A Hedge of Protection

Like me, many of you have heard someone say we have prayed a “hedge of protection” around you and your family.  Tim Hawkins, a very funny Christian comedian, talks about this statement “a hedge of protection” and asks “couldn’t it be concrete with some razor wire on top?”  Far too often we don’t take time to really seek God’s meaning of a “hedge of protection.”  While the literal definition of a hedge is “a boundary formed by a dense row of thorny shrubs”[1] the phrase “hedge of protection” refers to a spiritual protection.  Satan recognized that God had put a “hedge of protection” around Job and his family.  Satan says“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.”[2] Satan realized that as long as this spiritual hedge was around Job, he could do nothing to harm Job, Job’s family, or even Job’s possessions.  God’s hedge of protection is the ultimate in security and only He can allow something to penetrate it.

     Revelation 12 gives us three important weapons that we can use to strengthen God’s hedge of protection and be “over comers” in our battle against the enemy.  Revelation 12 tells us“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.  For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” [3]   Let’s take a closer look at each of these weapons and how we can use them to defeat Satan.  

     First, we overcome through the “blood of the Lamb.” In Exodus Chapter 12 God gives directions to the children of Israel so that they will have His hedge of protection around them. “The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, ‘This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.  If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.  Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.  That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.  Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire—head, legs and inner parts.  Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it.  This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover.  ‘On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.  The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.”[4]  Just as in Exodus chapter 12, Jesus was the lamb without blemish sacrificed for payment of our sins. When His blood covers our hearts then God passes over us when it comes to our Judgment day.

      Second, we overcome by the word of our testimony.  First we do this through God’s word. God has given His word of testimony through the Bible.  Scripture becomes a powerful weapon to use in developing and refining our testimony.  Psalm 119:11 says “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  God’s men must make it a priority to study God’s word.  God’s word empowers His men to be living testimonies for our Heavenly Father.  

      The second way of overcoming by the word of our testimony is through our personal testimony.  Sharing with others how God has changed our lives since we dedicated ourselves to Him.  Psalm 40:10 tells us I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.” God’s men don’t need to carry around a fifty pound Bible to hit people over the head with to try and bring them to salvation!  We must develop relationships that earn us the right to share our salvation and when given the opportunity we need to boldly present the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This supports the importance of having God’s word in our hearts so that we are prepared to respond when given an opportunity to share our testimony.

       And third, a powerful weapon available to us is we must not love our lives so much as to shrink from death.  God’s man can have great power over Satan when he lives a life totally surrendered to God.  The world looks at Job and sees him as a man that lost everything.  God’s man looks at Job and sees a man that recognized the one thing he held onto was the only thing he truly needed.  

      Job held tightly to his faith even in the face of death.  In Job 13:15 he said, “Though he slay me, yet will I praise Him.”  Even in death a believer has victory and we overcome this world to eternity with our Heavenly Father.  The world tells us to love our life and as a result we live in fear of death. Satan uses this as a primary weapon of intimidation.   Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.”[5]  Our society has become a bit cavalier with saying “well I guess that is just his/her cross to bear.”  When a man was seen carrying a cross in Biblical times it meant only one thing — DEATH!  Jesus is simply telling us we must die to self daily and follow Him.  If we do this, we can be fearless in our dealings with the enemy … Satan.

      Satan is always trying to chip away at the hedge of protection that God places around His own.  We must realize that Satan could never have done anything to Job unless God allowed it to happen.  We must also recognize that when our faith is firm, God strengthens the hedge of protection He places around us.  Job said “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.” (Job 19:25).   Job had faith in Jesus even though he didn’t know his name.  Even in his darkest moments Job knew that his Heavenly Father would provide a redeemer for him.

Let’s celebrate the wonderful fact that God not only provides us a spiritual hedge of protection but the weapons needed to strengthen it!

[1] Holman Bible Dictionary, Holman Bible Publishers, 1991, page 628

[2] Job 1:10 (All scripture used in this article is taken from the NIV translation of the Holy Bible unless otherwise noted.)

[3] Revelaton 12:10 and 11

[4] Exodus 12:1-13

[5] Luke 9:23

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