A tool that consists of a small, heavy object attached to a string or rope that is used to see if something (such as a wall) is perfectly vertical.
My brother-in-law has been reading my Bible. He told me this a few weeks ago. I have many Bibles but my favorite study Bible is my NKJV Thompson Chain-reference Bible. My friend, Jennifer bought it for me about 12 years ago for a college class I was taking. The cover has fallen off and been taped back on with clear packing tape. Should I get a new one? Maybe, but I have many notes written in the this Bible and I don’t want to start over. My little notes are sometimes revolutionary…I find myself asking, “Did I write that?”
This morning Bible was open to Zechariah 4. I assumed brother had been reading there. I read part of the chapter and I checked out some of my notes. I remembered something (veaguely about a plum line from a Beth Moore study I did….must have been the tabernacle study because it was about building….someone remind me!!). In any case…. The prophet Zechariah says this, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple. His hands shall also finish. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel . They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.” (Verses 9-10).
So the plump line is vertical…straight up and down; Like our relationship with God should be.
I became curious and began to search out who Zerubbabel was. Zerubbabel was one of the kings in Jesus’ linage: He was an ancestor of Jesus….on both sides of his parents’ families. Jesus was an heir to the throne on His mother’s side and on His adoptive father, Joseph’s side. If Jesus had a human foundation, Zerubbabel was in it. That is interesting. Zechariah’s prophecy had multiple meanings (many prophecies do). He was prophecying about Zerubbabel building the physical temple in those days and he was prophecying the future Messiah.
The plumb line word is very interesting to me. Plumb lines were used all those centuries ago and are still used today (or should be…I’ve lived in some places where the walls seemed a little “off”). They help keep things straight.
I have a confession. I have struggled with my freedom in Christ and holiness. It can be a confusing topic. I grew up in a legalistic environment and God was pretty angry and He was looking for reasons to punish me. At a pretty young age, I had faith for my salvations but struggled with the idea that I was lovable. Basically…if I didn’t “do the right thing” all the time, I would never find favor with God. God was pretty stingy with His love and favor. Then freedom began to come and I found that God loves me…not based on who I am but based on who He is. I cannot earn nor diminish His love. Okay, so what exactly is holiness? He makes us holy because we are screwups and without the blood of Jesus, we will never be holy…so what’s the point of every doing the “right” thing? My answer is doing the “right” things us aligning ourselves with Jesus, The Plumb Line. When we alight with The Plumb Line we come into alignment with our Father; our relationship with God is strengthened.
Then we become the plumb line for someone else, pointing them to The Father.
It’s about us, but it’s not about us. Our holiness is about others coming to a knowledge of God. It is about others coming into relationship with God. We do not behave in the same ways non-believers behave because of who our Father is.
Fear cannot be what drives us. Love must lead us.
We often miss our opportunity to love because we want to be “right”; we want to “win”; we want to have or back up our “opinion”. Is it worth it? Even our opinions? Are they worth sacrificing relationship? Do they point to Jesus or demonstrate love?
We seem to extend a lot of grace to non-believers but withhold it from one another. Can a believer have a “bad day”? Or even a stressful season of life? Growing pains often effect the people around us. These are the times we can be the plumb lines…pointing even the believer back to Jesus.
This means we have to start asking ourselves… “Is this just? Pure? Noble? Lovely? Of good report?” (Philippians 4:8). Will this matter in a week? A month? A year? Ten years? Does this point to Jesus?