Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Boundary of the Blood

1 Samuel 17:1
"Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim."

The Boundary of the Blood

The primary places mentioned in this scripture are:

The meanings of these names are as follows:

Shochoh: comes from a root word meaning to entwine or fence in.
Azekah: comes from a root word meaning to grub over or fence about.
Ephes-dammin: this compound word comes from the word ‘ephec’ meaning to cease or end, and the word ‘dam’ which means blood or drops of blood.
Ephec’ means more than just the cessation of a thing. It means to 'go no further'. This is where the ‘boundary’ comes in. It is the edge of the property. It is the ‘line in the sand’. This is similar to a property line.

Here in Mt Sterling, Kentucky, we have a festival called ‘Court Days.” It goes back to the early 1800’s. Thousands of visitors invade our small town (pop 5600.) There are vendors scattered and packed into an approximate area consisting of nine blocks. My home is at the edge of the festival area. People do all manner of things in the festival area. They can behave however it pleases them over there, but when they step across this boundary, things are different. This is the line where my authority starts. The rules are different over here. Over here, you will not throw your trash where ever it pleases you. Over here, you will not be drinking and carrying on. I am the authority across this boundary.

As you may or may not be aware, there are many types and shadows in the Old Testament. Many of the stories and events that happened were situated to show significance to future events and teachings. They portrayed truths. They strengthened lessons taught and learned.

The Philistines came to make war with the Children of Israel. This was one of many times these two forces met in battle.

This time the Philistines came between two fences and arrived at the boundary of the blood. This is where I want to look.

The Philistines had a champion that went into the valley. Goliath issued a challenge to the men of Israel. He asked them to send out a man to face him. He stated that he would fight this man and the army of the loser would serve the army of the winner.

In a previous Bible Study, I talked about how this was a tactic of the devil. He wants to fool you into thinking that he sets the conditions for the battle. He does not. God has set the conditions for the battle. On the day when the Sons of Men presented themselves before God, Satan appeared there as well. God asked him from when he came. “Going to and fro in the land seeking whom I may devour,” was his response.

As a teacher in the public school system (I taught electricity at a high school technical school) I often encountered one of my pet peeves. It bothers me when people misuse the words ‘can’ and ‘may’ in a question. The most asked question in the school system is. “Can I go to the restroom?” What is wrong with this, you ask. ‘Can’ implies having the ability. ‘May’ on the other hand implies having permission. I think my students came to know the ‘look’ when this was a problem. They would correct themselves.

Satan said he was going about seeking whom he had permission to devour.

God said to him, “Have you considered my servant Job?” Then, in the ensuing exchange, God gave Satan permission to touch Job’s possession, but not to touch Job himself. Do you see who is setting the conditions here? Later, in another exchange, God give Satan permission to touch Job, but not to take his life. Still, god is setting the conditions.

Now, back to the Boundary of the blood:

In Exodus, God has been dealing with Pharaoh through Moses, to bring about the release of the Children of Israel. He has sent plague after plague upon the land of Egypt. Still Pharaoh’s heart is hardened. Through the plagues of (1) blood, (2) the frogs, (3) the lice, (4) the flies, (5) the murrain, (6) the boils, (7) the hail, (8) the locust, and (9) the darkness, Pharaoh did not relent and release the Children of Israel.

God told Moses of the tenth and final plague, the death of the first born throughout the land.

Exodus 11:5 “And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.”

There was a remedy for the nation of Israel. They families were to take a lamb on the tenth day of the month from the flock. It was to be a pure and spotless lamb in its first year. On the fourteenth day of the same month, they were to kill it. Then, they were to take a hyssop branch and strike the blood on the two side posts and the upper post of the doorway in the house where it was to be eaten.

Exodus 12:7-11
7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.
10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.
11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD's passover.

That night, the angel of death was going to pass through the land. As this angel moved through the land, he was going to enter every house and take the life of the first born. As he does his job, he would be stopped by only one thing: the boundary of the blood. There was no pedigree check. There was no family name check. There was no political status check. There was no wealth check. There was only one boundary that was going to stop the angel of death. That was the boundary of the blood.

Exodus 12:23 “For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.”

I am convinced in my heart, knowing human nature; there were Israelites that suffered that night because they did not follow the commandments. They wrongly assumed that their pedigree or family name was going to be enough. For whatever reason, they felt strict adherence to the commandments was not necessary.

The angel of death was only looking for one thing that night; the properly applied boundary of blood.

On one side of the boundary was death and sorrow. There was weeping and mourning. There was a cry of anguish. On the other side of the boundary was victory. On that side was rejoicing.

One the one side was the sleeping. On the other side were a people with their lions girt and their shoes on their feet, and their staff in their hands, ready to take a journey. Oh, what a difference the boundary makes.

Exodus 12:13 “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt”

The word used in this scripture for token is ‘owth’. It means: a signal, such as a flag, a beacon, or a monument. God told his people, “I am going to give you a monument. This monument will signify the boundary.”

There will be times in your lives when the enemy presses hard against you. You need to know that there is a boundary of blood if the blood has been applied to your life. Isaiah 59.19 says there will be times when the enemy comes in like a flood, but God will raise up a standard against him. That standard is the boundary of blood.

Satan cannot cross the boundary of the blood.

Now, let’s recall the statement we made earlier. It is about the difference between ‘can’ and ‘may.’

Have you ever said, or heard someone say, after a blessing filled service, “The devil will be on my trail tomorrow.” It is as if they are inviting Satan to come against them. Now, I will admit that he will come with or without your permission. This does not mean we need to ‘give him permission.” We have a weapon system. The launching mechanism is our lips. When we say, “The devil is going to get me,” we are launching that weapon.

