Pathways Through Proverbs
June 23, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 23
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Following Scripture Verses
- When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
- And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
- Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
- Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
- Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
- Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
- For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
- The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
- Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
- Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
- For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
- Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
- Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
- Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
- My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
- Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
- Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
- For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
- Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
- Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
- For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
- Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
- Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
- The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
- Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
- My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
- For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.
- She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.
- Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
- They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
- Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
- At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
- Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
- Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
- They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
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Land ownership was very important to the Jews. When they first entered the Promised Land the property was divided between the tribes, and certain families received specific areas within each tribal region. The ownership of land was so important that God decreed the law of the Year of Jubilee, which stated that every fifty years all properties which had been sold to cover debts were to be restored to the families which originally owned them (Lev. 25:8-55). The boundaries of a family's property were delineated by landmarks. These often consisted of piles of stones, or some other such marker. Because the land was so vital to the family, there are several places in Scripture where the Lord warned against moving the landmarks, which might be done by an unscrupulous neighbor who was attempting to expand his fields at the expense of someone else.
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The obvious application of this verse is that it is wrong to steal your neighbor's land through deceitfully moving the property line. However, I believe there are other applications that can be made as well. God has established guidelines by which His people should live. He has "fenced in" the land which is acceptable for the believer, and all that is outside of those parameters is sin. Yet some Christians are continually moving the landmarks. They are not content with what God has given them, and they want to have more and more of the world. They keep moving farther into the world, not in an attempt to convert it, but with a desire to conform to it. They defend these actions by "moving the landmark". Biblical holiness is now called "legalism". Doctrinal purity is called "intolerance". That which used to be labeled "sin" is now labeled "disease". All of these are illustrations of an attempt by believers to move God's landmark so that they are not bound by His "restrictions", and can go play in the Devil's fields.
God has given us a wonderful land: the victorious Christian life. He has established boundaries on that land which exist solely for our own good. Don't move the landmark so that you can stray onto Satan's property, for everything there will only do you harm.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery