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Friday, March 27, 2009

Photo of Amish buggies for sale (photo by Doris High)
Amish buggies for sale
Photo by Doris High

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"Ancient Boundary Stones"

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

Photo of boundary stake on Kraybill Church RoadAcross the road from our house is a rusty old iron pipe driven deeply into the ground. It's been there for 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.*¹ This law is a practical expression of the eighth commandment which states, "Thou shalt not steal."

Today's text has a powerful spiritual application as well.  In the entire area of faith and morality God has established "ancient boundary stones" in His Word.  They are primarily found in the Law, but are elaborated on and repeated throughout the entire 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 spiritual 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.

Photo of boundary stoneBut these ancient boundary stones have always been meddled with and 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, reinterpret the Bible and redefine marriage, the most foundational of human relationships. Would anyone 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, "we don't need it anymore".  The sacred teachings of Scripture are so often mocked and ridiculed. *²

I appreciate this note from a study Bible. "The landmark (or boundary stone) may be a spiritual standard, established by our spiritual forefathers, God-honoring and God-blessed. There is always a tendency for each new generation to try to modernize the ways of their fathers and, in view of the universal law of decay, this is more often a mistake."

I thank God for the ancient boundary stones expressed 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 His boundary stones along with a resolve to abide by them even when others seek to move them.  In fact I expect mankind to keep moving and removing them until the inevitable judgment. But as for me, I'll respect the reason they're present and leave them alone.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, 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 are yet to be fulfilled.  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 with the ranks of the faithless.  In Your name, Jesus, we pray.  Amen. 

"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" (Deuteronomy 19:14).  Moving the boundary stone is perhaps the basest form of property theft and actually merits a curse in Deuteronomy 27:17.

*²  In my lifetime I have seen such an increase in this scornful attitude toward those who take the teaching of Scripture seriously. It seems that when I was younger people who did not believe still had a respect for those who did, but now many openly mock those who do. I manage several blogs and generally the opening page to blogging control panels has featured blogs, apparently selected by the techs that manage the site. In my observation when a religious blog is featured it is someone with a mocking attitude. Yesterday a featured blog title (actually a youtube video) was, "Are Christian's Stupid?" (and the conclusion of the scorner was yes, they are.)

Today's Suggested Music
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"Ancient Words"  Video  

Cerwin and Doris HighToday's lead photo of Amish buggies for sale was taken by our friend Doris High who has posted an interesting collection of photos she took on a visit this last weekend to a Lancaster County "mud sale".  Today she posted more photos of food sold at the sale.

Several years ago I went to a mud sale and took several photos at that time.

Here's a descriptive slide show concerning a mud sale along with music.

This Lord's Day our Amish friends, Jesse and Anna Ruth and their four children will be joining us for church, Sunday meal, and a visit to the Longwood Manor assisted living center as we minister there in the afternoon.  We are sure looking forward to a great day in the Lord and in our fellowship as well.

Article about boundary stones.

In the course of my study I found a sermon based on this text. Here's the outline.

Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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