“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).
Recently the UN Security Council at the urging of President Obama passed a resolution that would require Israel to change its borders. The Security Council resolved to force Israel back to the 1967 borders and that no further building projects would be allowed in the so-called settlements (actually in biblical Samaria and Judea). The Bible is filled with stories and events revealing the importance of borders. Some are God’s borders and some are man’s borders.
Recently I was reminded of the event that happened concerning the borders of property on top of Mount Carmel.
In 1995 we had been given a plot of land by the previous owners for the purpose of building a congregational worship center there. We hired an excellent Messianic Jewish architect and an outstanding Arab Christian engineer. After submitting our architectural plans for the building, we were notified by the municipality that our plans were too close to the border of the property. We were required to move the position of the building 5 meters away from the property line (a real headache for the architect!), but we did it.
It turned out to be a blessing from the Lord! When we moved the plans away from the border it positioned the building 5 meters higher on the mountain, actually the highest point on Mt Carmel. By moving up the mountain, we suddenly gained a new large space underneath the sanctuary of the building which ultimately became our Elijah Prayer Cave. Thousands of people have met the Lord in prayer in that cave. We were learning the importance of operating within God’s borders.
God’s establishment of the borders of the world is recorded in the Book of Genesis. He set where the mountains and the seas would go. The Garden of Eden where God placed the first man and woman was a perfect creation. Perhaps the most heart-breaking moment in the Bible is when He cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. The Lord even set a border guard, an angel with a fiery sword, to prevent them from re-entering. God is serious about His borders which are holy.
The battles for land have gone on since time immemorial. Once Karen and I were flying from Hong Kong over Europe en route to Tel Aviv and as I looked out the window it was as if I was looking at a huge graveyard where six million Jews were exterminated and many European wars had been fought. Most of these wars had been started due to a battle over land. After World War II it took years for some sort of reconciliation to be made between Germany, France, England, and the Former Soviet Union. What were they fighting over? Land and borders.
Here in Israel, Arabs have been trying to claim the land that they call Palestine by promoting a history of lies, even claiming that there was never a Jewish temple in Jerusalem, and that Jesus was a Palestinian. Now we have the UN Security Council trying to create a nation built on falsehood and the battle is over the borders. If Israel is forced to give up East Jerusalem, including the Western “Wailing” Wall, to the Palestinians there will be war. With former President Obama’s decision to not veto the UN resolution, America could come under judgment because God says, “Don’t change my borders!”
In addition to physical borders, there are also the borders of conduct in the kingdom of God. We are shown God’s borders in the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. How do we treat people? Do the children obey their parents? Are we as parents setting borders for our children? We must realize that God’s borders are holy and sacred -- set for our safety, and for His glory. The earth is the Lord’s and we are His tenants on it and are expected to be good stewards of all He has entrusted to us. When we do not operate within His God-given borders, we will not fully receive the blessing of the Lord upon our lives. We have known men of God who felt called to minister in Israel, but were not operating within God’s borders, refusing accountability to any godly leadership. Accountability keeps us within God’s borders and can prevent us from falling into deception.
As we stand in the gap for Israel’s borders to be protected, let us also embrace and submit to God’s borders in our lives. “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround Him as with a shield” (Psalm 5:12).
- - DD