“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” Proverbs 22:28
Have you ever been driving somewhere and the only way you knew where you were supposed to turn was because of the old country store on the corner, or the funny looking tree that was all knarled up; perhaps it was the billboard across the street? How did you feel when it was moved? You may have gotten off track or turned around. The landmark that you relied on as a familiar marker to tell you where you were going was either moved or torn down. What about a property dispute where there was a question about the boundaries of your land and your neighbor’s land? To resolve it, you may have taken a trip to the courthouse to review the deed to the land which outlined the boundaries. Well, we rely on our spiritual landmarks to tell us where we are and where we can and cannot go.
In the early Bible days, landmarks were considered sacred and removing the ancient landmark was dishonest, deceitful, and covetous. It was also the equivalent of altering a deed for a larger share of the land. This was a mean attempt to defraud the owner and rob him of land which was part of his ancient possession. This was such a serious matter that God pronounced a curse on anyone who did this according to Deuteronomy 27:17a, “Cursed be he that removeth his neighbor’s landmark...”
The primary landmarks of Christianity are in the teachings of Christ and the apostles and these landmarks of Scripture set boundaries for God’s creation to live within. Those who reject or remove the landmarks of Scripture will, one day, be judged by them.
Why are spiritual landmarks needed today?
Spiritual landmarks are an indication of divine care – God loves us so much and He cares about our soul so much that He gave us direction and boundaries. He knows that we are flesh and our thoughts are evil. He is holy and righteous and He expects us to walk circumspectly before Him. He is not a hard or evil taskmaster withholding good from us but is longsuffering towards us.
Spiritual landmarks are symbols of fixed spiritual truths – It is the Lord that said, “I am the Lord, I changeth not.” So why should we go and change what He has already established? There are certain fundamental and established doctrines which must not be removed, and which can never be shaken.
The spiritual landmarks of Scripture help us navigate in this life. We look at some landmarks and they tell us where we have been. Others tell us where we are. Still others tell us where we are headed. Our generation is characterized by a lack of restraint, independent spirits and resistance to Divine authority; however, we must remember that “The foundation of the Lord standeth sure.”
Removing the spiritual landmark signifies a serious departure from moral virtue or correctness. It means you disregard ancient customs - many scorn ancient landmarks as relics of days gone by. Not wanting to be restrained, they seek to go beyond thought and action boundaries, indulge in novelties, and cry “outlaw the Bible!” It means you violate the law of God. God set boundaries for Israel in terms imposed by his will. Removal of landmarks is the violation of His command and a direct insult to His authority.
So, how do we move/remove a spiritual landmark?
By changing the doctrine of Scripture. This is what heretics and false teachers have done and are still doing.
By removing biblical standards from the lives of converts/disciples.
By replacing the local church founded by Christ with the universal church invented by men. In so doing, We take away flocks that should belong to Christ and build empires for ourselves.
By sending people to prison for murder but celebrating abortion which is murder.
By taking Christian prayer out of school in favor of praying to a generic god all in the name of tolerance and accommodation.
By legalizing same-sex marriage when the Bible says homosexuality is a sin and an abomination.
When physical landmarks are removed, we can lose our way. When spiritual landmarks are changed or removed in the name of being progressive, we lose our way and our souls are at stake. That’s too high a price to pay.
Don’t give in to the pressure to move the spiritual landmarks like others have done. Back in the days of the Old West, landowners would patrol their land on horseback with a shotgun in hand and make sure their property boundaries weren’t moved or tampered with and that none of their cattle was stolen. In like manner, we have been given a spiritual inheritance through the Word of God. Let’s protect our inheritance while on our knees with the “Sword of the Spirit” in our hand.