By Shari Abbott, Reasons for Hope* Jesus
Job 1:10 Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
While reading Job recently, three little words caught my eye. I’ve read them many times before, but this time “hedge of protection” caused me to stop and reflect on how God protects us. I pray regularly for a hedge of protection for myself and my family, and by doing so I am asking that God keep us safe from the world and the god of this world. But this time when I read Job 1:10, it came to mind that the protection God has given me is not around me, but rather in me.
Cross referencing the word “hedge,” another mention is made in Isaiah, but in this case it speaks of a removal of God’s hedge of protection:
Isaiah 5:5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
A hedge is spoken of only once in the New Testament and it is by Jesus when He tells the parable of the vineyard. The hedge was a boundary of separation. It served as a type of “wall” to protect from harm. In the Old Testament we also read of another type of hedge — walled cities and a watchman on the wall standing guard. The wall was to protect them from their enemies and the watchman to warn them of impending danger. God was preparing His people Israel to be separate and set apart from the heathen nations around them.
While we also are to be “set apart,” God has purposed us to serve Him IN the world. We are not to cut ourselves off with a wall and a watchman, or even a “hedge” to keep others out. Quite the opposite. We are to enter into the world, the mission field of God to serve Him. And in doing so, we must remember that we are protected. We are protected not by a “watchman,” but by the third person of the Trinity and His work in us. We don’t need a hedge of protection like the people of Israel had, because we have the Holy Spirit. We should not want a wall between us and the world. We should feel confident going out into this world because God has given us everything we need. He has sealed us with His Protector — the Holy Spirit within us. Do we really believe that? Most of us would answer yes, because the Bible so clearly teaches about the precious gift of the Holy Spirit to all believers. But perhaps as we face each day, we should ask ourselves if we really remember the indwelling power and protection we have.
As we venture out of our “walled cities” into the world, remember that the Lord has given us:
truth of the Protector to teach us,
righteousness of the Protector to make us worthy,
peace of the Protector to calm and prepare us,
faith of the Protector to encourage us,
salvation of the Protector to seal us,
testimony of the Protector to guide us,
communion with the Protector to empower us, and
presence of the Protector to make us joyful.
All of these things are so much better than a wall or a hedge of protection around us. So rather than praying for that hedge of protection, I am now determined to praise the Lord for the Protector He has already given me, and to find rest in knowing that He is all I need.
Our power to overcome the world, and the god of this world, comes only from Him and His gift of the Holy Spirit. We cannot in our own power be overcomers. But we can by His power be victorious. Even in the case of Israel, they were only victorious when they sought the Lord and depended on Him in battle. The only battle that they lost in the conquest of the land was at Ai—the only time in which they did not seek the Lord before entering into battle.
It’s not about confidence in who we are and believing in what we can do. It’s about dependance on God and remembering who He is, what He has done for us and who we are in Him. Although God created man in His image, it is only by our rebirth to new life in Him that the power of God is given to us. We must remember that the power of the Protector is within us and that He has promised to light our way and direct our thoughts, words and actions. Remember that! Live knowing that He is with you, and go forth and share the love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Finally, brethren…think on these things:
Psalm 33:20-21 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name.
Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.
1 Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
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