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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Building A Hedge Of God's Protection

      Surviving in the world today is a hard thing to do.  Especially when you have no job, mouths to feed and the need to provide shelter. As the old saying goes been there and done that. It is purely by the Grace of God that I am here today.  God provides a hedge of protection that protects us from the evil in this world. Left to my own devices I would have starved to death.  At one point in my life I had my own business and was making what I thought was good money.  The problem was I lost sight of the source of my blessing. I had to get as low as I could go before I realized that I had turned away from the source of my blessing.  I had lost my business, my house, my car and my family.  In retrospect there was no need to have lost any of it.  The reason I did lose it all was by feeling that “I” was doing it all.  I was the master of my destiny and that I could do it on my own.  Looking back it is easy to see dozens of ways it could have been avoided, but God was letting me “do my own thing.”

       In reality I knew where my blessings were coming from. It was a willful choice to turn away from God.  It was not that I intentionally turned my back on God.  It got to the point I started taking for granted the blessings I was receiving. Slowly I stopped tithing, I stopped looking for God in the things happening in my life and worst of all I quit giving even verbal thanks to him. God simply removed his hedge of protection and let me see how well I could do on my own.  Having reached a point where I had virtually nothing and the only way I could look was up. I did.  I told God I understood the error of my ways.  I had nothing.  I promised to tithe 10% of my time to the Lord as it was all I had to give.  The next several years I spent at least two and one half hours a day in the Bible.  It was easy when I was unemployed, but it became a challenge when I had a job. It was a period that changed my life.  In less than three years I had my family back and had recovered all my losses and then some.  God is good to His Word.  My desire now is to return to spending that time with the Lord.  Notice there are a whole lot of I's in these first paragraphs.

        In the course of studying God’s Word many things became clear to me..  One is that God does work the same yesterday, today and forever just as His Word says.  He does provide a hedge of protection for us.  Just as Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  While that verse is in Matthew, Jesus was quoting it from Deuteronomy 8:3.  If you study the Bible you will find it says, “5Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” Proverbs 30:5  At that point a shield.would have been handy. The Bible gives us many stories as examples of how and how not to live our lives.                

        Hedges are mentioned several times in the Bible. The first is in Job 1:10.  God is having a conversation with Satan.  Satan wants to harm Job but he can’t because God protects Job.  In the course of the Book of Job we get to see what happens to a person when God removes his protection.  At the end of this post there is a list of verses that show what and how a hedge works. How it works is determined by our walk with the Lord.  In Hosea 4:6 it says, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee.”  Notice it says my people.  It does not say sinners or heathens.

       God does not wish that any should perish. II Chronicles 16:9 makes that clear.  It says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.  He makes it clear in Ezekiel 33:11 that he does not desire that the wicked die, but that they turn from their evil.  He also makes it clear in the next couple verses that trusting in your own righteousness will not save you if you sin.  It is cut and dried and as they would say in this day and age.  It is either God’s way or the highway.  He does not play let’s make a deal.

       Three verses in the Bible changed my life. The first was Luke 6:46 “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say.  That means I have to do what he said to do.  He told his Father to forgive those crucifying him.  In Matthew 6:14 he makes it clear the same is required of us.  The last commandment he gave as far as I can tell was in 1st Corinthians 11:23-30 that we partake of the body and the blood of Christ every time we come together in remembrance of him and what he did.  Will taking communion get me into heaven?  No I do not think so, but I do think it shows I am seeking to follow His Word as he proclaimed it.  Very few churches besides the Catholic Church; the Church of Christ which has two kinds, instrumental and non- instrumental and the Christian Churches actually do so.

        In Haggai 1:6 we are told, “You have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe yourselves, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it in a bag with holes. 7. Thus saith the Lord of host: Consider your ways.”  This was God’s judgment for failing to follow him and His Word.  God offered them a solution in Malachi 3:10-12,  10“ Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruit of your ground; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts 12. And all nations shall call you blessed. That is a pretty awesome challenge.

        America may have had a Malachi blessing, but we are definitely turning towards a Haggai curse. The 28th Chapter of Deuteronomy gives the blessings and curses that befall a nation that follows God and one that turns its back on God.  The first fourteen verses describe the blessings.  The remaining fifty-four verses describe the curses that befall a nation that turns its back on God.  Read it and make up your own mind where America is headed as a nation.

         Hopefully you will read the verses that I put at the end of this post.  You will see why you want to have a relation with God.  Especially one in which he puts a hedge of protection around you and your family.  If you feel you are walking with God may you be encouraged to look at the hedge you presently have.  Is it growing or dying.  I challenge you to spend some time in the study of God’s Word.  Especially if you feel you are coming up short in life and see if it does not fill the void.  All the blessings may not be financial, some may be doors opening and protection for loved ones.  You will see the difference if you just open your eyes and look for it.  

Verses dealing with Hedges 
Job 1:10         
Prov 15:19
Ec 10:8
Isa 5:5
Eze 13:5 Warning against following false prophets
Eze 22:30 Warns that there was no one to stand in the gap.
Ho 2:6
Mic 7:4
Mk 12:1

1 comment:

  1. I found it! :) It's a scary thought realizing what our lives might be like without God's protection. I pray for it daily.