Summary: We are in a series on spiritual hedges this week we will discuss how hedges provide the protection to allow us to prosper especially in the area of Spiritual Fruitfulness.
Hedged In To Prosper
PPT 1 Sermon Title "Hedged in to Prosper"
PPT 2 Alternate title, "Grape Expectations"
This is week 3 in our study of spiritual hedges, we have looked at Job and how hedges provide protection, we also discussed what happens if your hedge comes down, and how to rebuild your spiritual hedge. This week we will be looking at a hedge as a necessary part for optimum fruit bearing. I mentioned earlier in this series the 3 purposes of spiritual hedges.
PPT 3 3 Purposes of Spiritual Hedges
1. Protection (Job)
2. Prosperity (Job & Isaiah 5)
3. A Path to bring alignment with God's Purposes (Hosea)
In the book of Job we mentioned briefly how the hedge of protection also allowed him to prosper financially. In a protected environment his assets grew astronomically. This week we are going to look at Isaiah 5, and John 15, and discuss how God uses a hedge as one part of an overall plan for optimum fruit bearing. God likes fruit, God does everything He can that we would produce abundant fruit. "Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit..". John 15:8. Abundant spiritual fruit bearing is the epitome of what it means to be prosperous. You can be financially prosperous and go to hell, but if you are dead broke and yet spiritually prosperous heaven will be your home.
PPT 4 Walled Garden
A spiritual hedge helps us prosper in two ways, it frees us of worry about enemies, and we can then expend our efforts in other areas.
Here is a passage from the Song of Solomon that speaks of the abundance of blessings found in a walled up, or hedged in garden.
PPT 5 text
Song of Solomon 4:12 A garden enclosed and barred is my sister, my
Song of Solomon 4:13 Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates or a paradise with precious fruits, henna with spikenard plants,
Song of Solomon 4:14 Spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes, with all the chief spices.
PPT 6 pic of Jesus guarding sheep pen.
Notice the sheep grazing, not standing at the wall guns in hand to fight the enemy. (There is a time for that, but the hedge frees us to put our hand more fully to other things).
Let's now read the first 4 verses of Isaiah 5.
PPT 7-8 text
Isaiah 5:1 Let me sing now for my well-beloved A song of my beloved concerning His vineyard. My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill.
Isaiah 5:2 And He dug it all around, removed its stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. And He built a tower in the middle of it, And hewed out a wine vat in it; Then He expected it to produce good grapes, But it produced only worthless ones.
Isaiah 5:3 "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, Judge between Me and My vineyard.
Isaiah 5:4 "What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?
We begin by observing everything God said He did so that His vineyard was very fruitful. It is important that we understand that God had a purpose and a goal. He wants good grapes and He is very serious about it. In the case of Israel, God throws up His hands in exasperation and says, "What more could I have done?!!!"
Return on His investment is something spoken of over and over again, whether it is the parable of the vineyard, or the parable of the talents, or give account of your stewardship, it is all about God's expectation to enjoy the benefits of His work in the garden. You don't plant a garden so deer can eat, and bugs can destroy, you plant it so you can have food on your dinner table. So we read in Isaiah everything God did was for optimum fruit production.
1st was the location chosen. The best site possible was where God began, but it didn't look that way when He started. God sees what can happen once the site is cleaned, we see the mess and say they doesn't look too promising, aren't you glad God doesn't simply see things as they are, but how they can be with the work of a master gardener.
2ndly He put a hedge around it. V.2 says he dug it, but the word can also be understood to mean a hedge was dug in and put around it. In Verse 5 the hedge is clearly mentioned as being there, God saying he would remove it in His frustration about the grapes. So as soon as the site was chosen the protection went up.