My morning reading took me here:
Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. Proverbs 22:28
This may be the first time ever that I’ve come out in favor of the KJV being the best translation for a particular verse. The ones I’ve compared with it really lose something in the translation; they all say, “Do not move the boundary stone”… and hence comes our problem. I believe we have taken this verse all wrong.
The word translated “remove” in the KJV and “move” in modern translations is nacag, and it means “to move back”.
So the verse says, “Don’t move it back“. But generations have taken it as, “Don’t move it at all. Ever. This is our standard. This is our place.”
Always remember that Proverbs is given as instruction to the one who would be King (that’s you and me, dear reader)…it’s training for reigning. Kings who do not take new territory for their Kingdom are stagnant… even dying. Kings who settle into complacency and comfort are vulnerable to attack… and even to losing ground.
For generations, the Church was stuck at “do not move it” … don’t go forward, don’t go back… do not grow, do not change, hold to the holy tradition of our fathers…is it any wonder the world has perceived Christian people as being “a stick in the mud”? We’ve stagnated, we’ve let the dust settle, and we’ve become professional waiters… perpetually waiting on God to do something. We’ve created entire doctrines about waiting in safety within the boundaries that the Lord has set. We’ve collectively lost our sense of adventure!
This has, of course, bred disappointment and death. That has brought about the current cultural slide that much of the Church is engaging in: relevance. We thought that all would be well if we maintained the boundary at all costs – but many grew weary in that fight. Many gave up. You can’t walk in triumph if you’re standing still. The constant unanswered pressure from the adjoining kingdom caused some people to say, “OK, I’ll remove the boundary… I’ll retreat to a better spot. Yeah, you’re right, that boundary was set generations ago, it’s no longer relevant today.” We even see boundaries being moved back that were already moved back a few generations ago and we don’t even realize it. We see this again and again in the Church with issues like homosexuality, abortion, universalism, cessationism, monergism, and many more.
The boundary stones were “set by our fathers” not to limit us, but to invite us! They were never meant to say, “stand behind this line”. The landmarks our fathers set are starting points for us as pioneers of the Kingdom of God. Their ceiling becomes our floor. Their borders become our starting lines. Our job in life is to advance those boundaries to the very limits that we are capable of advancing them to… and then give those invitations for expansion to our children and our children’s children.
We were never meant to stand still.. and we were certainly never meant to retreat. Our destiny is to advance… to take territory from the adjoining kingdom… to destroy works of darkness… to bring light to the world. We have to pick up that boundary stone and move it forward into new territory. Every heart, every healing, every deliverance, every prophecy, every miracle advances that boundary… and as momentum builds, the depth of penetration increases so that the boundary advances through cities and then nations!
Destroying darkness, rebuilding ruined cities, and discipling nations is the call and destiny of the sons of God. In order to do these things, we must pick up those boundary stones and begin to walk, and put them back down again in the farthest place that we may, so that our children may have an excellent place to begin and do the same.