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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Establishing Ancient Boundary Stones

(part 2)

“Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers.”

Proverbs 22:28

In ancient Israel, boundary stones were seen as immovable markers that established some defined parameters within which they would live. Likewise, as fathers, we too need to establish some principles that are “immovable” in our lives that create a perimeter inside of which we and our families live. We must put in place some rock solid principles that can be communicated and passed down from generation to generation. Principles that we are willing to maintain over the course of time and committed to protect.

In 2 Samuel 23:11-12 we read the story of one of David’s mighty men by the name of Shammah:

“Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field of lentils, Israel’s troops fled form them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.”

We read that when the Philistine armies banded together, at a place where there was a field of lentil beans, that Israel fled from them. However, Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field and defended it. He struck down the Philistines and the Lord brought about a great victory. I often wondered, reading that passage, why that field of beans was so important to him. When the rest of the army fled before the Philistines, why would Shammah defend that particular field? In my humble opinion, I believe that the field in which they were standing was his! To Shammah it would have been something worth defending. It wasn’t just a field of beans, but an inheritance. Shammah was willing to die defending that field. The Philistines were trying to encroach on Israel’s territory, but Shammah stood in their way!

We must have boundary stones that we can identify, communicate, maintain and defend or we can be certain that “the world” will attempt to encroach on our inheritance. Let me give you an example of what I mean. If we have no boundary stone when it comes to purity, then the world will attempt to push the envelope on what is appropriate. Nudity, violence and obscene language are common on television today, because the ancient boundary stones of purity were ignored. Adultery, fornication, and homosexuality are rampant today because the ancient boundary stones of purity were left unattended. Unlike Shammah, our enemies did not approach us with a full frontal attack. Rather, they slipped in and moved the stones ever so slightly night after night, week after week, year after year until our inheritance in the land was unidentifiable.

If we hope to secure a spiritual inheritance for our children then we must once again establish, maintain and protect our ancient boundary stones.

Pastor Scott Burr http://faithandworshipseries.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Establishing Ancient Boundary Stones

(Part 1)

“Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers.”

Proverbs 22:28

When Joshua entered the promised land, God told Joshua:

“Be strong and of good courage; for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.”

Joshua 1:6 (kjv)

Once Israel, crossed over, and was able to occupy the land. God instructed Joshua to divide the land among the tribes. From there it was divided among clans, families and individuals. Once allotted their portion of the inheritance the men would set up ‘boundary stones’. These ancient landmarks were like survey stakes marking the perimeter of a families inheritance. Boundary stones established inheritance. Without boundary stones, a families inheritance in the land was unidentifiable. Once these ancient boundary stones were established they were to be honored by the Israelites:

“Do not move your neighbor’s boundary stone set by your predecessors in the inheritance your receive in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess.

Deuteronomy 19:14

In fact, moving an ancient boundary stone was listed by Moses on Mt. Ebal (Dt. 27:17) as a command that if not followed would invite a curse on them. The Israelites, in many cases, would actually inscribe curses on the boundary stones as a reminder to those who might try to encroach on their property.

Because these boundary stones marked their inheritance, the Israelites had to be diligent about maintaining their landmarks. It would be easy for someone to move them gradually, slowly stealing their inheritance. The responsibility of maintaining these ancient landmarks fell on the fathers. Fathers were given the responsibility of protecting their inheritance.
Without the presence of a father, it was easy to gradually encroach upon and take advantage of widows and orphans:

“Do not move the ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless.”

Proverbs 23:10

There is a story found in 1 Kings 21:1-14 about a man named Naboth who owned a vineyard in Jezreel. It was located in close proximity to the palace of King Ahab. King Ahab fancied how close the vineyard was to the palace and wanted it for his vegetable garden. He approached Naboth about buying the property, but Naboth replied:

“The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”

1 Kings 21:3

Scripture tells us that King Ahab went home sullen and angry. He lay sulking on his bed when his wife Jezebel arrived. She devised a plan and had charges brought against Naboth.
Naboth was accused of slandering “God and the king” and was dragged out of the city and stoned. With Naboth out of the way, King Ahab was able to take possession of his vineyard. 2 Kings 9:26 tells us that in order to ensure that no one would attempt to claim Naboth’s property, Ahab had all of Naboth’s sons killed as well. Without Naboth, the father figure, standing in Ahab’s way, Ahab could easily move the ancient boundary stones.

As fathers we have a huge responsibility before us. We must establish some boundary stones for our families. If we fail to, we will be denying our children access to their spiritual inheritance.

Pastor Scott Burr