“Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the Lord thy God giveth thee to possess it” (Deut. 19:14).
A “landmark” is a mark that designates where your land ends and your neighbor’s land begins. Modern surveyors drive a metal rod into the ground to separate and distinguish property, but ancient landmarks often consisted of a stone that could be removed by someone wishing to encroach upon his neighbor’s land. God pronounced a “curse” upon any man who would dare to so mistreat his fellow-Hebrew (Deut. 27:17). This was because after God divided up the Promised Land amongst the children of Israel in the Book of Joshua, He commanded them that it not be sold (Lev. 25:23; Num. 36:7). This is why Naboth refused to sell his land to Ahab (I Kings 21:1-3). Naboth wasn’t being stubborn or disrespectful to his king, he was being faithful to the Law of his God (cf. Ezek. 46:18).
Landmarks to this day continue to mark where your land ends and your neighbor’s land begins. However, today we also have certain societal landmarks that God has to help us distinguish between right and wrong. For instance, for thousands of years, mankind clearly understood where to draw the line between right and wrong when it came to the subject of abortion. Then in 1973, our Supreme Court removed the landmark when they legalized abortion, and we have been living with the holocaustic consequences of this “landmark decision” ever since. Now societal surveyors are taking aim at yet another God-given landmark, the definition of marriage that limits it to the bond that can only exist between a man and a woman in the eyes of God.
Such landmarks also exist in the spiritual realm of Bible doctrine. The historic fundamentals of the faith that define Christianity have for centuries helped God’s people determine where truth ends and error begins. These spiritual landmarks are always under attack, and the day in which we live is no exception. To counter this trend that was present even in his own day, the Apostle Paul challenged young Timothy:
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (II Tim. 1:13).
While we should always be open to receiving new understanding from God’s Word “with all readiness of mind” (Acts 17:10,11), we must “prove all things” and “hold fast” only “that which is good” (I Thes. 5:21). We have a rich “inheritance” in Christ (Eph. 1:11,14) that these landmark doctrines serve to protect. Let’s work together to preserve them!
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.