We need to speak faith.
We need to speak deliverance.
We need to speak belief.
We need to speak healing.
We need to speak protection.
We need to speak joy.

We are fighting from a protected place. We are on the right side of the boundary of blood. On the hill of the skull, Golgatha, Jesus shed his sinless blood, to create for us, an impenetrable boundary of blood. Our past is covered by the blood. Our sins are covered by the blood. Our mistakes are covered by the blood. If someone is going to try to bring up our past, they have to reach through the boundary of blood.

You need the blood.

Hebrews tells us that almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Forgiveness .. it is in the blood.
Remission .. it is in the blood.
Salvation .. it is in the blood.
Redemption .. it is in the blood.
Protection .. it is in the blood.

Satan cannot cross the boundary of the blood.

Satan has no joy of his own. He has no real victory (in the end he will suffer ultimate defeat.) There is no redemptive remitting power within him. He does not save, but rather destroys. Therefore he seeks to take your joy and victory. He desires to rob you of the reconciliation. However, there is a boundary that he cannot breach. He cannot cross the blood of Christ to take your victory.

Colossians 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood , even the forgiveness of sins:”

Redemption is through the blood. Satan cannot reach through the blood to take it away from us. We have been redeemed by the blood of a near kinsman. What we lost in Adam, we regained in Christ. The selfish act of Adam is covered by the selfless act of Christ. That which was lost has been redeemed.

Forgiveness is in the blood. You cannot be forgiven without the blood. You cannot forgive without the blood. That is the power of the blood and Satan cannot cross the blood.

There are those that would be pleased to hold your past against you. They would use this to keep you down. They would laud the events and sins of your past as a press to oppress you and to stop your efforts to serve the Lord. There are several things to say to that:
· When we repent and are baptized, we are covered by the blood of forgiveness. To bring my past back, one must cross the blood to retrieve them. To hold my former sins against me, you must deny the redemptive power of the blood.
· The Word tells us the old things are passed away and all things are new. We are new creatures in Christ. We are something that never existed before. The sins attached to our life but the original sin of Adam has been washed away. They and us are now in different places.
· With God, forgiveness is forgetting. There is a song that says, “when he sees me, he sees the blood of the lamb.” On the side posts and the door posts, on the night of the first Passover, was the blood of a lamb. There was no litany of past wrongdoings. There was no list of mistakes. There was no catalog of errors. The death angel passing over the land that night was looking for only one thing: the blood. The household was spared the death of the first born by the covering of blood.
· We are forgiven and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the Earth. Anyone bringing up my past must reach through the blood of Jesus to find them.

Colossians 1:20 “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

We have peace through the blood. We have a peace not born of financial security. We have a peace not born of our own strength or military might. We have a peace that cannot be removed without going through the blood which provides it.

Hebrews 10:19 “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,”

By his blood, we can enter into the holiest of places. We can go to the place where we talk to God face to face. That is not by birthright. That is not through worthiness. That is not by earning it. It is solely by the blood of Christ. Adam’s sin brought shame into his life for the first time. He was afraid and ashamed to stand before the presence of God. By his own admission, ‘he hid himself.’ In our sinful state, fear and shame will try to keep us from entering into the holiest places. But, the blood, the precious blood of Jesus ushers us into that place.

Satan cannot cross the boundary of the blood.

You need the blood.

On the other side of the blood, Satan roars like a lion, seeking whom he may devour. Outside the boundary, you are easy prey. You are tossed about by every wind of doctrine. You are constantly barraged by the wiles of the devil. Your path is broad and wide and leads to destruction. Your only strength is in the flesh. Your trust is in man.

Oh, but on the other side of that blood boundary, it is a different story. On this side, the Lion is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. On this side, the Word of God keeps you and establishes you. On this side, you have protection. Your path is strait and narrow and leads to life everlasting. Your strength is in the tower of the name of the Lord. Your trust is in God.

You need the blood.

A man was walking one day when he came upon a young boy with a rusty old cage. Inside the cage were two small birds. The man asked the boy what he had. “Just two barn swallows,” was his reply. “What are you going to do with them?” the man asked. “I am going to play with them, and pull their feathers off, and then when my fun is over, I am going to kill them.” The man thought for a moment, and said to the lad, “you don’t want to do that. Let me buy them from you.” “You don’t want these birds, mister. They are just common barn swallows. They aren’t worth anything.” “No,” the man insisted, “I really want to buy them. How much will you take for both of them?” “Two dollars?” came the boys reply, more of a question than an answer. The man took out two dollars and paid the boy. He then opened the door to the cage and set the birds free.

One day Jesus was out walking. He came upon Satan with an old rusty cage. Jesus asked Satan what he had in the cage. “Just humanity,” was his reply. “What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asks. “I am going to play with them, tease them, torture them, make them make war with one another, lie to them, promise them everything, take everything away, and when I am done with them, I will destroy them.” “You don’t want to do that,” Jesus replied, “Let me buy them from you.” “You don’t want to buy these, Jesus. They will just mock you, lie to you, ignore your commandments, spit on you, and in the end, they will crucify you.” Satan replied. “No,” Jesus said, “I really want to buy them. How much will you take for them?” “Well, Jesus,” Satan responded, “They will cost you all of your sweat, all of your tears, and all of your blood.” And Jesus paid the price. He then opened the door to the cage, and set us free.

You need the blood.

Those things in your life that are most important, put them under the blood. Give them to God. Put your life under the blood. Stand at the foot of Calvary.

There is a song I sing at times. It says, “It started at Calvary, on an old rugged tree, but it was a river by the time it found me. Ever since that day, I ain’t been the same. Red river roll on, washing sins away.”

You need the blood.

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