By Richard Curtis
“Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors.” Proverbs 22:28
I was first introduced to this scripture at the commencement speech for the first graduating senior class at Eden Christian Academy in Sewickley a number of years ago. The speaker was Dr. David Lloyd, a co-founder of the school and Headmaster Emeritus. After reading this scripture, he began explaining the original context and meaning. In the earliest times of Israel, the property of families was divided and marked by boundary stones. Neighbors agreed in advance where the stones should lie, and it was a violation of the law to move them. This scripture was a command by God not to encroach on another’s property, as it would be in fact stealing land from their neighbor. There were occasions as would be expected however, when neighbors would move these boundary stones to expand their property. The way in which they would do this was very clever. Rather than move a stone a long distance where it might be quickly noticed, they instead only moved the stone a short distance, maybe inches at a time. Over time, after repeating this, they had encroached on their neighbor without being noticed.
For the benefit of the graduating students, who were now preparing to go out into the world, Dr. Lloyd applied this scripture as a teaching illustration of how, like boundary stones, the Biblical values once an integral part of our culture have been encroached upon by secular forces in society. This has not happened in leaps, but gradually in very short steps over time. Dr. Lloyd cautioned the students to be on guard against society encroaching upon the Biblical values they had learned from their parents, their church, and their school. As a reminder, he gave each graduating student a stone which began a tradition of the names of every future Eden graduate to be engraved in a wall of stones. (see photograph above).
Think of how the values in our society have changed over the past generation. The moment life begins has been re-defined. Marriage has been re-defined. Very recently even the secular definition of gender is beginning to change. Sexual behaviors that were actually violations of civil law a few generations ago are now non-issues or even celebrated. (adultery is still illegal in 21 states, LA Times, April 29, 2016. 1) Television shows in prime time now have language and sexuality reserved only for movie theatres a generation ago.
Clearly, Christians must guard themselves, and be diligent in our witness and in our prayers if this culture is to have a chance of returning to God’s original boundaries.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:1-2a
All scripture references New International Version
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Posted on Thu, June 22, 2017
by Richard Curtis