Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3557

Jump Start # 3557

Job 1:10 “Have you not made a hedge about 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.”

  I was thinking about ole’ Job the other day and this passage in particular. I wonder if Job knew that God had protected him so well? Satan viewed this as a hedge about him. The majority of the translations all use the word “hedge.” In my mind, I think of a fine estate or mansion that is surrounded by very tall shrubs or hedges. It keeps outsiders from looking in and in fact, it keeps outsiders outside. While we may use hedges as borders or landscape, often they were used in place of a fence. Hedges can grow thick and dense. They form a wall of protection.

  As the book of Job progresses, we notice what happened when God allowed Satan to cut down the hedges. I don’t know if there was a series of different hedges around Job or just one massive one, but once the hedges were gone, Job was hurt. Without the hedges Job suffered financially. Crimes were committed against him. There was violence. There were storms. There was death. There was the loss of health. All of those hedges had kept those troubles away from Job. Now that the hedges were gone, Job was vulnerable. Job was a victim. Job was along for the ride.

  From that, I’ve wondered if you and I have similar hedges around our hearts and lives. We don’t see them, but because of them, God has protected us from violence, crime, health issues, troubles, and financial woes. We may not even realize how these divine hedges have saved us from many tears and troubles. They have kept the devil at a distance from us.

  Here are some thoughts from this:

 First, we ought to be thankful for the years and years of protection God has provided. He has guarded our hearts from tears because of the divine protection around us. As Iran was blasting rockets towards Israel recently, their defense shield was shooting them out of the sky. They were protected.

  For us, it’s just another day. It’s just like yesterday. And, it’s just like tomorrow. That’s how we think. But how has our Lord kept our hearts safe. How He has kept storms, trouble and trials from us. His hedge has kept us safe. Don’t take these days for granted, nor expect them. Be thankful for them. If we only knew, we’d likely be amazed. Troubles diverted. Accidents that never happened. Heartache that never got through to us. The hedges have protected us and it is the Lord who has made all of that possible. It’s not our strength, our wealth, our connections that has done this. It all points to the goodness of the Lord.

  Second, there are times when God allows Satan to cut down the hedges around us. The testing of our faith produces endurance, we find in James. Sometimes that testing means allowing things to get through. Our faith and our trust is not in our 401s or our family, our health, or, even the church. It’s in the Lord. In Job’s book, it sure seems that just about all the hedges were dug up and removed. All Job had left was himself. But there was something Satan didn’t see. Job’s faith was not in what he had accomplished, what he owned, or how good life was. His faith was in the Lord. Even without any hedges, open to attacks and troubles, Job remained faithful to God. And, so must we. Our faith in the Lord is not only in the sunshine of life, but also in the darkness of storms. The measure of God’s love towards us is not in how nice our lives are. He loves us, no matter what.

  Third, as parents, we build hedges around our children. We want them to be protected and safe. The world is dangerous and dark. But, there are valuable character lessons that come from not making the team, not getting the scholarship, not always having every door opened to us. Learning from our mistakes and sins can keep us from making greater mistakes and sins. Little ones need a lot of help. But there is a transition, where parents need to let them learn some things and that includes failures. Raising children is like flying a kite. Hold the string to tight and it might snap. Yet, holding that string too loose and the kite comes crashing down. It takes some doing to know just the right amount of pressure to keep that kite flying high.

  We may never know all the hedges the Lord placed around us. While we are quick to complain about the weather, the traffic, high prices, and rude people, we forget to thank the Lord for His loving protection and care through the years. God has blessed us abundantly. God has forgiven us multiple times. God continues to be good to us.

  Hedges around us…what an interesting thought.