Hedges in Our Personal Lives – Song of Solomon 4:7 to 5:1
The garden is also a “garden fountain” (4:15) reminding us of the growth and development that occurs as plants bloom and come into flower. The Lord is looking for spiritual development, and growth in our lives as we become more Christlike. We might ask our hearts, “How much more is there in my life for the Lord Jesus Christ today than there was a year ago. If there is growth and development then our lives will be a “fountain of gardens” for our Lord.
The well of water was also a source of satisfaction to the groom. The Lord Jesus promised, “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). Although the Samaritan woman first thought that this well would benefit her because it would save her work, the Lord was referring to an inner source of spiritual refreshment and joy for Himself. The Lord’s words to His disciples, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of” (John. 4:32), show that this woman’s faith brought Him deep satisfaction. Parents enjoy watching their children as they grow and their abilities increase. In a similar way our Lord delights to see the growth of our spiritual life as our capacity to enjoy and serve Him develops.
The groom also found pleasure in the streams flowing down from Lebanon into the garden. These cool streams would remind us of the refreshment that the Lord derives from His people as they rely on Him for their spiritual strength. Our dependence on the Lord is a source of delight to Him.
The Role of Adversity in our Lives
The spouse recognized that the maximum fragrance of the garden would only come forth if negative things such as the north wind, came to the garden. Ministry will bring out the best in our lives when it has a balance of edification, exhortation and correction, so that we are challenged to please the Lord.
The bride was not satisfied with only the static beauty of the garden. She asked for the north wind to blow across the garden to release the fragrances. The north wind is a picture of adversity in our lives that releases sweetness. It may be sickness that brings us to complete dependence on the Lord. Often a trial will draw out some unique sweetness from us when we experience the gracious, all-powerful hand of God in the trial to help us.
The Bridegroom’s in the Garden
In Songs 5:1, the bridegroom takes full ownership of both his bride and his garden. He uses “my” nine times in this verse. The groom rejoices in the fact that the garden is his own as he gathers the spices and eats the honeycomb and has a totally satisfying experience in the garden. The Lord desires to take full possession of our lives so that we will bring satisfaction and joy to Him.
The Garden’s Protection
As indicated in Songs 4:12, this garden was enclosed or barred. Without these bars intruders might have entered and ruined the garden before the bridegroom had an opportunity to enjoy it. In a similar way, there should be hedges surrounding our lives so that the tender fruits and fragrances of value to our Lord are not destroyed by an intruder during their development. John described one essential hedge when He wrote, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15). James wrote, “The friendship of the world is enmity with God” (4:4). The world will try to woo us away from devotion to our heavenly Bridegroom. We need to be warned against spiritual adultery whereby believers try to mingle their love of the world and its systems with their love for Christ. If we become occupied with the pleasures and prosperity of the world we will let the bars down and we will begin to love the things of time and sense rather than the Lord Jesus Christ. Temptations to pursue the world’s pleasures and goals abound in the workplace and elsewhere. We need to be vigilant in keeping the bars of our love for the Lord in place so that nothing will rob us of our joy in Him.
Hedges establish boundaries. Boundaries and standards are necessary to keep us from friendships with the world that will cause our lives to become destitute, empty and even shipwrecked. Inevitably, a shipwrecked life begins with some failure in a believer’s personal life. Our affections for the Lord should form a protective hedge around us. Is there a gap in our affections for the Lord Jesus Christ? Let us fill that gap by ensuring that He is the supreme object of our affections.
The hedges in our personal lives can also be attacked by Satan. He attacked Eve by destroying her confidence in God with the words, “Hath God said?” (Gen. 3:1). Eve was enticed from being dependent on God. Satan attacked the Lord with similar words, “If thou be the Son of God…” (Matt. 4:3). Satan will also attack us by trying to get us to question the Word of God. Although there was nothing in our Lord that respond to Satan, we have the flesh that loves to act independently of God. If we fail to keep the hedges in place we may take a step that will destroy our fruitfulness.
Neglecting the reading of the Word of God will be disastrous for our spiritual well-being. Although we may maintain an outward form for others to see, the Lord knows the true conditions of our hearts. May we be exercised about the regular reading of God’s Word, thereby keeping the bars of our faith up and preventing Satan from gaining an advantage when he attacks our confidence in God.
The Lord Jesus Christ was the perfect example of a garden enclosed for God. He delighted in the law of the Lord. As the Father looked upon Him He found that His words and actions were always pleasing. God saw Him as a tender plant and a root out of the dry ground in the midst of barren Israel. The Father opened the heavens to say, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17). As the Lord looks down upon the garden of our lives, does He find pleasure in us as His Father found in Him? May our lives be a garden, fruitful and enclosed, for the glory and pleasure of our Lord Jesus Christ!