Landmarks: Marking the way
Definition of a Landmark: something familiar or easily seen, used as a guide; important fact or event that stands out above others; building, site, historical, having importance.
If I showed you a picture of the Eiffel Tower you would immediately think, Paris. If I showed you a Bust of Lincoln, this marks a time in History – the Civil War in America. If I showed you a picture of the Gateway Arches you would think – Saint Louis. The Statue of Liberty stands for freedom, immigrants, and New York.
Landmarks are very important. When I need directions, do not give me west, south, north, I-60, whatever – give me Landmarks. I am typical female who needs a picket fence, yellow mailbox, and turn right at the Wal-Mart. Landmarks are real to me right now as I watch many of them removed from each town hit hard by the recent storms. But the most important Landmark in our lives is the Word of God. Proverbs 22:28 says, “Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers set. Prov. 23:10 reminds us to remove not the old landmarks.
Landmarks in Biblical days were very important. In Joshua 4:1 it says: And it came to pass when all the people passed over the Jordan that the Lord spoke to Joshua, take 12 men and out of the Jordan take 12 stones. Why? Verse 6: that this may be a sign among you when your children ask their fathers what do these stones mean? That the waters of Jordan were cut off when they passed over. A landmark! 1 Samuel 4:1 explains, and the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and camped beside Ebenezer and the Lord helped them win the battle. 1 Samuel 7:12 further narrates that then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpah and Shen and called the name of it Ebenezer saying, Here has the Lord helped us. It was a landmark of the Lords protection and help. Genesis 35:1 explains, and god said to Jacob, arise and go up to Bethel and dwell there and make an altar to God who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau. This alter at Bethel was a landmark in Jacob’s spiritual life.
Landmarks are our guides and the Word of God is our guide for life. We could ask: why did the Lord have these men of God build landmarks? Why was it so important not to remove them? I feel one of the answers can be found in my life verse and purpose the Lord has for me: Psalm 78:2-8. “I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old; things that we have heard and known, that our father’s have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation that the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell to their children, so that they should set their in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
If you know Christ, he has called you to be a landmark. Landmarks stand out above others. We are to stand out, not to better than any one else but as examples of the Love of Christ. He has stamped his image on you and me. You are a very important landmark at this time of your life. He wants to use your life, your struggles, your stories, your love for others.
The most recent landmark we can all relate to is the Twin Towers. Someone removed them – something was missing there for a while. Is there something missing on the American landscape more important than the Twin towers? Yes, what you and your generation have been taught is so significant and needs to be passed on. So the next generation might arise and tell them to their children that they would set their hope in God.
That hearts would be steadfast holding on to Christ. I am afraid we are letting the landmarks fade and the responsibility is ours in Christ to move forward with this mandate. We must be, with God’s grace, busy about being a testimony of God’s mercy and goodness each day. We need to be diligently praying for this generation and the next generation that we will not forget and we will become landmarks for God’s glory.
The most important landmark in our life is that of knowing Christ as our personal Savior, knowing he has redeemed us for such a time as this.
As Elizabeth Elliot said, “Think of the brightness there will be in the place where work is done for God.” Together let us strive to be a landmark for Christ, never to be removed – marking the way.