Proverbs 22:28 “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”
This passage is being spoken specifically about land possessed and markers that have been put in place to show property boundaries. But the principle here also applies to life in general the landmarks are ancient. The lessons learned and guidelines accepted and established over time are those of time and experience. When traveling in the woods, it is always wise to follow a trail. By following a game trail or one made by people, you are very unlikely to ever end up at a cliff or a dead end canyon where there is no escape. Others have traveled this way before, and although people sometimes go to a cliff edge to simply look, then return the way they came, an animal will never do that. Animals are going to create a safe and logical path of travel to and from water, safety, and food. Stay on the old paths and you will travel in security and stability far beyond that which you will obtain by striking out on your own to discover a way to arrive at a given destination. The fact that others have used the path over and over shows it to be trustworthy.
Notice that the landmarks are set by someone. The landmarks set by older people, especially your father, are landmarks worthy of your trust. One of the most foolish decisions a young person makes is to ignore the instruction and life principles of his parents. To walk away from the faith of one’s father is vanity, folly, and the epitome of pride and arrogance.
The cars we drive are a product of hundreds of years of scientific experimentation. We wear clothing and enjoy air conditioning that is a product of an inventor following in the path of another inventor, following in the path of another inventor. Everything we enjoy is the product of looking back, learning from those who went before us, and taking what they learned and building upon the idea — NOT REINVENTING IT.
When your father loves God and right and when the ancients in your life have set up some landmarks of faith and practice, I would suggest that you will find yourself in grievous danger to walk away and create your own path. For the very same reason, we find the aged Paul telling young Timothy and Titus to do just as he told them to do.
It all makes sense to me: An old guy who succeeded in following God for a lifetime says how to do something; I, a youth stepping out into life for the first time (in marriage, college, career, serving in the ministry, in any situation), will listen to the ancients.
-Pastor Bruce Goddard
Faith Baptist Church | Wildomar, CA