Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well, and that this devotion finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy!
Readings for July 11, 2021: Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Amos 7:7-15; Psalm 85: (1-7) 8-13; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29
The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Amos?” “A plumb line,” I replied. Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer. Amos 7:7-8
My son and father-in-law are carpenters. Over the years as I have watched them work, I have learned the importance of making things straight. If the first board of a wall or the starter strip for siding is not straight then nothing will be straight. The use of a plumb line is essential to making things straight and plumb.
When God was talking with Amos, he had had enough. The Israelites had strayed so far from his truth that he was letting Amos know that he was going to set things straight. What was coming was a whole demolition and rebuild for the Israelites. Yes, the Lord was going to set the Israelites straight. And after they were demolished and taken into captivity, they were going to be rebuilt through King Cyrus. “I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says the Lord Almighty.” Isaiah 45:13
However, there was another plumb line that the Lord was setting in place. This plumb line was going to show the way to the cornerstone on which his church would be built, and which would last forever. This plumb line was foretold through the prophet Isaiah in the midst of the Israelites’ captivity. This plumb line was John the baptizer. He was the “voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5
Yes, this plumb line pointed us to Jesus, the Saviour of the world. The one who would pay the hefty price in order for God’s people and their ways to remain straight, to remain right, with God. For God himself says, “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (Isaiah 28:16) Therefore, “as you come to him, [Jesus], the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5) So, stand firm on the only foundation that will make your ways straight, as you are built up with the whole body of Christ.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank-you for sending John the baptizer to show us the way to Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. Please help me to always stand firm in trusting Jesus no matter what may come my way. For only in him will my ways remain straight and right. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!