Don’t move boundary stones

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

It doesn’t look much, does it? It’s an English country boundary stone from maybe 1810 (Think Pride and Prejudice). It marks a beginning and an end; a line of ownership… it’s a big deal. So is the text above.

And in that text. there’s a powerful point. God has established 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. And life itself is a gift from the Lord and He has set forth His boundary stones for our good.

The moving of boundary stones for the original writer of Proverbs 22 meant theft: theft from the owner of that land, and disrespect for God, the giver of the land. It’s not too different for us. 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.

Billy Graham once said that we laugh now at things that used to embarass us thirty years ago.
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.

The landmark (or boundary stone) may be a spiritual standard, established by our spiritual forefathers, God-honouring 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.

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16 Responses to Don’t move boundary stones

  1. Buzz says:

    If the boundry stone is not supposed to be moved! Then why has christianity done away with the laws and even put off the sabbath, 1 John 2:3 says the way we can be sure we know Him if we are obeying his commands, 4 anyone who says I know Him but isn’t obeying his commands s liar and the truth is not in you. Are you moving the boundry stone?

  2. Andrew Price says:

    Helpful thoughts as I prepare to preach on this, every blessing

  3. writeonereallife says:

    Hello, Ken Baker! I am from the US. We have not only moved boundary stones as a nation, we have broken them into chunks and ground them with the pestle of depravity and deliberate sin. May God forgive us.

    I am reading your post several years after you originally penned it and I just wanted to thank you for encouraging us to be careful with God’s word. Don’t know if or when you will read this, but know that today, I am praying a prayer of thanks for your faithfulness here.

    Please pray for us as well. There are a few righteous folks who still yearn to please God and who risk much when telling His story.

    In His grip,

    • kenbaker says:

      Hi Kristy: I’m still here! – thanks for your encouragement. It is good to hear from you. We live overlooking a beautiful salmon river, and right now I am watching a busy heron stalking the pools. When I see nature rolling on regardless of Man and all his ways, it almost makes me believe that despite all our sin and waywardness,that time will correct the balance, and that new life and redemption is possible. I remember that line from Tolkien: “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”

  4. wayne says:

    I am preparing a message on boundary stones culture has removed many vestiges of morality is the church really so far behind?

  5. Rachael Gallant says:

    I am reading this on 4/14/2018. As I see what is going on in the world and especially the US today, it is more than obvious that more and more boundaries are being moved to try to separate us from God. I really like your message. It is more revelant today then ever!
    Thank you!

  6. karabomasoeu says:

    You spoke the truth and with so much clarity! Thank you, this was so good.

  7. Dorothy says:

    Found your post while looking for truth concerning removing boundaries. I witnessed in a church service people walking about pounding the floor with sticks and praying in tongues. The pastor later explained what they were doing. He said, “They are driving Satan away so he cannot remove our boundaries” He quoted Proverbs 22.28 as scriptural grounds. None of it bore witness with my heart. I do not want to be against anyone’s faith, so can you speak to this practice. I do not want to link up with a church in grave error. Thank you for your post. It made perfect sense to me. Also, today is 8.8.2018 just so you know when I read you post. Blessings.

  8. Candy Maddox says:

    Thank you so much for your thoughts on Proverbs 22:28. During my daily Bible reading, I Googled “importance of boundary stones in Old Testament times” and your article popped up. I was excited to see that a Christian has elaborated on the subject. Thank you for helping me understand that it can have a spiritual and not just physical meaning. I live in TX, just so you know. God bless you and your family.

  9. Steve Striemer says:

    As I get deeper into God’s Word I have found that little statements like this prompt that still, quiet voice within me to, ‘study this, learn more about this, this is important’. This was one of those phrases which gave me this kind of ‘nudge’ recently, so thank you for a wonderfully complete explanation. (another one of those phrases has to do with ‘mockers’, and I am looking into that now … it seems to me, early on in my research, that the two might well be connected since mockers seem to be exactly the kind of people who would move a boundary stone)

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