Remove Not the Ancient Landmark
“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” —Proverbs 22:28
The book of Proverbs is the wisdom of God. Solomon, who was called the wisest man to ever live, wrote about three thousand proverbs. But more than two thousand of those proverbs are not included in the Bible as they were not inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The Hebrew word proverbs is from the verb that means “to rule” or “govern,” therefore, the book of wisdom is to rule and guide our hearts and our conduct.
Irish Bible scholar George Williams had this to say about the book of Proverbs:
“The wisdom in this book is not human sagacity or cleverness or ability, but the application to the smallest details of human life of the wisdom which built the heavens and the earth and maintains them in beings. This is grace indeed that God should place His wisdom at the disposition of man in order to man’s happiness, and to his walking a safe road in the midst of confusion and evil and danger. The book contrasts the fear of Jehovah and the follow of self-will. The former is declared to be the foundation of wisdom, and prosperity; the latter is denounced as the cause of suffering and death. The book deals with God’s moral government in the earth, and its sure guide amidst life’s perplexities. It undertakes to lead men safely whether they be princes or peasants; and to direct them aright in all their concerns whether public or private.”
The literal meaning of Proverbs 22:28 concerns boundary markers that were set up to divide farming lands from owner to owner. The godly farmer was not to move the landmark and take up more of his neighbor’s land (i.e., honesty). However, there is a far greater spiritual meaning and that is what we are going to look at.
The Ancient Landmark
The true landmark is the Word of God. As the landmark of old marked the boundary of land and served as a guide, the Bible is the moral landmark that guides our path. The Bible is the landmark as it regards right and wrong. It is the roadmap that we are to follow in this journey of life.
The first thing we must look at is the state of our country. As I observe the condition of our country, it’s clear that you don’t have to be a sociologist to recognize that our nation has lost its way morally. Ungodly lifestyles are being pushed upon us as if they are normal, and anyone who disagrees is labeled a homophobe, bigot, hater, etc. If you say anything that could be construed as negative against transgenders, you are labeled mean-spirited, right-wing, or a religious nut. The Bible is considered a book of hate and preaching against sin is called hate speech. Christians are actually considered “terrorists” by some. Freedoms are being encroached upon, free speech is being attacked, and crime is exploding in some of our major cities.
The reason for all of this is very simple. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” True knowledge is Bible knowledge. Where there is much Bible, there is much freedom; little Bible, little freedom; no Bible, no freedom.
Second, we must look at the state of the church. As the Word of God is being pushed out of the nation, sadly, the Bible is being removed from the church. Today, the modern church growth movement is saying:
• Pastors, to have a successful church, a large church, you must have a new approach.
• The things we once did are no longer applicable.
• Expository preaching is old-fashioned.
• You must incorporate the entertainment methods of the world. To reach people, you need to invite the ways of the world, the methods of the world. People are to be entertained, made to laugh, made to feel good about themselves.
• The church must not proclaim strong doctrinal stands.
• Sin is not to be talked about; it may offend people.
We no longer have shepherds. We have celebrity pastors, hipsters behind the pulpit who mouth pithy words but don’t really say anything.
Where are the John the Baptists, the Philips, the Pauls of today? Sadly, they have been replaced by those say nothing, do nothing, and stand for nothing. People are coming to our churches and leaving unsaved, unconvicted, and unfilled—but they are entertained. They will laugh, but never weep.
C.H. Spurgeon, the famed British pastor of the Victorian period in England, preached a sermon titled, “Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats,” a title that sums up where we are today.
True shepherds have one job and that is to feed the sheep, which means preaching the Bible. People need to hear the Bible; they need to hear the doctrines of the Bible proclaimed. They need to hear about sin and its horrible effects, and they need to hear the only remedy for sin, which is Christ and Him crucified—the theme of the Bible. If the Bible is not being preached, then all you are doing is amusing goats.
Our fathers in the faith have laid the foundation. It worked for them, and it will work for us today, so let’s not remove the ancient landmarks “which your fathers have set.”
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