Praise God for His Fences
A fence can serve two purposes. It can keep the good things in, keep the bad things out or it can do both at the same time. Most of us understand and appreciate fences for all their practicality, unless of course that fence is used on us.
On Saturday, February 7th in Campton, Kentucky a 36 year old man decided to climb over a railing at the Red River Gorge. After climbing over the railing the man lost his footing and fell more than 200 feet to his death. We may assume the man felt the railing kept him from getting where he wanted to go. It was restrictive. It held him back. But that was not the purpose of the railing.
Many people in the world, both Christians and non-Christians alike, view God’s law in much the same way. It keeps them from getting where they want to go. It is restrictive. It holds them back. But that is not the purpose of God’s law.
In different places in God’s word we read of God offering his protection for his people. For example, Job, of whom the devil said, “Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side?” (Job 1:10) In Isaiah 5, God threatens to remove his hedge of protection from his vineyard if it produced wild (sour) grapes.
Praise God for his fences. His law is the hedge of protection he offers to the Christian. Our rebellious hearts may not always see it that way, but God has no ulterior motive to deprive us of our happiness. In fact, Paul tells us that joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. A result of a life lived in accord with God’s law.
God’s law does more than protect us from the bad things of the world. It also keeps his sheep in the fold. Through the frequency of our meetings to the authority of the elders, God’s law provides the ways and means of keeping us together. When we are together, we are less vulnerable to attack.
How we perceive the Christian life has a great effect on how well we live it. We ought to delight in the protection offered by God’s law. Certainly David did when he wrote Psalm 119. Here are just three verses in closing to illustrate my point: “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day….I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me.” (Psalm 119:97, 101-102)