As adults we know this. When we buy a house, it’s ours and the property its on. The deed mentions the real estate–the piece of ground we own. It’s recorded in the courthouse. No matter how small the lot or if it is acres and acres, it is ours. The survey sets the definition of what belongs to us.
Property lines go way back. People used to use rocks to define the lines. This scripture teaches us a timely lesson.
Proverbs 22:17 Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. 18 For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips. 19 That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. 20 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, 21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee? 28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
Most every Bible has a map section. The early maps are fascinating. You turn the pages and the maps change. God promised Abraham some land while he was in the fertile crescent of current Iran and Iraq. His home area was fed by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and was a good area. But God called him to a land he would give him. It wasn’t a little lot but a big area of land. When they got there, they saw the land already occupied by other tribes and nations who worshipped idols, mainly Baal. They had their own man-made religions. Sound familiar? It does doesn’t it. They had set their boundaries but God had other plans. He set property lines for Abraham, his son and his sons. The nation of Israel was born. When you see maps today, you see Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and all those other countries. They occupy large portions. There is the land God gave his children and its parameters don’t look so big. All the nations hate and fear Israel. God have mercy on our people who turn their backs on Israel. Remember God said those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse her will be cursed.
We go too much by size. As Christians we feel too small. It’s not our size. Stay within the bounds of what God set. You may feel small and weak. The area of the enemy may be big. The neighbors may be bad and wicked. If we don’t remove the landmarks of God, he’ll fight our battles. Israel rejected Jesus but one day 144,000 will accept the gospel. This will be in a whole new ball game. The age of grace will be over. When the rapture takes place 12,000 from each tribe will open their eyes and be saved. Right now no matter who we are, the only way to be saved is to call on the name of the Lord. That’s the only boundary line.
Bad neighbors can make it hard. I rode up to NYC several years ago with someone to pick up some equipment. It was awful. We stopped to get gas and even the tanks were locked and wouldn’t be opened until we paid for the gas. I don’t know how people live like that. We may have three good neighbors and one bad one. Remember we are in the minority compared to the lost around us. We can’t say that God accepts other religions. We can’t say those good neighbors are all right. That’s what’s wrong now. If the Bible says something is a sin, it is. The devil wants to move the landmarks and take them down. Let’s not be willing to move them ourselves.
We’ve got to know the responsibility of being a Christian. We don’t fiddle around with the landmarks. That’s why Solomon wrote this and went into such detail. The most important thing is to grasp this truth. We fit ourselves to the truth. We don’t write a new Bible and take out what we don’t like. That brings nothing but confusion. We conform to the Bible; we don’t conform it to us. It may stomp our toes, but it puts us in a better place. The landmarks are not just old; they are ancient. God set them in the beginning.
We can do two things to landmarks. The bad neighbors want in–the atheist, the false religions. When the bad neighbors try to get in, get on your property line and defend it. Stand up. Don’t be ashamed of your lines. Don’t say sin is okay. Pray and you can move them out. OR you can move them on in. Move your landmarks until it’s so tight around you that you’re not in the place God wants. You’ll give more and more to the devil.
If a neighbor tries to move your property line, that’s against the law. So don’t let the devil have an inch on your spiritual property lines. If you give in, then your neighbor’s problems will become your own. God has defined his lines as a straight and narrow path but with enough room for us to be happy. Verse 18 says For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.
We didn’t set them. God did. Verse 28 says Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. We should leave them where they are. Respect them. Heed them. Be clear about them. It’s up to us what we do.
Where are the ancient landmarks in your life? If you’re not sure it’s time to uncover them.