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August 15, 2018

Divine Protection

“Have You not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.” Job 1:10 (NIV)

God’s hedge of protection is described in some translations like a protective wall, a fence or even force field, shielding our lives, property and possession.  In fact, Satan stood before God to accuse Job of being devoted to God for purely self-serving motives.  When God bragged on Job for being a righteous man, Satan said, 

“‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied. ‘Have You not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out Your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face.’ The LORD said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.’ Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.” Job 1:8-12 (NIV2011) 

What an amazing insight! What a source of security to know that God has a hedge of protection about His children that nothing and no one may penetrate apart from His permission.  Throughout Scripture, we are reminded not to put our trust in man or even in our own strength or resources.  All of these are insufficient sources of protection and provision!  God is our source, our strength and our supply!  In Him we are secure!  He is our refuge.  In Proverbs we’re told,

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.” Proverbs 21:31 (NIV2011)

Psalm 108:12-13 (NIV2011) says, 

Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies.”

And 1 Timothy 6:17 (NKJV) says, 

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” 

None of these verses deny the value of preparation, provision or protection, but they emphasize that our primary trust is in God.  As we remain rightly related to Him through Christ, we may enjoy the security of knowing that He has a hedge about us!  That means the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will – no matter where that is!  We do not have to be afraid!  His hedge protects individuals and nations!  When Israel was rightly related to God, He protected them from their enemies.  When they departed from God, He removed His hedge and allowed them to be defeated.  In Job’s case, God lifted a portion of his hedge about Job to allow Satan to test his faith.  Job demonstrated by his response that he wasn’t a fair-weather follower. He didn’t worship God simply because God had blessed him.  Even when the hedge was partially lifted, Job worshiped God.  Still, God’s hedge remained about Job, and His hedge of protection is part of the inheritance of God’s people!  Thank God for His hedge about you, your family, and everything you have. This is the blessing of the Lord to those who put their trust in Him!