The Song of Solomon pictures the relationship between Jesus Christ and his bride, the church. In Song 4:12, Solomon refers to his wife as a garden inclosed. Therefore, as Christians, we can be likened to a garden inclosed. This picture gives us some very interesting insights into our lives. Our lives must be maintained in the same way a garden is maintained. Of course, there are many techniques to and requirements in gardening. And so we can make many more comparisons between gardens and our lives than we have time to discuss. Thus, we will limit ourselves to just a few very important metaphors. A garden inclosed:
Must be protected – Is 5:5 – it’s “inclosed.” In Is 5:5, the Lord’s vineyard was fenced (v.2) with a hedge and a stone wall. The fence is to keep things out that might destroy the garden or, in the case of Is 5, the vineyard. The most common thing that could get in would be hogs. Hogs are unclean animals, Lev 11:7. And they will destroy a garden. Likewise, there are some things that you must keep out of your life that can destroy you. You can’t let unclean things in. Remember when Jesus cast the devils out of the man in the Gadarenes, Mk 5. The devils went out and entered into swine. When you get around unclean things, you pick up unclean spirits, as well. You must not “give place to the devil,” Eph 4:27. He’ll destroy you.
Must be pruned – Is 5:6 – it’s a “garden.” It’s supposed to be fruitful. When the Lord’s vineyard was laid waste in Is 5:6, it was no longer being pruned. A vineyard not pruned won’t be fruitful. And if our lives aren’t pruned, they won’t be as fruitful as they can be. There are some things that you must cut out of your life to be fruitful. In Jn 15:2, God purges every branch that beareth fruit, “that it may bring forth more fruit.” You have some things in your life that are affecting your fruitfulness. These are not sins; they are like the weight in Heb 12:2 that needs to be laid aside. You must get with the Lord and identify things in your life that need to be cut out. And then let him cut those things out of your life. It will hurt but you will be much happier with the fruit than you were with the thing he cuts out.
Must be weeded – Prov 24:30-31 – the slothful man’s field in Prov 24 was all “grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof.” These grew up because the slothful man was too lazy to maintain his field. You can’t let a garden sit idle. There are little weeds and bugs that get in there and really hurt the garden. Likewise, there are some things that creep into your life that you must get out of your life to stay clean. These are sins that must be confessed and forsaken regularly, 1 Jn 1:9; Prov 28:13. When you see a weed pop up in your garden, it’s easy if you get it out right away. But when you neglect weeding for a while, you’re going to have a lot of work on your hands to get your garden back in shape. Likewise, when you let sins go in your life without getting them out, you’re going to have a big mess to deal with to get clean again.
Must be watered – Deut 11:10 – Moses described gardening in Egypt, when he said, “thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs.” In other words, they were carrying their water to the garden to water their plants. Obviously, plants won’t grow without water. And you won’t grow as a Christian without water. The water we need comes from Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. In Jn 7:37-39, Jesus said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” And then he described the filling with the Holy Spirit as “rivers of living water” flowing out of our bellies. Paul told us “be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit,” Eph 5:18. There is something that you must put into your life to be watered. It’s not wine. What is it that yields this water? It’s belief. That’s what Jesus said in Jn 7:37-39. In Jn 6:35, Jesus said, “he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” The Samaritan woman never drank the water Jesus offered her. He told her to “believe me,” Jn 4:21. And the other Samaritans didn’t drink, either. They believed, Jn 4:39-42. Among Christians there are many more Bible doubters than there are Bible believers. There are many practical atheists among Christians. Many don’t even know what the Bible says. How can they believe what they don’t even know? If you would believe what the Bible says and live by what you believe, you would see a far greater work of the Holy Spirit in your life. And the Holy Spirit bears fruit, Gal 5:22-23. You talk about a fruitful life; there is none so fruitful as the life of a Spirit-filled Christian.
Conclusion: When God commissioned Jeremiah, he told him to root out, pull down, destroy and throw down, before he told him to build and to plant, Jer 1:10. Likewise, you have quite a bit of pruning and weeding to do along with your believing and protecting. So, be diligent because God wants his garden inclosed to be fruitful and protected.