Now, on to correction with a capital "C."
He is establishing a plumb line, a measurement. (Handbook 2)
Definitions: to measure: to compare, assess, gauge... a system of measuring: a standard or basis for comparison... a definitive quantity that has been measured...
This Correction involves something more momentous than Adam and Eve being expelled from the garden, more revealing than the flood, weightier than the kingdom being taken from the Jewish nation and from the o.v. church. It involves the sum and substance of all things most precious to God, that ultimate Truth that God has cloaked in mystery that we might seek Him, and in the seeking, find Him. And in the finding be ushered into His very presence! But beyond its own inherent mystery, it has become so hopelessly entangled with layers of man-made worthlessness that hardly a breath of understanding and knowledge about it can surface on its own. It has to be extracted.
"If you return, then I will restore you -- before Me you will stand; and if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokeman."
To extract: to pull out, often with great force or effort; to obtain despite resistance.
And what is this preciousness?
Isaiah speaks of it as a tested and costly stone, equipped with a measuring-line and a level:
"Behold I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly stone for the foundation, well-laid. He who believes in it will not be disturbed (Lit. in a hurry). And I will make justice the measuring- line and righteousness the level; then hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters shall overflow the secret place."
Is. 28:16, 17
Amos speaks of the measurement as a plumb line that will lay waste the high places and sanctuaries of Israel:
"Thus He showed me, and behold, the Lord was standing by (or upon) a vertical wall. Then the Lord said to me, 'What do you see, Amos?' And I said, 'A plumb line.' Then the Lord said, 'Behold I am about to put a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel. I will pass him by no longer. The high places of Isaac will be desolated and the sanctuaries of Israel laid waste.'"
Zechariah speaks of the plumb line being used in relaying the foundation of the temple when the exiles returned from Babylon:
"Also the word of the Lord came to me saying, 'The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. For who has despised the day of small beginnings? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line (Lit. plummet stone) in the hand of Zerubbabel -- these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth.'"
Peter speaks of the foundation as a living stone, chosen and precious in the sight of God -- the foundation of the spiritual house being built to offer up spiritual sacrifices:
"...Therefore, putting aside all wickedness... and hypocrisies... like newborn babes long for the unadulterated, spiritual word, that by it you may grow up to salvation ...And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but chosen and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up (or allow yourselves to be built up) as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. And as having precious value for those who believe. For this is contained in Scripture: Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a 'precious' corner, and he who believes in Him shall not be put to shame. This 'precious' value, then, is for you who believe, but for those who disbelieve, the stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense... for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word..."
1 Peter 2:1-8
Paul speaks of the preciousness as a mystery:
"I became a minister according to the stewardship from God for your benefit, that I might make full the word of God, that is the mystery which has been hidden from the ages and generations; but now has been manifested to His holy ones, to whom God willed to make it known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we many preserve every man complete (or perfect) in Christ. And for this purpose I labor, striving according to His power, working in me."
Paul struggled mightily that God's people would not only be perfect in Christ but also:
"...attain to all the wealth of the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
The "Preciousness" and the mission of the church:
"But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift... And he gave some apostles, some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the holy ones (true believers) for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the true knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ"
The result was to be the escape from worthlessness. No wonder we have been so open to error and false doctrines.
"As a result (Lit. that we may no longer be) we are no longer to be tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness with regard to the scheming of deceit; by walking in the truth in love, we may grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the Head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together through every joint of the supply, according to the working in measure of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."
Oswald Chambers had it right!
"We can't just add facts to an improper foundation, or to no foundation at all. First we must get down to the only foundation, which is Jesus Christ... This is the biggest problem."
"For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:11