Hedge of protection
We use so many idioms, phrases and sayings in our everyday language. But have you ever wondered where some come from or what they truly mean? It can really surprise you. Such as “Raining cats and dogs” or “a stitch in nine saves time.”
Some sayings are really from the Bible such as “a little bird told me” in Ecclesiastes 10:20.
Often I have prayed and heard others pray for “a hedge of protection” when praying for someone’s safety. When did this start? What is the accurate meaning? Is it in the Scriptures? These are good questions to start our search.
In Bible times, hedges were of a completely different design as we have today.
They were not green bushes or a stonewall. Hedges were made of low, intertwined thorn bushes that would grow around what needed to be protected and used similar to a fence to keep out wild animals especially from livestock.
However, there could still be some danger. It was very common for someone to pick up a stick and hit the corner of the hedge, to see a snake come slithering out!
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 10:8b KJV “…whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent will bite him.” (“…whoever breaks through a wall, may be bitten by a snake.” NIV)
The devil, Biblically symbolized as a snake (serpent), accused God of having a protective hedge around Job that included Job himself, his family and his wealth. Job 1:10 “Have you not put a hedge of protection 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.”
Here in America, I do not think of a hedge as protection. Our physical hedges are usually green and designed, more decorative or at best a boundary marker. I really do not think that one of today’s hedges is going to protect me from a mama bear trying to save her cub or a running deer or an intruder. So why do we pray these words?
We pray for a “hedge of protection” not only for general safety but also for a specific needs and times.
When I drive by some houses where the hedges are growing out all over the place, my first reaction is, “why don’t they cut that hedge back?” However, spiritual thoughts came to my mind. There is more to this.
The branches of the hedge are safe as long as they remain in the confines of the hedge’s boundaries as we are staying under God’s protection.
But when a branch goes beyond the boundaries, it seems out of control and wild just as our personal lives can seem to be. However, this can be a time for growth and expansion of a new, larger hedge. So when you are unsure of your circumstance, in difficult situations, out of your comfort zone or in a new calling, service or ministry from God, this is definitely a time to ask God for a “hedge of protection.”
Yes, often branches do get pruned, as we do. Be assured that you are still under God’s shelter and security. But all of these experiences are for your safety, spiritual growth and a deeper walk with God. This is a time when praying for “a hedge of protection” is even more important.
Of course, the ultimate hedge God has given us is Jesus Christ with the sacrifice of His life and His resurrection for you and I to have salvation from sin, live with God forever and experience God’s earthly protection and security; one that the devil cannot penetrate in the name of Jesus.
No matter what you may be going through or someone who you are praying for is dealing with, continue to pray for a “hedge of protection” from God. The enemy is always looking for a chance to break your defenses.
“Be alert and sober. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. The devil is hoping to get into your heart and life through the tiniest crack.
We need all the hedges of God around us that we can get. Your relationship with God needs protection covered by supernatural Godly boundaries to protect your faith, family, friends, decisions, principles, service, and church family to name a few.
What tools can you use to enhance Godly hedges? Prayer, scripture, wearing the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and ask God for wisdom and discernment with your choices. But your first step in establishing a spiritual hedge is to ask God directly for His protection.
Final conclusion is to keep asking God for a hedge of His protection and if you aren’t, try adding these words to your prayers.
God is faithful, He will provide. “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Pastor Janis Heiser of River of Life Fellowship Church, Lock Haven.