“He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.”
The hedge is a fencing of thorny shrubs that a person put around their vineyard to keep the wild animals out. It is interesting that the hedge is made of thorns because it means anybody going through the hedge from the inside out, or from the outside in would be poked by the thorns of the hedge. In other words, anyone from the inside of the hedge who got out purposely chose to go through the thorns of the hedge to get out.
In the Scriptures, there were two types of hedges. The first hedge was the result of sin. The verse above says, “He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.” It is interesting that this is the hedge that Israel wanted, but it didn’t give them the freedom they thought they would get. Instead, this hedge was as a heavy chain about their neck that became an albatross to these people.
The second type of hedge is a hedge that is a result of God’s protection. Satan said to God about this hedge in Job 1:10, “Hast not thou made an hedge about him…thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.” Satan couldn’t touch Job because he was hedged in and protected by God. As long as Job stayed within this hedge, he was safe from the attacks of Satan. Let me point out some thoughts about being hedged in.
First, you are surrounded by some hedge whether you serve God or live in sin. As much as you want your freedom, you will never have the freedom to do what you want to do. Sin hedges your life in as if the walls are closing in upon you. You will find that Satan tries to get you to leave God’s hedge for “freedom,” but he never tells you that you are going to live within a hedge that sin puts about you. You can live within the hedge of God’s protection and be safe and blessed, or you can live within the hedge that sin puts about you and be chained to sin’s bondage.
Second, your perception of God’s hedge of protection determines whether or not you end up in sin’s hedge of bondage. Some people who live within God’s hedge of protection who have never been outside of that hedge might think that they are missing out on life. My friend, the only thing you are missing out on is being in a hedge of bondage that will weigh you down and control you. God’s hedge of protection is not there to keep you from enjoying life, but it’s there to keep you from sin’s hedge of bondage.
Third, if you choose to leave God’s hedge of protection, you will have to go through the thorns to get to the “freedom” you always wanted. One reason people become bitter towards the Christian walk is because they chose to go through the hedge and experienced the pain of the thorns. Thorns are always a reminder of sin. One reason God places thorns in the hedge is to remind you of what you are going to if you choose to leave His hedge of protection. Those thorns in the hedge are not there to keep you from freedom, but they are there to remind you of the bondage you will go to if you leave God’s hedge of protection. You have a choice; you can live in God’s hedge of protection and enjoy the freedom He gives you inside that hedge, or you can live in the hedge of bondage and wish you were back in the hedge of protection. The freedom and safety for which you are looking is inside of God’s hedge of protection.