hedge of protection … no laughing please

Our family loves to watch and laugh with comedian Tim Hawkins. He has a very funny short he does regarding our prayers for a hedge of protection that makes you laugh and wonder where in the world that phrase came from and will have you second guessing yourself every time you think to insert it in a prayer (A Google search on Tim Hawkins hedge of protection will bring up the YouTube video as your first search result).

Well, it ceased to be just a laughing matter to me as I came across the biblical origin of the phrase … and I had to share it with my wife and grandson. And now you as well …

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. Job 1:6-12 (ESV)

Here’s what I see in the above encounter …

  • Satan knew that Job and all he had was beyond his touch because of God’s hedge of protection.
  • Satan knew that God’s blessing and increase were a result of God’s hedge of protection.
  • Satan knew that Job’s faith and righteousness would never be shaken as long as he was surrounded by God’s hedge of protection.
  • Satan knew that within the hedge of protection Job feared God and was protected from evil
  • Satan knew that the only way to test Job was for God to remove the hedge of protection

So what exactly is a hedge?

Merriam- Webster defines a hedge as a fence or boundary formed by a dense row, a means of protection or defense.

Despite Tim Hawkin’s hilarious claim that Satan has an aversion to shrubbery … I doubt that is what composes God’s hedge of protection. But you can’t help but wonder what does …

Take a moment to consider this account from Billy Graham’s 1975 Angels: God’s Secret Agents

The Reverend John G. Paton, pioneer missionary in the New Hebrides Islands, told a thrilling story involving the protective care of angels. Hostile natives surrounded his mission headquarters one night, intent on burning the Patons out and killing them. John Paton and his wife prayed all during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see that, unaccountably, the attackers had left. They thanked God for delivering them.

A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Jesus Christ, and Mr. Paton, remembering what had happened, asked the chief what had kept him and his men from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, “Who were all those men you had with you there?” The missionary answered, “There were no men there; just my wife and I.” The chief argued that they had seen many men standing guard – hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords in their hands. They seemed to circle the mission station so that the natives were afraid to attack. Only then did Mr. Paton realize that God had sent His angels to protect them. The chief agreed that there was no other explanation. Could it be that God had sent a legion of angels to protect His servants, whose lives were being endangered?

So to me it seems that the hedge of protection is quite likely a hedge of God’s angels … Consider this passage from Psalms …

Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:9-11 (ESV)

And if Jesus has not embraced His journey to the cross, He too could have called out His hedge of protection

While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” Matthew 26:47-53 (ESV)

A legion in the Roman army consisted of 3,000 to 6,000 infantrymen and 100 to 200 cavalry troops. So if you do the math, Jesus could have asked His Father to send 36,000 to 72,000 angels with another possible 1200 to 2400 angels on horseback … sounds like a pretty good hedge to me.

And our good news … our hedge of protection is …

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but HE WHO WAS BORN OF GOD PROTECTS HIM, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:18-20 (ESV)

You know … I’m still going to watch, enjoy and laugh at Tim Hawkin’s shtick regarding the hedge of protection.

But I am going to pray for that hedge of protection around those I love and care for a bit more than I used to …

In fact, may God place His hedge of protection around you my friends!

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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