Friday, September 24, 2010

The Level of Righteousness

During my Bible reading as of late, I have been in the book of Isaiah which is a book that is full of beautiful and powerful imagery, convicting passages, encouragement, and much more. So many profound truths are presented in such a way that I find myself often needing to pause and consider what has been shared. 

One of the passages read this morning was one of those times. The Lord is speaking to Judah, and is giving them a warning, urging them to repent. Within that passage, He states . . .

Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed [the stone being Christ]. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level . . . .” (Isaiah 28:16-17a)

The portion quoted in bold is what especially stood out to me . . . justice the measuring line and righteousness the level. Both a measuring line and level are used in construction of houses in order to insure (if properly used) that the house is square; that it is true to the design or blueprint that is established for it; that the 'parts' fit together harmoniously in order to enable the stability and soundness of the structure; and much more. 

What a clear parallel this is to our spiritual life! Righteousness is that which is right with and is pleasing to God . . . and it is through the Lord’s word, the Scriptures, that we are enabled to discern what is indeed righteous and what is unrighteous; what is pleasing to God, and what is not. 

It is through the ‘level’ of God’s word when held to our lives that we can truly and accurately examine ourselves to see if we are walking in accordance with our Lord. If we are truly living in a manner that is pleasing to Him, and if we are walking in the “straight and narrow” path that has been established by Him.

As I read this passage of Scripture from Isaiah, I was reminded of a section in a book that I had read just a few nights before . . .

“Suppose you wish to determine whether any thing is straight; you lay a rule upon it that you suppose to be straight, and if they agree, that settles the matter. Your eye, comparing the object with the rule, determines whether it is straight or not. But if the rule applied is crooked, your eye is deceived, and you misjudge.

Conscience is the eye of the soul, that compares an action with the rule. The conscience, then, must be well instructed. You must learn the rule of right from the Word of God . . .” (pg. 123 from How To Be a Lady by Harvey Newcomb; emphasis his.)

God’s word is our rule, our measuring stick, our level . . . it is His word that will give us the discernment to grow in Him, to “follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21), to, as Christ, “always do the things that are pleasing to Him (the Father)” (John 8:29), and we must learn the “rule of right” from His Word. How important it is, then, for us to read, study, and meditate upon the Word of God! To strive to place it into our hearts so that it can indeed by our ‘level’ showing us where and how we are straying from the Lord, and where and how we are “walking in a manner worthy of the Lord” (Colossians 1:10.)

What a blessed comfort and assurance it is to know that through this process, we have our Helper, the Holy Spirit, who is there to guide and instruct us “into all truth.” And that there is the promise that “Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21.) And as the verse previous to this one shows, the Lord is “your teacher” (Isaiah 30:20.) 

May our hearts and ears be ever attentive to the Lord and to His word so that we can truly ‘hear’ Him! And may this be the ever increasing practice of our lives, to examine ourselves with this level of the Word of God, always and earnestly desiring to grow into a closer and more obedient walk with Him.

-Posted by Sarah