By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
Wrong side of fence indicates a direction that no longer ensures safety. The Psalmist referred to a leaning wall as that of a tottering fence (Psalm 62:3) and of broken down fences so that others passing by could pluck the fruit (Psalm 80:12).
Because of the insecurity of the East, most of the towns and many of the small villages were enclosed with walls referred to as fences. Safety and security was available while inside such an enclosure; but no guarantee for those outside its perimeters. (Comment)
Fence mending was needful at times to strengthen weaken areas; just as in our time, to take correction action to ensure adherence to established guidelines; to strengthen one's resolve to not falter in their godly commitment. Finding oneself on the wrong side of fence down plays such a commitment.
Scripture reveals a time of fence mending: That the old waste places shall be built up; the raising of the foundations of many generations; and he shall be called The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in (Isaiah 58:12). This foretold of Jesus bringing peace to the world. It would not be totally in effect at His first coming; but in His second coming as Lord, Judge, and King of kings!
The prophet Isaiah, in speaking the words of the Lord, compared the people of Israel, and the house of Judah, to a vineyard which had been planted on a very fruitful hill. It was fenced, and the stones gathered out of it, planted with the choicest vine, a tower in the midst of it, and a wine press therein (Isaiah 5:1-2).
Fenced to keep it separated from the seven nations that inhabited the land of Canaan who worshiped idols of stone (Psalm 80:8). Planting it with the choicest vine was the arrival of the Israelites who entered into the land of Canaan and inhabited it.
There is a similarity here in that America was also planted as "One Nation under God" by our forefathers; who in their desire to serve the Lord, opening the door towards freedom of worship.
Many once godly nations had the trait of righteousness and holiness as part of their culture. Thus it was until some ventured on the wrong side of the fence; outside the realm of godliness, allowing unrighteousness, filth and degradation, to become the law of the land rather than the Unadulterated Word of God.
And he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes (Isaiah 5:2). Bad grapes; signifying corruptness, rotten, signifying evil works. The Lord of the vineyard had expected good grapes; making all the preparations for such but instead came forth wild grapes.
What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it (Isaiah 5:4)? Here was wonderment of the fact that no greater privileges, blessings, or advantages could have been bestowed. No greater honor done; with every need being provided!
Such was provided in the Garden of Eden for the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. Then came the Serpent (the agent of Satan) inviting them to partake of the only thing withheld from them; the forbidden fruit.
When they accepted the serpent's invitation; they got on the wrong side of fence, outside the realm of safety that God had provided. A great loss came to them; and mankind, for they were driven from the Garden, from the Tree of Life, along with additional punishment being imposed (Genesis 3:1-7).
And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge (or fence) thereof, and it shall be consumed; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trampled down (Isaiah 5:5).
No more blessings, nourishing of the vineyard, placing it outside the realm of safety. Again, one could place other once godly nations in the same category, having deteriorated from their former greatness in God; allowing the ungodly to be an influence.
After the removal of the hedge (or fence) it was subject to be devoured. The Creator of the vineyard; because of producing wild grapes rather than good, deemed it necessary to remove his presence, power, and protection; not to sustain it any longer, leaving it destitute, helpless, and exposed to destructive elements.
And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers, and thorns. I will also command the clouds that they rain no more rain upon it (Isaiah 5:6). Vineyards require much care to make them fruitful; but no such care would be provided.
Wild grapes could represent the immorality of man; of wicked and ungodly men, who had gotten on the wrong side of fence, outside the realm of God's provision. A plague of corruption, perverting of justice, gathering of sin to sin, accumulation of iniquities; instead of the righteousness of God.
The wrong side of fence is when one gets outside the realm of safety provided by a loving and caring Father in heaven. He provided His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
This is the condemnation, that light (or the Lord Jesus Christ) is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19). Those in darkness are walking on the wrong side of fence rather than under the protective hand of God.
Scripture shows the fallacy for having rejected such a provision: He that believes on the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him (John 3:36).
We all were at one time on the wrong side of fence (outside the realm of safety) (1 Peter 2:9) until we came to the acknowledgement of the glorious Gospel of Christ. Then through acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we become a part of God's kingdom!
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