Mark 4:18-19 “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”
You will often find the Scriptures talking about the vineyard and the hedge about it. In the Book of Job, Satan talked about the hedge that God placed about Job. In Ezekiel 22:30, God said that He could find no man to “make up the hedge, and stand in the gap.” In Mark 12:1, Jesus said that a certain man “planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it.” The hedge about every one of these vineyards was a brush of thorns that was there to keep the wild animals from getting in and eating the grapes. These thorns were there to protect the vineyard and those inside of it. They were not there to keep those on the inside imprisoned, but they were there to protect the fruit and those who lived on the inside.
In the verses above, Jesus said that the seed that was sown among thorns was choked because of “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in.” This ground that the seed fell on was fruitful at one time, but it became unfruitful because of the thorns that choked the Word of God. There is a valuable principle taught in these verses about the importance of staying away from the thorns. The thorns that are there to keep the wild foxes out are the same thorns that will poke those trying to get out of the vineyard. Let me make this clear, I am NOT talking about losing your salvation, but I am talking about people trying to get out of God’s vineyard and hedge of protection to get to the world.
This hedge that God placed about you are the Scriptural standards of holiness that He expects every believer to live by. Many have left the vineyard through the hedge and been poked by the thorns of worldliness only to blame the vineyard for the pain they experienced in life. My friend, don't blame the vineyard because of your worldliness. You are the one who went through the hedge and was hurt. It was your rebellion that hurt you. Those who live within the hedge of God’s standards are not griping about the rules, but it is the rebel who is fighting the thorns to get out to the world who gripes and complains about how restrictive the old paths are. The old paths are only restrictive to those who are trying to get without God’s hedge of protection to the world. As long as you stay within the hedge, those thorns will not bother you, but the moment you try to leave the vineyard for the world those thorns will make the vineyard seem restrictive.
My friend, there is nothing wrong with God’s vineyard. There is nothing wrong with God’s vineyard of the King James Bible. There is nothing wrong with God’s vineyard of old-fashioned preaching. There is nothing wrong with God’s vineyard of hymns. There is nothing wrong with God’s vineyard of dress standards. There is nothing wrong with God’s vineyard of Sunday school, soul winning and the bus ministry. There is nothing wrong with God’s vineyard of going to church EVERY time the church doors are open. If you have a problem with the hedge, you have a problem with it because you are being poked by it as you try to get out of it as you go towards the world. When you stay within the safety confines of the hedge, the thorns will not be a problem to you, and God’s Word will not be choked as it is given to you. You are the one who determines what the hedge is to you by whether you want to live within God’s vineyard or run outside the hedge to the world.