Saturday, January 17, 2009

The ancient boundaries

Here is a nice shot of an old boundary marker: a treeline stretching up, over the hill and in the distance. Very evocative photo... it brought to mind the divine prohibition about moving boundaries.

  • You shall not move your neighbor's boundary mark, which the ancestors have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the LORD your God gives you to possess. Deuteronomy 19:14
  • 'Cursed is he who moves his neighbor's boundary mark.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.' Deuteronomy 27:17
  • "Some remove the landmarks; They seize and devour flocks. Job 24:2
  • Do not move the ancient boundary Which your fathers have set. Proverbs 22:28

There is something sacred in the land granted by God; one moves the boundaries only at great detriment to himself. The lesson is enduring and graphic, in its physical intent: a protection of property and heritage, an honoring of the poor, the widows and orphans. In a spiritual sense, this applies in spades to postmoderns: we've ripped away the ancient boundaries, defining all sense and sin in relation to ourselves. The ancient Reformation understanding of the true self as defined outside one's natural self is jettisoned -- and despised. Layers of lessons! Not the least of which is the fact that this picture is posted in a time when Israel's boundaries are transgressed almost daily by terror. Selah.

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