Setting Boundaries

Human beings need boundaries and there is an old saying that states that “fences make good neighbors”. Scripture speaks of territorial borders and the need to keep them as they had been set using boundary stones.

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

To move one of these stones was worse than stealing because it would affect generations of people and this is why it brought a curse from the Lord. According to the prophet Hosea, God pours out His wrath like water on those who move boundary stones (Hosea 5:10).

“Cursed is he who moves his neighbor’s boundary mark” -Deuteronomy 27:17

While this gets into integrity and honesty regarding land there is more to understand here than territorial borders. The Lord sets boundaries for more than land and for even more than the orbits of the planets and solar systems. He does indeed set the boundaries of the ocean and the sky but He also sets the boundaries of what is good.

Consider marriage. It is much maligned these days and we have tried to move the boundary stones of how we define this institution established by the Lord. In the area of wealth we see people using government to take what does not belong to them to make it “fair” even though this wealth is destroyed instead of redistributed like they would prefer.

Boundaries are good for us and we should be teaching limits to our children with the understanding of why they are good. Discipline is part of the fruit of the Spirit and it is discipline that gives us strength of the mind and heart allowing us to endure the troubles of this life.

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Recommended Reading for this week:

Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

Isaiah 51:12-52:12

Matthew 26:47-27:10

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The Biblical Calendar

From time to time I like to note where we are on the biblical calendar. We have left behind us the month of Av when we recall that the temple was destroyed twice on the same day hundreds of years apart. It reminds me of the fact that we are the temple of God (1 Cor 6:19-20) and that we should be careful of the destructive power of sin.

Now we move into the month of Elul, a time of repentance when we look forward to meeting the King. We often believe repentance to be a time of dread that we must hang our heads low in sorrow and guilt to meet God but it should also be a time of rejoicing because we know that if we are truly sorry for our sin, the Lord will come running to be reunited with us.

Jesus loves us and wants the best for us. The best for us is to deal with our sin and walk with the Lord in fellowship.

 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” -Ezekiel 18:30-32

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