Proverbs 23:10

Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:

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The Lord God of heaven and earth protects property rights. He especially protects the poor and helpless. It is tempting to alter business practices for financial advantage, but God condemns such acts. It is tempting to take financial advantage of those who cannot defend themselves, but God condemns that as well. He will come to the aid and defense of those victims, and you will wish you had stayed away from them (Pr 23:11; 22:22-23).

It was customary in Bible times to use a pile of stones, a post, or other marker to establish property boundaries. These landmarks would remain unmoved from one generation to the next, as real property ownership continued as part of family estates. God gave wonderful laws to Israel, and one of them was the protection of property rights by condemning the moving of these established landmarks (Pr 22:28; Deu 19:14; 27:17; Job 24:2; Hos 5:10).

The fatherless are those who had lost their fathers to war or other early deaths. They lacked a strong male defender for property protection or business transactions. Entering their fields by any means of encroachment or theft was a heinous crime. The principle would obviously apply to other acts of property theft as well, such as misdirection of water, grazing of their fields, stopping of their wells, breeding of your herds, and so forth.

Like widows, God took special care of the fatherless, foreigner, and poor (Jer 22:3; Zech 7:10). The mighty God promised to come from heaven with vengeance on those who trouble these two categories of the weak and helpless (Job 31:21-23; Ps 94:6; Eccl 5:8; Mal 3:5). It is wisdom and true religion to go out of your way to help both (Jas 1:27). Never ask more than market price or pay less than market price to any of these parties.

The rule for property boundaries applies to all economic transactions and business practices. You have no right to alter any established way of doing things unless all parties are fully informed and agree and there is no damage at all to others. God demands impeccable honesty and integrity in all transactions. There is no room for compromise or confusion. He will avenge harshly! Go out of your way financially to honor the poor. You will never lose in such decisions, for the God of heaven will repay you (Pr 19:17).

Consider religious changes. Men today alter God’s worship to make it acceptable to the world. They call it casual, contemporary, purpose driven, or seeker sensitive. They remove old landmarks (II Thess 2:15). But God calls His people to seek the old paths (Jer 6:16). He calls you to earnestly contend for the old faith (Jude 1:3). Turning from sound doctrine to entertainment and fables is proof of perilous times (II Tim 4:3-4). The remedy is to preach the written word of God without apology or compromise, for it is more sure than even God’s voice from heaven (II Tim 3:16-17; 4:1-2; II Pet 1:16-21; Titus 2:15).

God’s worship does not change unless and until He says there is to be a change, and then only He should define the change (John 4:20-24; Heb 9:10). Men have no right to add to or take away from His rules (Deut 12:32; Matt 28:20), and they must not turn to the right or to the left (Deut 5:32; Pr 21:16; Gal 1:6-9), no matter how popular changes might be.

Will you be one of His 7,000 that will not change, like in the days of Elijah (I Kgs 19:18; Rom 11:4-5)? Most Christians compromise much of true religion for ease and popularity. God is looking for a faithful man that will not change (Ezek 22:30). Will you be a man (or a woman) that will not remove the ancient landmarks of Bible doctrine and practice?