Set Your Boundaries
"You shall not remove your neighbour’s landmark, which the men of old have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.
Borders and boundaries have been thrown into high relief at this time; internationally with the horrific conflict over Ukraine, but also nationally, with the ramifications over Brexit and continuing talk about Scottish Independence. Even locally, we are experiencing dissent over who owns what. But The LORD says to His people ‘You shall not remove your neighbour’s landmark,’
This comes at the end of several verses, giving examples of taking life, either intentionally or unintentionally, and about setting up ‘cities of refuge’. After this, verse 14 appears as a mild endnote to a strong and complex exposition. However, it is a succinct summing up, concluding that we need to set our boundaries ‘as the men of old have set.’ Who are these ‘men of old’? Specifically, they are our ancestors, but more importantly, they are those who were ‘in the beginning’.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. [JOHN 1:1-5]
John’s Gospel begins — as did the book of Genesis — with ‘in the beginning’. The ‘men of old’, we are to understand, followed God’s precepts and guiding, leading to our rich inheritance — the everlasting life of Christ in us. That Christ-life is the boundary we must set about ourselves. It is a shield of protection, our spiritual covering and the narrow way.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus shows us the way that we should pray to Father God. He speaks about ‘trespasses’, which are sins, faults or offences, and we can commit these things or suffer because of sins or offences being done to us by others. To trespass is to push or break through a boundary, to intrude on another’s land — both in the natural and spiritual realms.
‘The enemy’ is forever trying to take our land from us, and he does this by deception and stealth, so that we are unaware of his schemes until too late. Only by ‘bringing every thought into captivity’ do we have access to the strength of our Heavenly Father to deliver us.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. [2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-6]
Read more about this by reading the meditation from 11th June 2021…
YOU SHALL NOT REMOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR’S LANDMARK
‘Meditate on these things…’
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
THE LORD’S PRAYER (Live from Jerusalem, 2001) — Charlotte Church
A HOLY COMMAND: Oswald Chambers on LOVE
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GEORGE and GILL STEWART