Hemmed In

Being hemmed in by God may not be such a bad thing! Trust His leadership.


Ever parked your car on the street and come back to find both the recently arrived cars in front and in back of you are both touching your bumpers? Hemmed in! In another scenario we make poor choices with our spending which soon result in us becoming hemmed in financially. Or because of contracting a bug that is easily caught by others, we are cooped up at home, endlessly looking out the window – awaiting our release. Again, hemmed in.

The Psalmist David made this interesting statement: “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5 NIV

Is it a good thing when God parks Himself closely in front and in back of us? When He allows life to have a hemmed in effect on us for a period of time? What is He thinking? Perhaps He’s let things get too close to us for our own good!


When God set Israel free from Egyptian captivity and turned them toward their promised inheritance, He did it in a unique manner. First He directed their initial escape plan to make it look like they were lost. God instituted a route that would ‘hem them in.’ They ended trapped between mountains on both side, a sea in front of them and the snarling, angry solders of Egypt bringing up the rear. 

 Absolutely hemmed in!

And all the time it was a masterful ruse to get them across the Red Sea and annihilate their pursuers. It was for their benefit!

Now they’re making their way over the dry seabed and God has arranged ‘mountains of water’ to keep them on the right path. It was His way of making sure they would stay on the straight and narrow way to their future.

Israel would soon show serious signs of leaving the highway over the next 40 years. They would slow down for long looks back as if Egypt had anything new to offer. They grumbled and whined when they didn’t get their way, yet God, like the great Shepherd He is, kept them on track. Trust Him… He has more than our bumpers on His mind.

He wants our company for eternity, so don’t despise or even sneer at any ‘hemming in’ He does. God’s discipline is meant to get us where He plans to settle us. And being hemmed in shouldn’t leaving us feeling helpless… it should leave us thankful for God’s amazing care for us.

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