A couple of times in the Book of Proverbs, the writer states the same Proverb twice within just a few verses. One example of this is found in Proverbs 22 and 23. Proverbs 22:28 says, “Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set.” Then, again, in Proverbs 23:10, “Do not move an ancient landmark…”
I believe that it was with these two Proverbs in mind that English author and essayist, G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.” Chesterton’s fence is the principle that reforms or changes should not be made until the reasoning behind the existing state of affairs is understood.
We live in a day and age in which many reforms, many changes, in regards to set values of the past, are being made without giving thought to the reasons that the set values were erected in the first place.
The ancient boundaries spoken of in Proverbs are a metaphor of God’s Law, boundaries set for human kind by their Creator. These boundaries were not established by God on a whim, they are the loving and logical limits that He has placed on us so that we may know the joy and the pleasures of life to the fullest.
There are many who view God’s Law as just the opposite of what I have stated. To these, God’s Law is archaic and confining. For example: God’s Law teaches that He created men and women, He created them with a sexuality that was intended for the marriage bed alone (Hebrews 13:4). That’s God’s boundary. But today, like never before, sexual expressions that are outside of God’s loving and logical limits (fornication, adultery, homosexuality, etc.) are being celebrated and encouraged.
In a day, rife with situational ethics, God’s call for us to tell the truth always seems very much out of touch with a culture that has no problem telling lie after lie after lie, to gain a desired end.