paul m hanssen
REMOVE NOT THE ANCIENT LANDMARK - by Gwen D Hanssen
Updated: Aug 16, 2021
REMOVE NOT THE ANCIENT LANDMARK -
by Pastor Gwen D Hanssen
Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set (Proverbs 22:28)
This admonition was written by King Solomon, many centuries after the LORD gave the command to the Israelites to set landmarks and boundaries on the land that He had given them, the Promised Land. Each tribe was allotted a certain territory as their God-ordained inheritance. They were to mark what was theirs by erecting pillars made of stones. These landmarks served as boundaries. They were sacred and God was very strict about these borders, so much so that He would pronounce a curse on those who would move them in order to take advantage for themselves. (Deuteronomy 27:17)
In the Proverb quoted above, King Solomon refers to them as “ancient” landmarks. Note that even though many centuries had passed, God still recognized those original boundaries and condemned those who would dare move them. These landmarks were not to be encroached upon not only in that generation but in the generations to come.
Since ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for us now, in our present-day journey (Romans 8:28), then it would behoove us to look into this matter further in order to find the hidden gem of truth, the spiritual principle, that is profitable for us in this present generation. What an honor and a privilege to have 66 books of pure, unadulterated Truth to lead us on. He has not left us without a roadmap. We just have to have willing, humble hearts and minds to dig and find the beautiful treasures that are otherwise hidden from the arrogant and proud. Since that be so, let’s look a little further into the matter as to why the LORD was so specific and particular in His Word about not moving the landmarks even though they had been set hundreds of years before. As we know, God is unchangeable and His ways are everlasting. If it was important then, it is important now.
Let’s fast forward a few more hundred years as we look at Israel’s history and we will be instructed, yet once again, by the prophet Jeremiah about the importance of setting up those “waymarks” (monumental guiding pillars) when he admonished backsliding Israel to get back on the highway, the ‘Highway of Holiness’. (Isaiah 35:8)
He said, “Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, Oh virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.” (Jeremiah 31:21)
How did Jeremiah instruct them to find their way back to the Highway of Holiness? He told them to set up waymarks and make high heaps. Both of these words, waymarks and high heaps mean pillars in Hebrew. He instructed them to rebuild their wall of sanctification and holiness unto God; to rebuild the barriers or the pillars between themselves and the world that served as a protection and a guide to keep them within the bounds and confines of “Holiness to the LORD.” Backslidden Israel had removed the ancient landmarks, pushed back the boundaries, and attempted to change the spiritual landscape of their God-given inheritance; the Promised Land. Because of this, God removed His hedge of protection and allowed them to be taken into Babylonian captivity. Is it any coincidence that the word Babylon means confusion?
How many times have we watched those who begin to reset the boundaries of exactly what ‘holiness and separation’ unto God is or means become confused in many other areas of their lives? Many become confused in their doctrines and principles of Truth. As the boundary is lowered, the enemy can come in like a flood and begin to whisper His filthy lies that he poses as questions just exactly as he did in the Garden of Eden when he came to Eve. He did not come to her with a bold statement of declaration about the boundary of restriction that God had set for them. He could have come to her and made a much more direct statement and said, “Just eat of the fruit, you won’t die. I mean, how stupid to not be able to eat of a delicious fruit that has been provided for you in the midst of this amazing garden. After all, God wants you to be happy.” Oh no, not at all. His approach was far more crafty than that! He came to her with a seemingly innocent question, “Hath God said?” The enemy uses these very vices today. Oftentimes, his whispers to the going-on Christian are not to tempt them to run out and commit adultery, steal, or kill because he knows that he could never get to a person who has sold out to God with that particular trick. Instead, he begins to drop seeds to cause us to question God’s Word. Oh, he’s sly!
It is when we are weak, vulnerable and our defenses are down because we have allowed the enemy to tell us that it is a good idea to reset the boundaries of what “Holiness to the LORD” looks like that we become a wide-open target for the serpent’s slimy questions to be whispered into our ears, “I mean, is all of that really necessary?” “Is it necessary to really look, be and do all of that?” “God’s Grace has covered you and He just wants you to be happy.” Oh, I could go on and on of the lies that he loves to whisper to bring us into an absolute and utter state of confusion about what is right/wrong/up/down. He loves to bring disorientation and confusion around the matter of what holiness and separation unto the Lord even is. How do I know? Because I have wrestled with the boundaries and the landmarks myself. Believe me, the flesh will always look for ‘loopholes’. The conclusion that I have come to? I know what brings a peace and a calm and what shuts the mouth of the enemy and his filthy lies. He absolutely hates it when we go down in humble submission and obedience to remain within the age-old, God-given boundaries and choose to respect the ancient landmarks that have been set. He hates when we replace our thoughts, wishes, and desires in pursuit of all that is God and Godly. He hates it when we say, “Jesus, I don’t know to do anything other than to follow the pattern that you have already set through my forefathers.” You set it, they walked by it, so I will walk it even if my flesh hates and despises it. The enemy hates humility and the crucifixion of the flesh. Well, anything he hates, I love!
The arch-enemy of our soul wants us to stand up, push back the boundaries of those well-established ancient landmarks and blaze a new trail as we proclaim that we are indeed 100 percent separated unto Him when we are clearly not. When the boundary between the world and the things of God in our lives are so blurred that we do not stick out like a sore thumb when standing next to a person who does not know God in any form or fashion, then we need to reevaluate and understand what the ancient landmarks are. There is a danger in trying to change the landscape and push back boundaries. However, when we choose to live within the bounds and confines of the ancient landmarks, we will find rest and peace for our souls. The whole world wants peace and happiness. What is happiness? Holiness is happiness. Embrace it, love it, there you will find rest for your soul!
-Gwen D Hanssen