“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” (Proverbs 22:28)
What is a landmark? Webster’s 1828 dictionary gives two definitions. The first one says that a landmark is a mark to designate the boundary of land; any mark or fixed object . The second definition refers to a landmark in navigation as being any elevated object on land that a seaman can use as a guide.
Looking at these two specific definitions, landmarks are important in many different areas of life because they show safe direction for travel, and put limitations along the way for the good of a traveler. A landmark is also referred to as a fixed object, in other words, something that is supposed to be unmovable.
Why should it not be moved?
Again, it is for the safety of those who pass by the landmark. The most recognizable landmarks are things like lighthouses, fences around properties, or signs on highways. There are other types of landmarks, though, that fulfill these definitions. For instance, there are spiritual landmarks that should be in all our lives. They are fixed points where God worked, changed our direction, and looking back, they have served as guides for our lives moving forward.
What about when you got saved? Spiritual landmark. Have you ever completely surrendered to His will for your life? Spiritual landmark. The first time you led a soul to the Lord? How about the time He gave victory over a besetting sin? Or that answered prayer? All spiritual landmarks.
These are landmarks for you, but also for anyone who observes your life,
like family or friends. Call to memory the story when the Children of Israel crossed over Jordan to enter the promised land, and God instructed them to set up two piles of stones. Why did He do this? So the next generation would understand that God took care of their parents and grandparents, and He would and could take care of them.
Sometimes landmarks serve as historical guides to learn from and help us move forward in the right direction. The famous saying is that if you don’t learn from history you are doomed to repeat it. Why would the world allow Germany to keep the empty shells of concentration camps for visiting tourists? They are sober reminders of man’s sinful nature, and remind us of the horrors that can take place when individuals stop thinking for themselves, allowing the government to think for them. If the historical landmark makes them uncomfortable, the only change that can be made is in the mind of the individual and the actions they take in the future.
History is done, but the landmarks it leaves serve as guides, fixed objects, that should move us in the right direction. A statue of an American Founding Father, should inspire us to be a person who, in spite of possible loss of life, fortune, position, or family, chooses the right way, even if it
is a way filled with obstacles. Truth doesn’t cease being truth because it makes some uncomfortable, is ignored, or not taught.
Just because there is a landmark erected for a person or event, doesn’t imply that everything that happened in an event, or all that a person did was “perfect”. That can’t happen, because even on our best day, all of us are just sinners. But landmarks are important historical reminders, guides, to help us along in life. They are for our safety and our learning. If people
gave their lives for the Word of God, find out why, and teach it to others. If people gave their lives for our country, find out why, and pass it on.
Proverbs reminds us not to remove the ancient landmark. As a Christian, the best landmark, or guide for our live s is the Word of God. Love it, read it, study it, live it. You will never go wrong if the Bible becomes your “light house”!