Monday, March 10, 2014

Landmarks and Caution Signs

"Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set." Prov. 22:28

In Bible times, as today, a landmark was an object that either occurred naturally, or was placed specifically to mark out boundaries. Removing one incurred the judgment of God then, and it will earn you a hefty fine today. They’re indications of possession and order not to be ignored or removed.
To the grown son or daughter, Solomon gives the above warning in his collection of proverbs. They are perpetual instructions to be passed down from generation to generation. He repeats it in the next chapter: “Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless” (23:10). The "fathers" referred to in 22:28 go far beyond the ones that gave us birth. They are "Father" Abraham, Moses, Daniel, David, Paul, Peter, etc. They have left us ancient landmarks set in tables of clay, on parchment, and on paper. The verse in chapter twenty-three speaks of an “old landmark,” cautioning the young man or woman blessed with godly parents not to live as though they were “fatherless,” bereft of godly instruction.
I see an overlapping, or continuation between these two verses. Not all aspects of early training fall into the lofty category of an “ancient landmark," but the wise young man or woman latches on to those things that are, and incorporates them into his or her own world view and standard of personal conduct. The most important teachings we learn from Christian parents are those things that did not begin with them, those “ancient” landmarks.
But what about the “old landmark” Solomon speaks of? We’re told not to remove those either. Could I differentiate between those and the ancient ones, practically, if not doctrinally? Could I liken them to so-called “house rules” that parents set up as boundaries for their children? They may not have a definite chapter and verse behind them, but you can count on them to keep you within the perimeter of Bible principles. They’re caution signs for young travelers on new roads; and not surprisingly, many young people come to their own conclusion that they weren’t just caution signs, they qualify as good personal landmarks for the rest of their lives.
This world is stealthily removing God’s ancient landmarks from our country, and the devil is always on the look out for ways to do the same in our personal lives. We must be constantly on our guard. Caution signs are optional; but landmarks are obligatory. You remove them at your own risk.

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