Proverbs 22:28 – Do not remove the ancient landmark that your ancestors set up. (NRSV)
The huge baobab tree still stands strong beside the road to my grandmother's village. It has been an amazing landmark all these years. There are no road signs, traffic lights, or street names on the way to my village back in Africa. Instead, we rely on landmarks like trees, rocks, or streams for directions to our village. Over the years, some of these landmarks have disappeared or been transformed, while others have remained.
One cold winter afternoon, a friend of ours lost his way on a country highway and stopped to ask a store owner for directions. He was surprised to hear no mention of street names. Instead, the store owner gave directions using landmarks, and surprisingly, our friend did make it safely to his destination without any problems.
In life, we all use the landmarks of familiar objects, memories, and traditions to provide a sense of comfort. Landmarks provide us with peace of mind when they aid and guide us through life.
In ancient Biblical times, God's people used rocks as permanent reminders of their encounter and covenant with Him. Abraham built altars to honour God; Jacob set up his stone pillow at Bethel, "the house of God"; and Moses piled up rocks to remind people of God's deliverance at the Jordan River.
Our life is supposed to be a journey of discovery on God's road. The Bible contains landmarks that act as a framework for how followers of Jesus are to conduct themselves and persevere in the ways that are established and true.
The Bible serves as the map that shows us the directions, paths, and landmarks which God has pointed out to us. It contains the commands and promises of God that explain how to stay on the path of righteousness. It also has the good news of forgiveness that shows us how to find our way again if we become lost.
We need to acknowledge and observe the spiritual landmarks that God has given us. When we decide to disregard these landmarks, there can only be confusion and anxiety.
Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (NRSV)
John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (NRSV)
2 Thessalonians 2:15 – So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter. (NRSV)
Prayer: Merciful Lord, grant us wisdom and grace to recognize the true landmarks that You have established for us. In a world full of confusion, information overload, and temptation, may we find comfort in Your Word. Thank You for Your sacrifice to save us, and by Your Holy Spirit, bring us back into the fold. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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