Divine Boundary Lines

The lot of the tribe of the people of Benjamin came up, and the territory allotted to it fell between the people of Judah and the people of Joseph. On the north side their boundary began at the Jordan. Then the boundary goes up to the shoulder north of Jericho, then up through the hill country westward, and it ends at the wilderness of Beth-aven. From there the boundary passes along southward in the direction of Luz, to the shoulder of Luz, then down to Ataroth-addar, on the mountain that lies south of Lower Beth-horon. Then the boundary goes in another direction, turning on the western side southward from the mountain that lies to the south, and it ends at Kiriath-baal. The southern side begins at the outskirts of Kiriath-jearim. And the boundary goes from there to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah. Then the boundary goes down to the border of the mountain that overlooks the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, which is at the north end of the Valley of Rephaim. And it then goes down the Valley of Hinnom, south of the shoulder of the Jebusites, and downward to En-rogel. Then it bends in a northerly direction going on to En-shemesh, and from there goes to Geliloth, which is opposite the ascent of Adummim. Then it goes down to the stone of Bohan, and passing on to the north of the shoulder of Beth-arabah it goes down to the Arabah. Then the boundary passes on to the north of the shoulder of Beth-hoglah, and ends at the northern bay of the Salt Sea, at the south end of the Jordan: this is the southern border. The Jordan forms its boundary on the eastern side. This is the inheritance of the people of Benjamin, according to their clans, boundary by boundary all around.” Joshua 18:11-20

Not knowing the map of ancient Israel well, it intrigues me how detailed the descriptions of the tribes’ geographical boundaries are. Just as their inheritances, their mountains and valleys and views and bodies of water, were specific and measured, so are the boundaries of our lives. Every aspect of our experience– life-source, exhilaration, sorrow, relationships/neighbors– is fashioned and doled out by our all-knowing, benevolent God. While our lives intersect with others’, each has his own unique content, edges, and perspective.

Fallow fields w mountains, clouds, Queensland, Australia

There should be great comfort, and hope, and satisfaction, in recognizing the hand of our sovereign LORD in determining our lives’ boundaries. He orders every change, battle, deficiency, heartache, conundrum, adjustment, and ecstasy, that right where we are, we would seek, know, and delight in Him. “He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God.” Rather that resist our place, or what comes our way, we can, in this knowledge, rest in where He has us. (Acts 17:26-27)

Do I complain, chafe, covet, compare? Looking only unto the Lord, will I instead say with conviction, The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”? (Psalm 16:6)

Good Father, may I honor You by taking joy in the boundary lines You have fixed for me.

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