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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"Ancient Boundary Stones"

"Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers" (Proverbs 22:28).

Ancient boundary stones are now being tampered with, moved and even removed in ways that our forefathers would never have imagined.  Many are being seduced and deceived by radical, revisionist, blasphemous attempts to reinvent Jesus. Would anybody have believed when I was born in 1954 that within the next 50 years homosexual "marriage" would actually be a source of serious debate?

Man has always been tampering with boundary stones, moving them one way or another to suit his whims, sometimes removing them altogether.  The cultural and intellectual elite purport to know best and so many of the undiscerning masses follow.  "Get rid of that ancient boundary stone", so many shout.
Photo of Mountain Laurel flowersUp the road from our house is a rusty iron pipe that has been in the ground for many, many years marking the boundary between two farms.  This pipe and other forms of boundary markers (generally stones in the Biblical period) testify to a great Biblical principle first articulated by Moses in the law in Deuteronomy 19:14. "Do not move your neighbor's boundary stone set up by your predecessors in the inheritance you receive in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess." This law is an elaboration of the eighth commandment which states, "Thou shalt not steal."  Moving the boundary stone is perhaps the basest form of property theft and merits a curse in Deuteronomy 27:17. 

I believe this text has a powerful spiritual application as well.  In the entire area of faith and morality God has established ancient "boundary stones" or "landmarks" (KJV) in His Word.  They are primarily found in the Law, but are elaborated on and repeated throughout the Bible.  Our spiritual ancestors through the history of the Church have set a pattern for living by these ancient landmarks.  These may be our fundamental doctrines, our Biblical pattern for living or deeply held convictions.

In ancient Israel boundary lines were sacred because all property was a gift from the Lord. A timeless application is that life is a gift from the Lord and He has set forth His boundary stones for our good.  These boundary stones are sacred.

I thank God for the ancient boundary stones in His Word.  Psalm 119 is best known as being the longest chapter in the Bible but it's also a chapter that constantly reinforces the Psalmist's love for God's spiritual boundary stones with verses such as , "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long" (v. 97).  

May the Lord give us a love for His Word and boundary stones and a resolve to abide by them even when others seek to move them.  I expect man to keep moving and removing them until the inevitable judgment. But as for me, I'll leave them alone.  Will you join me?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's Prayer:  Jesus, You have not changed our hearts without also giving us spiritual direction for our lives.  There is no limit to all that You have provided for us such as material blessings, physical health, the love of family and unending promises that You have already fulfilled or that will come to pass in Your appointed time.  But You have also set visible and well-defined boundaries that are for our own good. Temptations to either toe the boundary line or cross over into enemy territory will always be there, but You give us the power to resist and discernment to recognize the alluring deceit of the evil one. Help our eyes and hearts to remain focused on Your innumerable blessings and provisions as we stand against the god of this age who seeks to destroy us. May we not move the landmark of the faithful to join the ranks of the faithless.  In Your name, Jesus, we pray.  Amen. 

As we completed the message this morning Brooksyne felt an appropriate song in regard to this message is "Find us faithful" and is playing it in the background of the podcast.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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