I was thinking today of a couple of verses found in Amos 7: 7-8.
Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.  And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:
Here we find Amos being shown the Lord standing with a plumbline in His hand. The plumbline is a simple and yet effective tool that is used in construction and land surveying. Prior to my call to preach I worked in land surveying. We would use the simple plumbline to gain a point of reference by which other measurements would be taken. The plumbline is simply a pointed weight with a string attached to it, so that one can create a definite point of reference or judge the accuracy of a wall or structure, how plumb it is. By that I mean, it is used as a check to ensure that the wall remains perpendicular to its foundation and doesn't sway in or out as it is built.
Amos sees God holding a plumbline. He is standing on a wall measuring its accuracy. So, what can we discover in this passage. Notice first of all:
1. God's Perfection - He is the One holding the plumbline. He has come to inspect what the people were building, in essence their lives. God has established a holy standard by which all men are judged.
We live in a society that embraces an "anything goes" mentality. There seems to be no clear definition of wrong or right. Many live by the philosphy: if it feels good, do it.
God stands with the plumbline in His hand. We are not judged by what society embraces or deems acceptable, but the holy standard of God.
2. God's Perception - It is interesting that God is standing on a wall that was built by a plumbline, but He too has a plumbline in His hand. This wall was built to a standard acceptable to the builder, but it wasn't God's standard. To them it likely looked fine, but God saw the corruption and inaccuracy of this wall.
Humanity may live a life that they believe is acceptable, but in the end God will judge it by His standard. The world may approve and you may think that all is well, but how does God perceive your life!
3. God's Precision (8) - Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more: God held all of Israel to the same standard. He didn't have one set of rules for the elite or wealthy and another set for the poor and needy. All were judged according to His righteousness.
Today the plumbline of God is extended from the pulpit to the pew; it includes the church as well as those who live among the world; the rich and the poor; the educated and uneducated; all are measured by His standard. How do our lives measure up to God's plumbline of truth? Are will building lives that He would approve or are we building by the world's standard?
In closing, God's standard is absolute perfection, complete righteousness. Mankind does not possess the ability to achieve that standard apart from God. Our only hope is to have the righteousness of Christ applied to us through salvation in Him. If you are building your life upon the Rock, according to His will, it will be acceptable to God. If you are building upon your own merit and abilities, you will never reach the standard that God demands. How does He view the life you are building?