His authority to judge us according to His standards.
Practice Of Plumb Line In The Bible
The Bible contains many examples of the use of plumb line in judgement. In the book of Ezekiel, the prophet uses the plumb line to measure the condition of the people of Jerusalem and other cities. He then declares God’s judgement for them based on his findings. For example, in Ezekiel 9:2-4, God says to the prophet “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it”. Here, the marked individuals are judged according to the plumb line.
Another example of plumb line use in the Bible comes in the book of Isaiah. In chapter 28:17 we read: “The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place”. Here, the plumb line is used to show God’s judgement of the wickedness of those who hide in lies, while offering salvation to those who seek truth and justice. Similarly, in the book of Zechariah, God uses the plumb line to judge Babylon, which is described as a nation of liars and “drunkards of Ephraim”, stating that their lies shall not go unpunished (5:5-11).
In the New Testament, we find Jesus using the plumb line to judge the Pharisees and sadducees in Matthew 23:14: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation”. Here, Jesus condemns the religious leaders and calls them to the truth of God’s Word. Thus, it can be seen that the plumb line is a symbol of judgement and truth, which God uses to judge humanity.
Teaching Of Plumb Line In The Bible
The teaching of the plumb line as a symbol of judgement and truth is not only found in the Old Testament but in the New Testament as well. In Luke 14:27, Jesus tells his disciples: “But anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple”. Here, the plumb line stands for Jesus’ way of life and for the teaching of his Cross, which instructs his followers to reject the temptation of sin and conform to the law of love, justice, and faithfulness.
In the book of Micah, God uses the plumb line as a symbol of justice, instructing the people to “…do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” (6:8). Here, the plumb line suggests a life of faithfulness to God, which is the only way to receive righteousness from God. The plumb line also encourages the believers to pursue truth and justice, as God desires it to be. Therefore, it can be said that the plumb line is a reminder and invitation to live a holy and faithful life.
The plumb line is also used in the parable of the wise and foolish builders in Luke 6. The wise man builds his house on the rock and the foolish man builds his house on sand, and when the rains come both houses are tested. Jesus explains: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock”. Again here, the plumb line serves as a symbol of judgement and truth, but also as a tool of discernment, teaching us to build our lives on a solid foundation.
The image of the plumb line as a symbol of judgment and truth is consistently used throughout the Bible. It serves as a reminder of God’s standard of justice, a call to pursue happiness and righteousness through faithfulness to His Word, and an invitation to take refuge in Him. As such, it is an important teaching tool in the Bible and should not be overlooked.
Therefore, the plumb line stands an example of God’s desire for justice and of his ultimate judgement for those who seek it. It serves as a reminder for us to pursue truth, justice and righteousness in our lives. As believers, we must take its message to heart, living a life of faithfulness to God’s Word and seeking His justice in all of our actions.
Sources Of Plumb Line In The Bible
The image of the plumb line is used abundantly throughout the Bible, across both the Old and New Testaments. The most important source of the plumb line can be found in the book of Amos 7:7-9. Other key verses in which the imagery is used include Proverbs 11:1, Isaiah 28:17, Zechariah 5:5-11, Matthew 23:14 and Luke 6:46-47.
In addition to its use in the Bible, the image of the plumb line also appears in other works of ancient literature. For instance, in the Homeric epics, a plumb line is used to measure the walls of Troy, signifying its stability and strength. In ancient Mesopotamian literature, the plumb line is used to symbolize a standard of justice, as famously seen in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Furthermore, in ancient Egyptian literature, the plumb line symbolizes righteousness, as shown in the Tale of Sinuhe.
These sources in the Bible and Ancient literature demonstrate that the plumb line has been used throughout history as a symbol of truth, justice and righteousness. It is an important teaching tool in both the Bible and other works of literature, conveying the idea of God’s judgement and our accountability before Him.
Impact Of Plumb Line In The Bible
The image of the plumb line has had a lasting impact on religious tradition. Many major religions today, such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam, all make use of the concept of the plumb line as a symbol of truth and justice. Various denominations within each religion, such as Christianity’s Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians, have all preached about the importance of the plumb line as a moral compass for one’s life.
In modern times, the image of the plumb line has become an important guiding principle, both in religious and secular contexts. As such, ithas been used as a metaphor to refer to the importance of moral principles or standards in decision making. For example, in 2011, then Prime Minister of England, David Cameron, referred to the ‘plumb line’ of morality when discussing the importance of values-based policy. Similarly, the ‘plumb line’ has been used by various organizations and companies as a reminder to adhere to their values and mission.
Clearly, the concept of the plumb line has had a profound impact on the way we think about our values, principles and morals today. As such, it is essential that we continue to heed the message of the plumb line and strive to pursue truth, justice, and righteousness in all of our actions.
Application Of Plumb Line In The Bible
Today, the image of the plumb line can be applied in our lives in several ways. Firstly, it can serve as a reminder to turn away from sin, and instead to pursue the righteousness and holiness of God. It is a call to live according to God’s standards and to seek out truth and justice. Additionally, the plumb line is a reminder to seek out refuge in Christ and to abide by his teachings and promises.
Secondly, the plumb line can be seen as a reminder to remain faithful to our commitments. We are called to live fully in accordance to our values, and to demonstrate truth and justice in every aspect of our lives. In an increasingly cynical and divided world, the plumb line encourages us to show integrity and mercy in our dealings with others. It is a call to reject corruption, seek peace and be a faithful steward of God’s good word.
Finally, the plumb line serves as a source of hope. It reminds us that, regardless of the struggles we face and the darkness we encounter, we can always take refuge in God. His justice, mercy and love are ever present, and He will provide for us as we seek His righteousness. Therefore, the plumb line is a reminder of our hope in Christ and of our ultimate judgement before