“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10
Grace – Want to start the year right? Then forget about resolutions and consider fences. Rejoice for those things that fence you in.
In our Western culture, the fundamental pursuit of men is freedom. What we really mean is that we don’t want to be fenced in. We want a life on the open range where we can come and go as we please and do just what we want to do. There’s some philosophical truth behind the cowboy refrain, “Don’t fence me in,” but it isn’t biblical. God is a God of fences. He sets boundaries for His creation. He has been doing so since He put a boundary around the sea (cf. Genesis 1:7), long before we arrived on the scene. If God is the God of order, then why do we have so much trouble with His fences? The reason for this resistance is that we see fences from the wrong perspective. We think fences prevent us from roaming outside, but the truth is that fences protect us from what is outside. God’s fences keep us safe within and keep the enemy without. A fence is the most important thing you can have in this world. Without it, anything can happen to you.
The Hebrew word hen is a picture of a fence. This word literally creates a pictograph that means “a fence around life.” That’s God’s perspective on grace. Is it yours? If you think that grace implies the freedom to do what you want, you don’t understand why God builds a fence with the blood of His Son. If you think that grace means you are forgiven and therefore, are free to live according to your view of “love,” you aren’t standing inside God’s fence. Grace surrounds you in order to keep you protected inside God’s Torah. He gave us a strong fence around life in His instructions about living. When we push aside God’s instructions, we step outside the fence. Just like Cain, we will wander the wastelands in search of something we left behind.
Hen is closely associated with the idea of order. Why? Because grace is the solution to sin – and the essence of sin is chaos. When I knock down the boundaries that God established in the ordered creation, I align myself with the enemy. He wants chaos. He hates order. He opposes everything that God does. He desires us to tear down God’s fences and attempt to construct our own order. When we do, something happens that we didn’t expect. If we try to live outside the boundaries that God put in place, we reap another kind of reward – fear! Believing we could be sovereign, we discover that the universe doesn’t acknowledge us as its Master. We learn the hard way that we are not in control. The open range is a place for beasts and evil spirits. No man can live there very long. Mend your fences. Get inside.
Topical Index: Hen, grace, fences, order, Zechariah 12:10