Most of you are probably familiar with the parabolic image of the hedge (Isaiah 5:4-6). It’s a figure of speech for moral covering, a part of what elders and priests offer to those they serve. It requires a good understanding of Eastern feudalism, the idea of limited dominion.
I am where the Lord wants me in terms of residence. When we first moved here a couple of years ago, very early I began extending my covering over the people living around me. Some were more receptive than others. A part of my covering was to pick up the trash. By obeying the Lord in that small way, I was seeking His covering over my household and anyone who wanted to share in that moral dominion.
Try to understand that anyone who leases an apartment here has to read a bunch of rules that include prohibitions against littering, to include dropping cigarette butts on the ground. Nobody here is unaware of that rule. More to the point, it’s part of Biblical Law. Respect for God’s Creation includes refraining from polluting as much as it’s within your power, and to clean up pollution when you can. I was doing that, and it generated a limited moral hedge around the area I cleaned.
Recently a family has moved into our apartment block who are profligate trash droppers. Their kids are bad enough, but at least one adult smokes and drops the butts on the ground all around the far end of the breezeway. We are talking a pack or two every day. And along with that, several other families have moved into adjacent buildings who are just as bad.
I gave up. The task was simply too burdensome. I had been using those t-shirt bags you get from most stores, saving them for just that purpose. I can’t afford bags big enough to contain the trash scattered around this place overnight. So I’ve pulled in my hedge; I’ve stopped picking it up in such a large area as before. I’m at peace with that decision. In a sense, I’ve turned them over the Satan for God’s wrath. They have rejected my limited moral dominion, and certainly rejected the Lord’s will.