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Upright

A plumb line is a simple but accurate tool used for determining whether or not something is perfectly vertical i.e. upright. Used since very ancient times, a plumb line consists merely of a line and a weight of some sort, at first just a stone, but later a weight made from lead. The Latin word for lead is plumbum, from which the weight came to be called a plummet (hence also the origin of plumber, originally a worker of lead - including lead pipes). Plumb lines were known to many people throughout Bible History, including Jesus Christ who would have owned a set of various weights of them for His use in the building trade. The Lord also used, and uses, a "plumbline," His Word, to determine how upright His people truly are in His sight. How upright they think they are, or how upright they proclaim themselves to be, means nothing to God.

Righteous Means Upright

References to the use of a plumb line in the Holy Scriptures are almost always that of The Lord's plumb line, how righteously people stand (righteous actually means upright) according to His Word. Whenever God's people became crooked (and almost never did they ever think of, or see, themselves as evil and corrupt even though they became so evil and corrupt that God couldn't stand the sight or sound of the hypocrites any longer), The Lord sent in the wreckers to demolish what made itself a condemned building (see also Why Babylon? and The Galilee Captivity).

A Plumb Line Much of the purpose of The Lord's Prophets was to warn His people how crooked and warped they've become, regardless of how self-righteous they seem in their own eyes, whereby they think that "the evil that others do is not evil if we do it."

"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 RSV)

The condemnation wasn't just about The Lord's people back then. The Lord does not change. What He said was wrong back then is just as wrong today because The Word of God is Timeless.

"And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab [see also The Fall of Ahab and Jezebel]; and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. And I will cast off the remnant of my heritage, and give them into the hand of their enemies, and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies, because they have done what is evil in my sight and have provoked Me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day." (2 Kings 21:13-15 RSV)

The Messiah was and is however a better builder. We can be sure that He never built any crooked walls during His first coming, just as we can look forward with absolute certainty that the spiritual house (see the Fact Finder question below) of which He is the corner stone, or key stone, will be perfectly straight in every way. The Christ is coming to make straight all that has made itself crooked.

"Therefore thus says The Lord God, "Behold, I am laying in Zion [see Who, What or Where Is Zion?] for a foundation a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: 'He who believes will not be in haste.'

And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plummet; and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters will overwhelm the shelter."

Then your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through you will be beaten down by it." (Isaiah 28:16-18 RSV)

Fact Finder: Who or what is "the upright one"?
See The Upright One


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