The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 22:22-29 Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Or crush the afflicted at the gate; For the Lord will plead their case And take the life of those who rob them. Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man, Or you will learn his ways And find a snare for yourself. Do not be among those who give pledges, Among those who become guarantors for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take your bed from under you? Do not move the ancient boundary Which your fathers have set. Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men.
Mexico will pay for the wall. How many times have we heard President Trump utter those words? When then Presidential Candidate Trump made building a wall between Mexico and the United States a major component of his campaign, cries of racism, bigotry, and a lack of compassion for the plight of poor mexicans flooded the twitter sphere. Donald, rather than backtracking, doubled down by tweeting things like “This will be the best wall”. Politics and grandstanding aside, the extremely complex issue of immigration has revealed at least one truth that Americans and Mexicans must consider: the idea of clearly marked, distinct, and easily identifiable borders are a necessity for a nation such as the United States to maintain its identity and protect the interests of its citizens. No one proposing open borders, nor those willing to cross illegally, would ever permit strangers to enter their homes without permission. It’s why we lock our doors at night, put up privacy fences, and have that little steel marker buried in the earth to delineate your property from your neighbor’s.
Today’s proverb states: Do not move the ancient boundary Which your fathers have set. Deuteronomy 27: 17 says “Cursed is he who moves his neighbors boundary mark. And all the people shall say Amen.” Not respecting the property, rights, and boundaries set by your neighbor is a serious offense in the eyes of God. Violating your neighbor by encroaching upon their property is equivalent to theft, motivated by coveting, and often leads to conflict, murder, and full scale war. We see the principle of boundaries all around us do we not? Try breathing in space. Go out and run a 2 minute mile. Drive 120 mph in a 35 mph zone. WWII was one big border violation. Your own flesh and bones display countless examples of the necessity of boundaries. Imagine if your blood never stayed where it was supposed to. Life would be short lived.
This plays out in other ways too. Live as an effeminate man. Be a hard woman. Put your toe on every line your parents ask you not to cross. As we are often reminded at Sovereign King Church, God created men and women in His image. We are to be just, lovers of good and haters of evil. Judgers of right and wrong. Men to protect, provide, and take dominion. Women to display gentle and quiet spirits, nurturing their young in submission to their husbands. When we move outside the scope, the boundaries, that God has place upon us as men and women we break His Law, and wind up violating our neighbors as well. Last night as I walked through the carnival at Sellersburg celebrates, I was struck by the gross violation of God’s boundaries that were on display. I watched little girls as young as 6 or 7 , wearing attire fit for prostitutes, groping and gyrating all over one another, while grown men and women charged with protecting their children stood by in blissful contentment, having their flesh soak up the debauchery on display. When we violate the moral precepts found in God’s Word, we fail to love the Lord with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves.
Have you ever taken the time to observe the moon as it moves through its various phases? Next time the moon is out in its crescent phase, with a pair of binoculars, observe the terminator on the moon's surface. The terminator is the imaginary line where the light and the dark meet. It is very distinct, and appears well defined from our vantage point on earth. This is akin to God’s Law. It displays for us in vivid terms where the boundaries are.
Let us cry out to God for mercy where we have failed to respect His borders. Please kneel.
Heavenly Father, we regularly violate Your Word. We foolishly blur the lines You have drawn, and in the process seek to become an authority unto ourselves. You have given us many examples in Your Word and in Your creation of how boundaries are good, yet we always seem to want to test those markers, as if You were withholding some good thing from us. Father, this is a lack of faith in You: please forgive us. Please forgive us when we violate our neighbors by failing to live as You designed us. Father, please help us to see that like any good parent, You love us, and because You love us, You set boundaries meant for our flourishing. It’s in Jesus name we pray, amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption. | 1 Corinthians 1:30
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lift up your hearts!
(From the 8-26-18 liturgy of Sovereign King Church. Written by Aaron Sabie.)