“When He prepared the heavens, I was there;
When He set a circle on the face of the deep,
When He formed the clouds above,
When He made the strong foundations of the deep,
When He gave to the sea its limit, that the waters should not pass beyond His command;
When He decreed the foundations of the earth.”
– Proverbs 8:27-29 (LITV)
After giving resources to the earth, filling it with treasures and useful blessings, the next thing God did was to establish boundaries.
The Boundaries established upon the Earth
According to the word of Wisdom personified in this passage, the LORD established boundaries…
- Between the heavens and the earth (v27)
- Between the earth and the sky (v27)
- The clouds are established “above”, which probably includes the dew and fog at lower altitudes all the way up to the place where the atmosphere ends (v28)
- The deep foundations of the earth, which usually keep the earth from moving underneath us (v28)
- The limits of the seas and oceans (v29, Job 38:8, Psalm 33:7, Proverbs 8:29)
The very fact that there is a limit to the sea, a point beyond which the ocean is not permitted to cross, allows us the stability to establish a home. Yes, we have earthquakes, but what would we do if the soil beneath our feet moved like an ocean? Even the plants would not be able to grow, for they depend on the stability of the ground beneath us to grow.
The Boundaries mentioned by God in Scripture
Throughout Scripture, boundaries are mentioned, boundaries that people were not meant to cross:
- The boundary around Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:21-24)
- The boundaries established for the people of Israel (Exodus 23:31), which God reduced (Ezekiel 16:27), and promised to restore (Jeremiah 33:25-26)
- The boundaries of the nations (Deuteronomy 32:8, Acts 17:26)
- The boundaries of the seasons (Psalm 74:17)
- And even the tithe of our increase is a boundary that we must respect, if we wish to be truly blessed (Malachi 3:8-12)
The Boundaries of History
Earthquakes, tsunamis and a boat in the water remind us of what the world would be like if the deep foundations of the earth were moved. They become news only because they are so rare. Otherwise, the border of the sea remains where it is. That is why we are so surprised when we find that it is temporarily pushed back. For a moment, we feel what it must have been like for people in the time of Noah.
I watched this video about the tsunami of Christmas 2004. What particularly hit me about it was how so much destruction took place in a short amount of time… mostly because people never expected the boundary of the sea to be crossed. They lived, trusting that this boundary would not be crossed.
The Dutch have built homes beyond the limits of the sea and use pumps to maintain them… but even they found the limit at which they could not build.
And World War I can be summarized in one sentence: The Axis powers tried to move the boundary of the Western Front into France, and the Allies tried to push them back to Germany.
For three years, millions lost their lives trying to move this line forward or backward, but it remained unchanged. Think of how many lives would have been spared if either side had come to respect this boundary as immovable until the time would come for it to be moved back!
Application: approach Boundaries carefully
- Healthy boundaries keep us safe, like a fence keeps your garden safe from cows and a wall around a compound keeps your house safe from the enemy.
- Our goal should be to respect the boundaries God sets for us (2 Corinthians 10:13).
- A satanic boundary must be broken in Jesus’ Name. (2 Corinthians 10:1-5) Don’t let the enemy take what rightfully belongs to you!
- When God is setting boundaries, they cannot be moved, no matter how hard we try. So, don’t push against the boundaries God has established.
- Ambition to overcome a boundary God has established robs us of sleep and strength. It shows others that we are not a shepherd, but a thief and a robber (John 10:1-5). For example, anyone who climbs over the fence around your property, is probably not one of your friends.
- As God reduced the boundaries of Israel because of sin, so God can reduce our boundaries as well.
Has you ever faced any boundaries in your life, God-given or otherwise? Please feel free to share about them in the comments below: