I like to think that I’m fairly open to trying new things; if something needs fixing, why not try it on my own first? Not that I’m against supporting the economy by employing the local workforce; it’s just that I like supporting my own economy better. Needless to say, I have had varying degrees of success, some of them comical.
I do, however, tent to shy away from all things electrical, with the exception of changing a light bulb (all existing jokes aside, I really can do that by myself.) Albeit one day I decided it was time to put in a “tape deck” (it was quite a long time ago, I was young-er….) into my car. This decision was quickly put off when I opened the console of the car and saw nothing but spaghetti. And a similar metaphor when I went to the library and found the electrical blueprint for my car—it was more than a little outside my expertise. But it was obviously within someone else’s, since it was there to begin with.
So this comes to me when I read about the prophet Zechariah in his heavenly vision of the rebuilding of the temple. Of course, some of the returning exiles were pretty disappointed at the start, since they had known the original structure in its former glory. From that time, many of us have gleaned much needed encouragement from this familiar passage:
“Then another message came to me from the LORD: ‘Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin,…”
We tend to stop with that thought, and a good thought it is, too, but then I saw the continuation of that good thought:
“…for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”
Not a carpenter here, but isn’t the plumb line idea still used when making just about anything that needs to be built upon later? Even my limiting wallpapering experience taught me the necessity of the plumb line concept. Without that as the correct measure, everything else is, well, “off plumb”.
Here’s one application: oftentimes conversation arises about all the alleged discrepancies in the Bible, seeming contradictions between God’s promises and our circumstances, and cultural interpretations. Interestingly, once one question is put to rest, ten more are just waiting in line (our Enemy has been at this for years, and has lots in his bag). As one expert has said, just because an answer does not immediately present itself, does not imply that an answer does not exist. (Even if I don’t understand it all, somebody had to put that electrical spaghetti in my car’s console!)
Anyway, this is not a layperson’s exegesis on theological study (although it’s pretty cool, what little I’ve availed myself to). Instead, just a challenge.
It seems more logical, rather than trying to answer the above questions, the first thing to address is the Plumb Line, i.e., Truth—does it exist and is it knowable? And I’ll go one step deeper (and more personal)—am I willing to know (accept, embrace, search out, and follow by observable lifestyle changes) that Truth? As a master carpenter must be willing to pick up and use the plumb line, so must I position my heart and mind for Truth.
Otherwise, all my questions will just be like crooked wallpaper.
Zechariah 4:9,10 Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.