Jesus Christ: “The rain falls on the just and the unjust”
Isaiah 5:5 “I will take away its hedge and it will be destroyed.”
Question: Is there a “hedge” and if so what does it really mean to a child of God?
I think that there is one. I think that once you enter into the family of God, there is a certain place that you enter in which you can find rest and bear eternal fruit. But how does it play out in a world in which the rain falls on everyone without prejudice? Where Christians and non-Christians alike suffer and die from cancer? Where Christian and non-Christian children die of starvation? Where a drunk driver can come out of nowhere and destroy a life – Christian and non-Christian?
It’s because we’re all in the same “flood” of corruption. The corruption of creation which is evidenced in nature itself, where diseases cover all of mankind, where irrational acts destroy lives, where the decisions of man can destroy a nation. The accumulation of thousands of years of selfishness has covered this world in man-made mud. The entire world is corrupted, top to bottom, front to back.
At what point is the Christian and The Church immune to this? At all? If we live better lives will we avoid this? Of course not. We’re all in it together. Salvation isn’t being pulled out of the mess, salvation is being changed within the mess. I think where it’s different is that we all suffer these things, but in an entirely different realm with outcomes measured in entirely different ways. A loved one getting cancer, a baby dying – within the hedge – is not the same as the meaningless, painful, emptiness of dust returning to dust.
In Isaiah 5 we read of God’s verdict on His vineyard (Israel). Because there was no fruit He said He would remove the ‘hedge’ and they would be destroyed. The implication clearly being that there was a ‘hedge’ to begin with. I believe Christians live under this same protection, within these same walls. Without it, well – – -let’s just hear David’s words on it:
“If the Lord had not been on our side- let Israel say – if the Lord had not been on our side when the men attacked us, when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away.” (Ps. 124)
There it is. It rains on the just and the unjust and we’re all just a step away from being swept down river and drowning it. Cancer. Death. The economy. Chaos. It’s all around us, Christian and non-Christian alike. But that step is the thing – either it’s a step toward God and into Him, or a step away from Him and apart from Him. That step creates a huge divide. It’s contrasted with these two verses:
John 15:5 “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”