Boundaries In The Bible
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
God is a Holy and Righteous God. Because of his holiness He establishes boundaries throughout Scripture. To accept those boundaries brings joy, peace, and blessing. To reject those boundaries brings heartache, misery, and death.
The first boundaries were established during Creation, and given to Adam and Eve. God divided or separated many things during Creation such as the day/night, land/waters, Earth/Heavens. He established man to have dominion over the Garden of Eden with only one restriction:
Gen 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
As long as Adam and Eve respected and lived within God’s boundaries, they had an abundant life and enjoyed God’s intimate presence in their lives. As soon as they violated that first boundary, the world they lived in was cursed, they were driven out of the Garden and death entered the world.
As God’s people were liberated from Egypt, God established a very well-known and respected set of written boundaries: The 10 Commandments. If you study the first 5 books of the Bible, the Mosaic Law provides numerous, detailed instructions and expectations for God’s people to follow. It has been said that the reason many of these boundaries were given to the Jews was in order to keep them separate from the gentiles and to maintain pure bloodlines until the Messiah came. These laws and regulations were impossible for mankind to keep and served to show the need for GRACE, which Jesus brought to us.
Jesus also gave us examples in his life of observing boundaries.
He made sure that he got plenty of rest and he made it a priority to isolate himself from people’s demands and expectations so that he could spend time with God and continue God’s work.
Luke 4:42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them 43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.
There are many other boundaries woven throughout the Bible. Proverbs is an excellent source of boundaries that are very applicable to our personal interactions with people. The New Testament is full of New Covenant established boundaries that serve the purpose of promoting ministry, growing the body of believers and allowing Grace to abound.
It is not hard to see God’s use of boundaries, and order. Without clear boundaries, chaos would result and the sinful nature of man would create mass destruction and despair. As Christians, we should look upon God’s boundaries and discipline as evidence of his love for us. God is a holy, sovereign and merciful God who only limits us because He desires what is best for us. God’s boundaries are healthy boundaries. If God establishes healthy boundaries, so should we.
Hope you will continue to join me in this series on Boundaries.